Upper Madison Fly Fishing Reports
Upper Madison Fishing Report 3/17/2021
The upper Madison has been fishing well the last few weeks. The higher portions of the river (Raynolds - $3 Bridge) are most consistent but the lower river is starting to thaw on the banks. Ice and slush will be less prominent around town with the warmer weather in the forecast. The afternoons are the best time to be out right now when the temps are warming up quickly. Nymphing a Pat's Rubberlegs, San Juan worm, Zebra Midge, Caddis Larva, and small Mayfly imitations have worked the best. Look for depth changes in the river and work your flies thoroughly. It's still a bit cold to have any great streamer action, but don't be surprised if you get a few eats. Smaller black or white bugs have been getting the most attention. It is still more effective to wade or work spots than to fish straight out of the boat. As always get creative on this river if you aren't having a ton of catching success.
The Upper should be starting to get good this week with temps in the 50s and 60s. Winds should be moderate building to about 15 mph everyday in the afternoon/evening. Nymphing with Pats rubberlegs, worms, midges, caddis pupas, baetis nymphs, and perdigons should get the job done in the deeper buckets. There have been a good amount of midges as of late so keep an eye on those back eddies and bring a few griffith's gnats. Try and be prepared for BWOs and skwallas as they are next up. Streamer fishing with small to medium black/olive streamers should be picking up with the warmer weather. They tend to like the slow strip this time of year so really no reason to use sink tips unless you are throwing something unweighted. Keep and eye out and avoid stepping on/ fishing spawning redds. Let the rainbows get it on so our fish returns are good for years to come.
Recommended Guided Trips
Fins & Feathers of Bozeman’s Montana fly fishing packages offer convenience and value by bundling our guided services together with lodging options in Bozeman. Check out the example pricing - based on double occupancy in the rooms and with one of our Bozeman fly fishing guides. Email us or fill out our contact form to make a reservation and confirm availability.
Please note that availability is extremely limited during the summer, we strongly encourage you to make reservations sooner, rather than later. Our deposit policy is the "friendliest in the industry" in that we don't require payment ($1.00) at booking and all reservations can be cancelled - with no penalty up to 10 days prior to your scheduled arrival date.
These rates are guaranteed until June 1, 2022 and are likely to increase as availability decreases in both rooms and our guides fly fishing servicesLearn More
Full Day guided fly-fishing trips are our standard offering and offer the best opportunity to truly get out and experience the fly-fishing opportunities around Bozeman that attract anglers from around the world
- Typical Full Day Trips Are 6-8 Hours in Duration
- 1-2 Anglers Maximum Per Guide/Boat
- Full Day Trips Are Generally Float Trips
- Full Day Trips Available on Yellowstone, Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson rivers
- Drive Time Is Typically 30-60 Minutes Each Way
- Fishing Licenses and Gratuities Are Not Included
Fishing Licenses and Shuttle Info
For Shuttles on the Upper Madison Contact:
Upper Madison River Overview
The upper Madison River is perhaps the most famous and highly regarded wild trout stream in the Western US. The river is formed in Yellowstone National Park at the confluence of the Gibbon and Firehole rivers, just outside of West Yellowstone, Montana. As the upper Madison River leaves Yellowstone National Park, it flows into Hebgen Lake and then works its way north through the Hebgen Dam and then Quake Lake. The stretch of river between Quake Lake and Ennis, Montana is known as the “50 Mile Riffle” and is typically the portion of the Madison River that people refer to as the "Upper Madison."