Upper Madison Fly Fishing Reports
Upper Madison Fishing Report 8/10/2020
The hopper fishing has been really good on the river the last couple of days. A combination of cool nights, mild daytime highs, and sunny skies has got the fish feeling happy and elevating mid-day throughout the river. Start the mornings off with a nymph rig or a dry dropper combination, while fishing the banks and tight to the mid-river boulders. Once that sun gets high in the sky, around 11 or so, switch to a hopper and start fishing the skinny water in the middle of the river, especially looking for shallow drop-offs along and behind gravel bars. This structure can be hard to identify on the Upper Madison -especially with clouds - but look for very shallow water that drops off in depth to less shallow water! There is a lot of traffic up there - as always - so try some creative things like putting on very early in the morning or even early afternoon, fish fluorocarbon tippet (4x), watch the other boats and fish different lines than them, switch flies often if you are getting them to rise (some days, one color or pattern works well when others don't at all).
COVID 19 COMMUNICATIONS – July 31, 2020
- Store capacity is limited to 5 guests
- Purchase fishing licenses online at fwp.mt.gov (we are now selling licenses as well, but ask that you try online first)
- Face coverings are mandatory – we have them available if needed.
- Respect social distancing and use provided hand sanitizer.
- Order online and select Pickup at checkout for curbside service
- Call us at 406-586-2188 to place your order over the phone fro curbside service.
- Book a time for private shopping.
- Buy Flies online and save 20% (enter FLIES_20 at checkout in the Discount Code field)
Keep in mind you can shop all of our flies in our online store for both shipping and curbside pickup. You can also order hand-picked fly selections for the upper Madison River before you head out and we'll have them ready for you to pick up!
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."