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May 3, 2023 Upper Madison Fishing Report

Date: 05/02/2023
Posted by: Toby Swank

Flows are increasing on the upper Madison now - primarily from increased tributary flow such as the West Fork and Ruby Creek, rather than increased flows from Hebgen Dam. Expect to see more and more color in the water, however the river is fishing well and the color is hardly an issue as it blends together with the main river pretty quickly. The closer to Ennis you are, the better the water conditions are for now.

Nymphing with a variety of Stonefly patters, San Juan Worms, and a few select small flies has been working well, but take your time and anchor up or get out and wade fish the holes and buckets between Varney and Ennis Lake for the most consistent action. 

Our guides have been picking up some really nice fish this past week on the upper Madison, with one streamer eating brown that taped out at 24". The streamer bite has not been hot, but its a great way to cover water from the boat as you move from wade spots between Varney and Ennis - remember that you must be out of the boat when fishing below Ennis bridge. 

Were offer full day guided fly-fishing trips on the Upper Madison using  drift boats, servicing the entire river from Raynold's Pass to Ennis Lake. Learn more about our guided fly-fishing options or book now by clicking on any of the booking buttons throughout the site.

May 3, 2023 Upper Madison Fishing Report Streamflow

Click to enlarge


1340 CFS
On 2023-5-2

Montana Fishing Licenses

A Montana fishing license is required to legally fish in Montana on the upper Madison River.

Upper Madison River Shuttles

Rocket Shuttles: (406) 581-4626 or (406) 764-9886
Dorothy's Shuttle Service: (406) 682-4886
Driftaway Shuttles: (406) 682-3088

Upper Madison River Fishing

The Madison River is widely regarded as the premier Montana fly-fishing river. It originates in Yellowstone National Park at the point where the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers meet. The river flows northwards and merges with the Jefferson and Gallatin Rivers to eventually form the Missouri River near Three Forks, Montana.

The upper Madison River is the stretch between the outlet of Quake Lake and the mouth of Ennis Lake. The river is an incredibly productive and unique blue-ribbon trout fishery with wild Rainbow, Cutthroat, and Brown Trout populations.

The Fins and Feathers "Upper Madison River Fishing Guide" features a comprehensive overview of the river stretches and seasonal highlights with Madison River fishing tips from our Bozeman fly fishing guide staff.