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Upper Madison River Fishing Report

Date: 04/18/2024
Posted by: Toby Swank

Fly fishing in Montana on the Madison River during spring can be some of the best fly fishing in the state. The water temperatures start to rise, and the trout's feeding activity increases. This allows many Montana anglers opportunities to target fish with different techniques such as fishing with nymphs, streamers, and dry flies. Fishing has been particularly good around the Three Dollar Bridge FAS and around Ennis as Rainbow trout migrate throughout the river before their spawn. Float fishing has been effective around Lyons for anglers fishing streamers or indicator nymph rigs.

Fishing with nymphs is really consistent right now. Sub-surface, trout eat a variety of Worms, Midges, Stoneflies and Trout eggs. During the warmer parts of the day, trout are becoming more active and spreading out into various holding water so explore outside of the deeper holes.

Streamer fishing has picked up and been good with bright and flashy patterns. Target in soft pockets of water found around large structures such as boulders or log jams. Our Bozeman fly fishing guides really like using a Rusty Trombone on this section in the winter.

 It isn't uncommon to find large trout holding in two feet of water below a log or boulder. Take your time and be patient, the most difficult part this time of year is distinguishing where in the water column is prime. Call fly shops in Bozeman, Montana, or Ennis, Montana to ensure there isn't any ice in the river before heading out.

Upper Madison River Fishing Report Streamflow

Click to enlarge


USGS CFS Data is not available for this date.

Experience Montana fly fishing on the upper Madison River with the Bozeman MT fly fishing guides from Fins and Feathers. We have been outfitting fly fishing in Montana for over two decades on the Madison River.

Novice and first-time anglers fishing the Madison can expect a day full of fly fishing learning experiences surrounded by the spectacular landscape of Southwest Montana.

Expert anglers know that the river holds legendary Brown Trout that will slowly rise to a well-presented dry fly or chase down a quick-stripped sculpin pattern while streamer fly fishing.

  • $675 for 1 or 2 Anglers Per Guide
  • Float Trips With Wading Opportunities
  • Use of All Fishing Equipment Is Included
  • Single And Multi-Day Trip Bookings Available
  • Meet In Bozeman, Ennis, or at launch sites
  • Book Online or Contact Us To Learn More

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.