Our Rivers

Upper Madison River Fly Fishing in June

Upper Madison River Fly Fishing in June

Pinnacle fishing season kicks off in mid-June when the first salmonfly shucks appear on the rocks around Valley Garden, just a few miles downstream of Ennis.

River flows usually peak sometime in early June and levels gradually drop through the latter part of the month.

The Upper Madison’s most famous insect hatch, the giant salmonfly, generally comes off mid-month, and the last ten days of June can offer lucky anglers prime dry fly fishing between Palisades and Varney Bridge.

In addition to excellent fishing, the Madison Valley puts on a show in early summer. The verdant valley floor glows deep green, a dramatic contrast against the snow-capped peaks of the Madison and Gravelly Mountain Ranges on the horizon. Wildflowers erupt along the river bank, painting the landscape in every imaginable color.

Large herds of elk and pronghorn antelope feed on the glacial moraines above the river, while moose and whitetail deer sneak through the river corridor. Diverse birdlife also returns for the summer feast with myriad species of songbirds and raptors filling the sky and streamside flora.

Upper Madison River Fly Fishing Hatches in June

Salmonfly, golden stone, caddis, yellow sally, green drake, flav, and pale morning dun insect hatches are prevalent on the upper Madison River during the second half of June. Late June is a great time of year for dry fly fishing on the upper Madison River between Raynold’s Bridge and Ennis Lake.

Upper Madison River Fly Fishing Techniques in June

Dry fly fishing from a drift boat with large salmonfly and golden stone imitations may be the quintessential Madison River fishing fly fishing experience, but the river offers all kinds of angling opportunities this time of year—big dries, small dries, nymphs, and streamers can all produce fish.

Nymphing with a large stonefly followed by a small caddis or mayfly under a strike indicator can be incredibly effective during the salmonfly hatch.

Streamer fishing, especially when the river is slightly off-color with overcast conditions, can produce great results in both numbers and average size of trout to the net during June.

Bozeman Fly Fishing Guide Pro-Tip:

On cool days and early mornings, salmonflies become lethargic. A uniform pattern like a Water Walker most effectively imitates these lazy bugs. As temperatures rise, they become more active, flapping their wings and agitating the water's surface. A Fluttering Stone or Flutter Bug will more accurately mimic this behavior.

Our Upper Madison River Fly Box for June

Upper Madison River Fly Fishing Guide Trips in June

June is very busy, both for the crew at Fins and Feathers Guide Service and the Upper Madison River. The river bustles with anglers from around the world, and our guide staff’s extensive knowledge helps our guests find success among the crowds through careful fly selection and expert boat maneuvering.

Experienced and novice anglers alike will enjoy the astounding proliferation of life on the Madison River. In addition to the fish, birds, plants, flowers, and wildlife, the air, rocks, and river’s surface are seemingly saturated with hatching insects.

Our guided Upper Madison fishing trips focus on sections between Lyon’s Bridge and 8-mile Fishing Access Sites during June.

The guides communicate frequently to dodge crowds while keeping our guests in the “thick” of the action. Your guide may suggest varying your day with an early or late start. We also try to skip this river during weekends in the busiest weeks of June.

Our 20 + years of guiding experience on the Madison River gives our guests the best opportunity to experience Montana fly fishing at its best.

Upper Madison River guided day trips can be reserved online, through e-mail, or by calling us at 1-406-468-5019. Our experts are here to help. Use our online Contact Form for assistance with planning your trip or to ask us questions regarding your Montana fishing trip.