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Upper Madison River Fishing in September

Madison River Fly Fishing Fishing in September

September is a spectacular time to fly fish the Madison River. Crowds have thinned and trout are actively feeding to prepare for the coming winter. Expect a mix of dry fly and nymph-fishing conditions as the weather patterns become less predictable.

Brown trout become increasingly active with the cooling water that signals the approach of their spawning season.

Opportunities abound for anglers of all skill levels in September, however, the variable weather can present more challenges for novice fly fishers.

Upper Madison River Fly Fishing Hatches

Blue-winged olive (BWO) and tiny Pseudocleon mayflies hatch in large numbers on overcast September days.

Terrestrial patterns like grasshoppers, ants, and beetles remain important until the first heavy freeze of autumn. They work best on sunny days.

Midges can be found congregating behind boulders and along the banks once air temperatures cool later in the month.

Upper Madison River Fly Fishing Techniques in September

Focus on stealthy approaches in September as low flows and clear water call for more technical presentations. Use longer leaders with fine tippets, and make accurate casts.

Nymphing with lightly weighted tandem nymph rigs is productive while fishing from the boat, particularly between Lyon’s Bridge and Varney Bridge.

Aggressive pre-spawn brown trout can make for stellar streamer fishing on overcast days between Varney Bridge and Ennis Lake.

Bozeman Fly Fishing Guide Pro-Tip:

Fall streamer fly fishing gives you a chance to catch one of the Madison’s notoriously large brown trout. When drifting from a boat, cast at an angle behind you, and start moving your fly immediately. Pulse your rod tip to animate your streamer. Two-tone fly patterns, like Barley Legals, work well in September.

Our Upper Madison River Fly Box for September

Upper Madison River Fly Fishing Trips in September

Learn more about a Madison River fly fishing trip with Fins and Feathers' expert guides who will custom tailor an experience to your preferences, expectations, and skill.

Wade anglers will enjoy the lower stretches between Varney Bridge and Ennis Lake, where we primarily use drift boats as transport vessels, taking you from productive spot to productive spot.

Streamer fishing from the boats can be exceptional this time of the year for advanced anglers seeking to hook into the larger brown trout in the river.

Our guides focus their efforts near Ennis, Montana as these stretches hold the most and largest trout in the system this time of the year.

Reservations can be made directly online or through e-mail if you have your dates and details all sorted out. Reach out with our Contact Form for help with planning your Montana fly fishing trip or call us at 406-468-5019.

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