Upper Madison River Fishing in September

Madison River Fishing in September

As autumn arrives in Montana, the Madison River offers world-class fly fishing.

September is a beautiful time to experience fly fishing the Madison River, with fewer crowds and actively feeding trout preparing 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 to them that their spawning season is fast approaching.

Excellent fly-fishing opportunities abound for anglers of all skill levels in September, however, the variable weather can present more challenges for the novice fly fisher.

September Hatches on the Upper Madison River

Blue-winged olive and tiny Pseudocleon Mayfly hatches are common on overcast September days.

Terrestrial insects like grasshoppers, ants, and beetles continue to be important and their imitations work best on sunny days until the first, heavy freeze of autumn.

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

Upper Madison River Fishing Techniques in September

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

Nymphing with lightly weighted tandem nymph rigs is productive while fishing from the boat on the stretches 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:

Transitioning into fall, fly fishing with streamers becomes more important in terms of catching large Brown Trout. When drifting from a boat, Cast at an angle behind you, allowing your fly to start to swim immediately, moving your rod tip to animate your flies. Two-tone fly patterns like a Barley Legal work well at fooling Madison River trout in September.


Our Upper Madison River Fly Box for September

Guided Fly Fishing Trips on the Upper Madison River in September

Learn more about a fall fly fishing trip on the Madison River with Fins and Feathers' expert guides catering to your exact experience level and interests.

The wading angler will appreciate the lower stretches between Varney Bridge and Ennis Lake where we use the drift boats primarily to get from one fishing spot to the next, wading the most productive runs.

Streamer fishing from the boats can be exceptional this time of the year for the advanced angler, seeking to hook into the larger Brown Trout in the river.

Our guides focus their efforts near Ennis, Montana as fall progresses and these stretches hold the most and largest trout in the river 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.