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Madison River Fishing Report

The Madison River Fishing Report is presented to you as a yearly report. This report rarely changes except for one factor - the weather. If you prefer current conditions, we recommend contacting the local fly shops You will probably discover that our annual report coincides with the local shop's weekly Madison River Fly-fishing Report but here you won't feel obligated to purchase something.

This report will cover the most prolific insect hatches on the Madison River beginning from Yellowstone National Park to below Quake Lake to the town of Ennis and down to Lower Bear Trap.

Early spring on the upper Madison river is much dependant upon runoff. Particularly the clarity from Beaver and Cabin Creek flowing into Quake lake and the West Fork of the Madison, above Lyons bridge.

Late May - The season opener in Yellowstone National Park and on the Madison River typically has good baetis hatches on overcast days and on sunny days, the caddis emergence can be quite good. By the first week of June start to look for Salmonflies particularly along the boulder banks. During this time be sure to check out the Firehole. The Salmonfly hatch can be short but prolific here. Below Quake Lake, the Madison River is in runoff. During this stage, streamers and large nymphs, close along the bank, are very productive and attractor dry fly patterns will bring up some fish. has Baetis Sparkle Duns and Iris Caddis patters along pheasant tails, assorted bead heads and your favorite streamers.

June - Early June is Salmonfly time on the Madison River in the park and by mid June look for PMD's especially on overcast days and watch for the last of the baetis that will still be lingering. On sunny days, look for PMD spinners in the morning and the emerging Hydropsyche caddis. By the 3rd week of June, Caddis below Quake become active along with PMD's and the famous Salmonfly/Fly fisher hatch. The Salmonflies will appear above Ennis Lake and progress for the next 2 weeks to Reynold's Bridge and end between the lakes. Have a good supply of PMD Sparkle Duns, X Caddis, Elk Hairs, Nicks Sunken Stones, Kaufmann Stones, Rubber Legs and Bitch Creeks. Floating the river offers the best chance to be in the gut of the hatch. Look for sunny and windy afternoons for the best action.

July/Early -July the Salmonflies end. Golden Stones will follow the same course as their larger cousins for the next week. PMD's will slowly end as the summer heat intensifies. During sunny days the Hydropsyche caddis is the predominant hatch throughout the month with and occasional Flavinea hatch on stormy overcast days. Towards the end of July the Epeorus Mayfly along with evening caddis are the main staples. Throughout the summer heat especially July have plenty of Ants and Beetle patterns. Have plenty of Iris and X Caddis, Crystal Serendipities, Shop Vacs and Prince Nymphs.

August - Epeorus will make its final push for a few more weeks during the cooler evening hours be sure to have both duns and spinners. August is typically terrestrial month so be prepared with hoppers, ants and beetles. Attractors seem too effective. The fish have been clobbered so don't play them to death since it's all cumulative with every angler release ratio. Flies to have are Epeorus Sparkle Duns and Foam Spinners, Foam Ants, Beetles and Hoppers.

September -By September, the Madison River fishing is winding down as far as hatches are concerned. The crowds are gone; the fish are tired, and the river is yours. Have fun floating and stripping streamers and enjoy the memories till next spring. Bugger, Woolhead Sculpins and any streamer you like.

October - October will bring the last significant hatch of the year with the Baetis Mayfly. This is the same Baetis as spring except a size or 2 smaller. The same tactics and conditions apply and the fish are just as eager. Look to the pockets behind boulders and fish the slicks. Once again Baetis Sparkle Duns, Pheasant Tails all in 20 - 24's

November Through April -Tie some flies. If you're obsessed, like some people we know, fish midges during the long relentless winter.