Hot Weather and Great Fishing - Madison River Report

Date
Monday, 24 Jul, 2017
Water Clarity
Clear
Angler Traffic
Medium
Fish Caught
9-12 fish
Report
Southwest Montana is experiencing some hot weather right now, which means the fishing on the Madison River is great in the morning and fades toward the afternoon. Most of the bites come between dawn and noon with a drop off around 3pm. Most sections of the Madison still have PMD’s, Nocturnal Stoneflies, Caddis, and Yellow Sallies. Don’t expect much from dry flies unless you’re willing to get out really early. With the higher water temperatures in the afternoons you should always try to get the fish back in the water as quickly as possible. There’s a lot less fishing pressure on the Madison now that the Yellowstone has opened up, and the fish have taken well to this.
 
Start Time:
5:00 AM
End Time:
3:00 PM
Flies
Dries
Name
Size
Parachute Adams14
Elk Hair Caddis16
Golden Chubby Chernobyl16
Nymphs
Name
Size
Midges (Zebra and Rainbow Warrior)12
San Juan Worms16
Spankers (Silver, PT, Green)18
Caddis Emergers20
Pheasant Tails10
Copper Johns16
Princes18
Rubber Legs12
Stone flies12
Streamers
Name
Size
Woolhead Sculpin10
Zonker12
Sheila Sculpin16
Fishing Water Report
 (5)
The Madison River is arguably one of the best trout fishing rivers in all of southwest Montana, if not the entire world! It’s certainly the most talked over, written up and frequented ... morein the state of Montana – which is considered by some the capital of fly fishing. Anglers will find plenty of great access sites to wade or float along the Madison’s banks and reservoirs (including Hebgen Lake and Ennis Lake). Rainbows, browns, cutthroats, and more abound in this majestic fishing stream.

The Madison begins its course almost twenty miles into Yellowstone National Park. Within the Park, fishing rules apply: no live bait and catch and release only. Once outside the Park the river meanders past working ranches, stately conifer forests and cottonwood lined banks, interrupted by riffles and quiet runs that contain large rainbow and trophy brown trout. Flowing alongside Yellowstone’s West entrance road, the river enters Hebgen Lake, created by Hebgen dam, until it reaches Quake Lake, a bit downstream from the dam. At this point the river is commonly called either the Upper Madison or the Lower Madison, although in fact, they are one and the same.

Upper Madison – Quake Lake to Ennis Lake
Directly below Quake Lake the river roars into 5 long miles of Class V whitewater with steep gradients and large boulders along the way. As the rapids decline, the magic begins. For the next 53 miles, often referred to as the 50 Mile Riffle, the cold river runs north and the fish jump high. Annual runs of spawning trout make their way from Hebgen Lake, rainbows in the spring and browns in the fall. Known the world over for its “hard fighting” trout, it’s not unusual to pull a 25” brown from these upper waters. In deference to the purists and fly-fishing enthusiasts, it’s wading only from Quake Lake to Lyons Bridge. Boats may be used to access the river, but if you’re going to fish, your feet must be on the riverbed. Fortunately, the Hebgen Dam releases water throughout the year, leveling its flows and relieving it of spring runoff issues and summer shrinkage.

Lower Madison – Ennis Lakes to Three Forks
A short section of the river between Ennis Dam and the power station maintains relatively low water levels and provides wonderful opportunities for wading. Past the power station the river regains its muscle and for 7 miles winds through Bear Trap Canyon. Hiking trails offer the only entry, great for those that like to walk and seek the solitude of a designated wilderness area. Floating is permitted but requires a lengthy shuttle and the ability to work through Class III-IV whitewater. Once out of the canyon the river flows in shallow riffles until it reaches Three Forks and joins the Missouri. From Warm Springs to Greycliff, the river is easily accessible for drifters and wading.
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