Streams Outside Yellowstone National Park
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

Destinations Outside Yellowstone National Park Series

Madison River - Slide Inn to Lyon Bridge

The section of the Madison River is probably the best part of the Madison. In fact, I
would put it up against any area of any tailwater in the nation for quality size wild trout.
Of course I am not the only one that knows this. I have seen anglers lined up about
every thirty yards up and down both banks and wading in the stream as far as I could
see. On those crowded days, i still managed to catch fish after fish.  

It cannot be fished from a drift boat. Drift boats can be used in the next section I will
cover below Lyon Bridge.  It can be waded and fished from the bank. It includes the
famous $3.00 bridge area along with a lot of other popular named places. I have
caught fish right out from under this bridge when the parking lots were completely full
of vehicles and anglers were lined up as far as I could see.

I don't know how many trout there are in this stream in this section of the river. I fished
it many days during the time anglers thought the Whirling disease had depleted the
population of rainbow trout a few years ago and caught plenty of trout including
rainbows. In fact, during that time I caught as many rainbows there as I was able to
catch anywhere else in Montana and probably anywhere in the nation if you want to
take the average size into consideration. I have fished it many days since the
"comeback time" (that I really never noticed) and caught more brown and rainbow trout
than probably should be allowed.  

I have caught trout from the banks and right out in the middle of the river. Although
there are no secrets to fishing this river,  I have talked to many anglers that have
fished it and not caught a trout. I don't know why. My guess is they were spooked by
the number of guys fishing the stream. Please don't take this wrong. I am not trying to
brag about the fish I have caught. I am telling you where one of, if not the top place to
fly fish, is located. It is the best section of tailwater there is in the nation and probably
the world.

I also have fished this section of the river during adverse conditions, early and late in
the season, when I couldn't see anyone else fishing. Most of the crowds appear around
the salmonfly hatch during early July. I will continue with this section soon.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh
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