New "Perfect Fly" Hatch Charts
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


New "Perfect Fly" Hatch Chart - Madison River Below Hebgen Dam

We have just added a new "Perfect Fly" hatch chart for the Madison River below
Hebgen Dam. This covers the river downstream for the next thirty miles or so. The
hatches are slightly different from those on the Madison in Yellowstone National Park.
The main difference is the hatch times. The river below Hebgen Lake is at a lower
elevation and hatches can occur much earlier than they do in the park.

Although most anglers don't think of it as such, the Madison below Hebgen is a
tailwater, not a freestone stream. I noticed in a recent magazine article in a national fly
fishing magazine where it was incorrectly referred to as a freestone stream. You would
think a popular magazine that has been around a long time could get it right but it
didn't. I must admit, the river doesn't act much like the typical tailwater. That is because
the local power company manages the discharges with the fishery in mind. They do a
very good job. The levels remain fairly consistent.

The reason I point out that the river below Hebgen is a tailwater is because tailwaters
usually have different aquatic insects than freestone streams. That is due to the lake.
Water in a lake has different water temperatures and a different water chemistry.
Caddisflies are generally more plentiful in tailwaters, for example. Anyway, we have
noted the differences that are important to anglers in the hatch charts.

The Madison has three lakes, Hebgen, Quake and Ennis. Each of the lakes also have
excellent trout fishing. We will also be posting hatch charts for the lakes in the near

Copyright 2008 James Marsh