.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

12/11/09

Destinations:
We hope you enjoyed the past two destination links to our "Streams" section of
our Perfect Fly website. Today, we are linking a river we believe all of you have
heard of - The
Madison River, Outside of Yellowstone National Park. It is one of
the, if not the, most talked and written about trout stream there is.

Although it is rarely though of as a tailwater, it's a fact that all but a very short
part of it that is just across the line from the park's boundary, is a tailwater.
Hebgen Lake starts almost immediately after the river leaves the park. Below its  
dam is a short section of the river and then you have a nature made lake -
Quake Lake. Water flows over the earth dam created by an earthquake and
proceeds downstream for forty miles. This section is called the Forty Mile Riffle
because that pretty well describes it.

This is one of the best trout streams in the nation, and in our opinion, without
question the top tailwater stream in the nation. Yes, I am including the Big Horn.
It is a great stream too but in our opinion, none is as good as the Madison.

As you probably know, this river is formed by two other great trout streams - the
Gibbon River and the Firehole River. The Madison inside the park is a great
stream for much of the Yellowstone season but it doesn't compare to the river
below Hebgen Lake.

The Madison has a huge population of aquatic insects. One thing that makes
the population so high is Quake Lake. The surface of the water warms some in
Quake Lake and since it is a surface flow over the earthen dam, it brings that
warmer water into the forty mile riffle. The water is never too warm for the trout
but it is warm enough to support a huge net-spinning caddisfly population. The
algae provides the food needed to sustain the population of Spotted Sedges
and many other species of caddisflies. That plus the fact that the bottom of the
river is crawling with huge Salmonfly and Golden stonefly nymphs. It also has a
big population of mayflies.

In addition to the aquatic insects, there are many other things for the trout to
eat. Sculpin, leeches and various minnows and baitfish are plentiful. No wonder
the trout grow large and fast in this great river.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh