Bubble Lines on the Madison
This means slick, smooth
flowing water that requires precise
presentations and good flies.
Fly Fishing The Madison River:
..............................................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
Brown trout are plentiful in the
Madison River. This one is a
resident summer trout. His big
older family members will be here
in the Fall.
Looking at this image, you would
think the fallen tree was the only
structure in the river. However, that's  
far from being correct.
Searching  the Madison for rising
This image was taken near the
Nine Mile Hole,
a location about
halfway along the Madison inside
the park.
Mount Haynes overlooks the
Madison River. There's a handicap
fishing ramp not far from here.
The highly renounced Madison River is formed by the confluence of the
Gibbons and the Firehole Rivers in the western section of Yellowstone
National Park near West Yellowstone, Montana. It flows along the West
Entrance Road from Madison Junction almost all the way to the West
Yellowstone National Park.

The Madison River is already a good sized stream when it first begins.
Both the Gibbon River and the Firehole River are fairly large streams and
they are their largest at the point the Madison begins. The great river is
damed just outside the park and flow into Hebgen Lake. Most of the larger
trout move into the lake during the hot summer months but return to the
river to spawn.

Because both the Gibbon and Firehole River have geysers along its
banks, the Madison River can get too warm for the trout to feed
aggressively during the hot summer months. The added warm water from
the geysers together with the Summer heat often raises the water
temperature to a level the trout are best left alone.

During low water years, if the stream gets very warm, the resident trout
usually become lethargic and feed little, if any. The best time to fish the
stream is during the month of June, provided it's clear enough, and from
about the first of September until the season closes the first of November.
There more fish in the river and the water temperature is usually ideal.

During the early fall, brown trout from Hebgen Lake move upstream into
the Madison River to spawn. Large rainbow trout follow them. Many
anglers consider this the prime time to fish the Madison in the park. The
lower areas of the river can become crowded with anglers casting
streamers and large nymphs trying to catch the aggressive large trout.
Some of the migrating trout move as far upstream as the head of the river
and even up into the Madison's tributary streams, the Firehole and the
Gibbon Rivers.

The main species of fish in the Madison River are brown trout, rainbow
trout and whitefish. The resident fish probably average about 9 to 14
inches but some may measure up to 18 inches or better. The fall run of
Hebgen Lake trout are generally larger, averaging 15 to 18 inches with
some going well over 20 inches. Brown trout larger than 24 inches have
been caught during the spawning run.

There are several access points to the Madison River along and just off of
the West Entrance Road that closely follows the river. The uppermost part
of the Madison River can be accessed from the Madison Picnic area at
Madison Junction.

The Mount Haynes Overlook and Wheelchair Fishing Access Area located
three and a half miles west of Madison Junction is another larger access
The 7 Mile Bridge area at the Gneiss Creek Trailhead is another access
point. It's about six and a half miles from Madison Junction on the West
Entrance Road.

Riverside Drive is yet another access point. It's a section of old road that
exits off the West Entrance Road and follows the river a short distance. It's
ilocated about five miles from the West Entrance to the park.

The Barnes Pool is another famous location on the Madison River. It's
extremely popular during the fall run of spawning trout from Hebgen Lake.
The Barnes Pool can be accessed from the West Entrance Road about a
half mile inside the park via the Barnes Pools gravel road that goes down
to the river. It's about a mile to the Upper Barnes Pool and another half
mile to the Lower Barnes Pool.

The Madison River is great for about half of the season. It's best times
usually consist of a short period in the early part of the season and the
last month and a half of the season. Trout can be taken during the hot
summertime, but you will usually have to work for them.

When the water becomes warm, the trout are much better off moving
downstream to the cool, deeper waters of Hebgen Lake.  During the hot
part of the fishing season there are better destinations you could choose
in the park. On the other hand, if the timing is right, and during wet years,
the Madison may well be the best of all available choice.
Click Below for Madison River Hatch Charts
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
Thumbnails: Click on image to enlarge
A large rainbow trout taken by
Angie on the Madison River
A bull elk on the Madison ready to
rut. This is a common sight
during the month of September.
Another Madison River Rainbow
takes Angie's dry fly. There's no
shortage of trout in this prolific river.
If your not catching them, it's not that
the fish aren't there. Your most likely
doing something wrong.
Thumbnails: Click on Image to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click on Image to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click on Image to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click on Image to enlarge