Known as one of the best wade fishing rivers in Montana, the Gallatin River is the closest larger river to Bozeman. It begins in Yellowstone National Park then winds its way through the Gallatin Canyon all the way to Three Forks where it meets up with the Jefferson and Madison rivers to form the Missouri River.
The Upper Madison River originates in Yellowstone National Park and flows through Hebgen Lake, past the town of Ennis, Montana on its way to Ennis Lake. Because river flows are managed from Hebgen Dam, water levels remain pretty consistent throughout most of the fishing season. With gorgeous scenery and great fly fishing, anglers from all over seek out Montana's famed Madison River.
From below Ennis Lake to the headwaters of the Missouri River is the stretch known as the lower Madison River. It cruises through the Bear Trap Canyon Wilderness Area and can get gnarly before calming down and widening out on its final stretch into Three Forks. There, it meets the Jefferson and Gallatin rivers to form the Missouri River.
About 30 minutes from Bozeman, the Yellowstone River is the last major undammed river in the Lower 48 and flows 671 miles. Starting in Yellowstone National Park, it flows through Paradise Valley and Livingston, eventually catching up to the Missouri River before making its way to the Atlantic Ocean. The Yellowstone River is know for its excellent fly fishing and river access.