Fishing Report

Lower Madison

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.

January 3, 2023

Lower Madison

fishing report

The Lower Madison can be a great cold day winter fishery if the slush and shelf ice are not too bad. If it is overcast look for fish rising in soft water and target buckets with small streamers like Cowbell Crays and Jig Buggers. Fish looking up will take smaller mayflies like an Extended Body Parachute Adams, and or midge patterns like a Buzzball and Griffith's Gnats. On average days you will find that nymphing will be the most consistent. Try a leech, crawfish, or worm trailed by your favorite slim bodied euro nymph or baetis nymph pattern. Don't be afraid to throw a hot beaded nymph or egg pattern like a Meth egg, Glo Bug, Death Roe, or our shop favorite, an Eggy Azalea! Lower Bear Trap Canyon is a really fun place to fish when there is snow on the ground, park at the lower lot and walk up!

Suggested Fly Patterns

  • Dry Fly

    Parachute Adams (16-20), Purple Haze (16-20), Sparkle Dun (16-20), Challenged BWO, Griffiths Gnat (16-20), Extended Body BWO (16-20), Buzzball (16-18)

  • Streamer

    Mills Cowbell Cray Tan/ Olive (6), Beadhead Rubber Leg Krystal Bugger Brown/Olive/Black (6-10), Hale Bopp Leech (10), Mini Peanut Yellow/ Tan/ Brown (6), Swim Coach Black and Purple (2), Nancy P Tan/ Olive (6)

  • Nymph

    Pheasant Tail (12-20), BH Hare’s Ear (8-20), Lightning Bug, Zirdle Orange, Tan, Natural (6-12), Black Blowtorch (12-16), Hare's Ear Blowtorch (14-16), Machines (16-20), Lil Spankers (16-20), Juju Baetis (16-20), Quilldigon Natural, Yellow, Pink (16-18) Worms, Eggs, Mops

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