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.

December 2, 2021

Lower Madison

fishing report

The Lower Madison, being a tailwater, is a very consistent late Fall/Winter fishery. As always, nymphing tends to be the most productive method. Small Baetis and Midge patterns will be the dominant food sources. Worms, Crayfish, Sculpins, and Scuds will round out the other common food items. Streamers can be effective on the right days as well. Smaller patterns tend to produce more fish. Sculpzilla’s and Buggers are two standouts. Dry fly fishing can be good on calm, overcast days. Rising fish will typically take small Midge and Blue Winged Olive patterns in the slow water. Be sure to keep an eye out for redds and spawning fish. Make sure to admire from afar, as stressing these fish can create diminished returns for new recruitment. Also be sure to avoid walking on, downstream, or immediately above the redds to avoid damaging the eggs.

Suggested Fly Patterns

  • Dry Fly

    Para Adams (16-20), Purple Haze (16-20), Sparkle Dun (16-20), Barr's Emerger (18-20), Challenged BWO (16-20), Film Critic (16-20), Smoke Jumper (16-20), Griffith’s Gnat (16-20), UV Sparkle Midge (18-20)

  • Streamer

    Olive/Rust Baby Gonga (8), Natural/Olive Zonker (6), Black/Brown Woolly Bugger (4-12), JJ Sparkle Minnow (6-8), Black/Olive/Natural Sculpzilla (4-8), Olive Circus Peanut (2), Olive/Orange Mini Dungeon (6), Olive Articulated Trombone (4), Rainbow/Rust Baby Gonga (8)

  • Nymph

    Joe’s Mini Cray, Dead Drift Cray, Turkey Cray, Pat’s Rubber Legs (8-12), Pheasant Tail (14-20), Hare’s Ear (14-20), Lightning Bug (14-20), Prince Nymph (12-18), Zebra Midge (16-20), Perdigon (14-20), Pheasant Tail Jigs (14-16) Machines (16-20), Juju Beatis (16-20), 3$ Dip (14-18), Matt’s Mop, Jig Buggers, Worms, Eggs, Shakey Bealy (10-12)

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