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.

May 23, 2022

Lower Madison

fishing report

As a tailwater fishery, the Lower will begin to fish consistently at an earlier date than most of our other area rivers. There will be more boat traffic as a result, but for good reason. With the water warming up, fish are actively searching for food and willing to move for the fly. Nymphing Crawfish, Leeches, and Worms followed up by your favorite Mayfly patterns, slim body euro nymphs, and hot bead nymphs are all great options. Nymphing Caddis Larvae this time of year can be a great way to net some nicer fish on the lower as well. On calm overcast days also watch for rising fish looking up for small midges and mayflies. The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch has arrived and is in full effect. This hatch signals our kick-off of consistent dry fly fishing that will continue into the summer months.

Suggested Fly Patterns

  • Dry Fly

    Elk Hair Caddis Black/Olive (14-18), X-Caddis Olive (12-18), Corn Fed Caddis (14-18), Parachute Adams (16-20), Purple Haze (16-20), Sparkle Dun (16-20), Challenged BWO, Peeking Caddis (14-16), Bubbleback CDC Caddis (14-18), Griffiths Gnat (16-20), UV Sparkle Midge (18-20), Chubby Royal/Pink/Tan (8-12)

  • Streamer

    Mills Cowbell Cray 6, Turkey-Back Cray 6, Dead Drift Cray 6, Beadhead Rubber Leg Krystal Bugger Brown/Olive/Black (6-10), Fruit Roll-up (8), Goldie (4-8), Trombone (4-8), Tungsten Grinch (6-8), Tungsten Thin Mint (8-12)

  • Nymph

    Pheasant Tail (14-20), BH Hare’s Ear (8-20), Lightning Bug, Doc's M-Day Caddis (16-18), Zirdle Orange/Olive (6-12), Black Blowtorch (12-16), Hare's Ear Blowtorch (14-16), Hot Bead Pheasant Tail Jig (12-16), Machines (16-20), Lil Spankers (16-20), Juju Baetis (16-20), Worms, Eggs, Mops

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