Fishing Report

Upper Madison

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.

January 3, 2023

Upper Madison

fishing report

As we move into winter the Upper Madison will start to see less pressure so it is a great time to head up there and do some fishing. If you see browns in shallow gravel, leave them alone! When you see noses, fish are looking to eat small baetis and midges. Try something small like a sparkle dun, small Parachute Adams in the 18-22 range, or a midge cluster like a Griffiths Gnat. If the fish aren't actively rising focus on nymphing tatics. Euro nymphing is extremely effective this time of year when the fish pod up in deeper buckets. Indicator nymphing is also extremely effective, try a Wooly Bugger, worm, or egg pattern and follow it up with a small midge or baetis nymph like a Perdigon, Hares Ear, or your favorite jig nymph. If you aren't hitting bottom, add split shot or nymphs with larger beads. This time of year it is very important to carry a variety of split shot sizes and or flies with a range of bead sizes for different sink rates. If the shelf ice and slush is bad on the lower river, try heading up to the Three Dollar or Raynolds area!

Suggested Fly Patterns

  • Dry Fly

    Parachute Adams (16-20), Purple Haze (18-20), Extended Body BWO (16-22), Griffiths Gnat (18-22), Sparkle Dun (16-20), Buzzball (16-18)

  • Streamer

    Woolly Bugger Black/Olive (6-12), Mini Loop Sculpin Olive 6, Mini Dungeons Yellow/White/Black(6), Baby Dragon Sculpin/Black/Yellow/Whitey(4), Sparkle Minnow Smoke/Sculpin/Brown (2-8) Heisenberg Black/ Olive/ White (6), Kill Whitey Black/ Olive/ White (4)

  • Nymph

    Pats Rubberlegs Black/Coffee/ Olive (8-12), Rainbow Warrior (16-20), Copper John Red/ Copper(16-20), Pink/Natural Quilldigon (14-18), Lightning Bug (16-18), Lil Spanker (16-20), Machines (16-20), Juju Baetis (16-20), $3 Dips (14-18), Steel Worm (6-8), Matt’s Shagadelic Mop, Eggs

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