Fishing Report on the Madison I'm glad Art made me fish streamers!!

Friday, 8 Apr, 2016
Water Clarity
Angler Traffic
Fish Caught
20 fish or more
Fishing was good!!  We put in at Lyons (only car there!) about 9:30 and floated to the Ruby Creek boat ramp (appr. 12 miles).  I whacked a few with a girdle bug and prince under the bobber so I ensured I didn't go scoreless then took the sticks and let Art chuck his 6 inch monster streamers.  We saw a little movement here and there on the streamer but not many actual "eats."  Then, it warmed up that 1 extra degree that made them put there mouth on it.  We moved fish consistently all day after the first hour.  Arts best streamer was a lighter green, white flash, heavy headed streamer fished on an ARC medium sink tip line, WITH 6.5 ft. of 1x to his fly.  I fished a gold, crystal flash, cone head, bugger/streamer concoction of Arts and never took it off.  Since it was a single hook streamer I did trail a bead head 16-18 inches behind the streamer and caught fish on that, also.  I never changed the bugger but I did change the bead below a few times.  Good 'ol sz.16, bead headed Pheasant tail was my best trailer nymph.  I fished a 7 ft leader to 2x with two bb split shot (I should have just used a 3/0).  Even though we had much different setups we caught fish in the same places with the same techniques.  We would give it an initial mend to sink it, bring the line tight, then short strips/tip twitches.  They didn't seem to want to chase too far or too fast.  A good portion of our fish were caught in the slow to medium slow back eddy/slicks along the bank.  We did move quite a few fish in the "pillow", just upstream of a rock and a few twitching streamers next to the rock.  Some chases and short bites in the slicks below the rocks but no real consistent action there.  I know that nymphing has been good in the middle but they had no love for the streamer out there.   
Tight lines,
Charles P.
Start Time:
9:30 AM
End Time:
6:00 AM
Prince Nymph14
Bead Head Pheasant Tail16
Lightning Bug16
Art's Mega Streamer2
Gold flash bugger4
Fishing Water Report
The Madison River is arguably one of the best trout fishing rivers in all of southwest Montana, if not the entire world! It’s certainly the most talked over, written up and frequented ... morein the state of Montana – which is considered by some the capital of fly fishing. Anglers will find plenty of great access sites to wade or float along the Madison’s banks and reservoirs (including Hebgen Lake and Ennis Lake). Rainbows, browns, cutthroats, and more abound in this majestic fishing stream.

The Madison begins its course almost twenty miles into Yellowstone National Park. Within the Park, fishing rules apply: no live bait and catch and release only. Once outside the Park the river meanders past working ranches, stately conifer forests and cottonwood lined banks, interrupted by riffles and quiet runs that contain large rainbow and trophy brown trout. Flowing alongside Yellowstone’s West entrance road, the river enters Hebgen Lake, created by Hebgen dam, until it reaches Quake Lake, a bit downstream from the dam. At this point the river is commonly called either the Upper Madison or the Lower Madison, although in fact, they are one and the same.

Upper Madison – Quake Lake to Ennis Lake
Directly below Quake Lake the river roars into 5 long miles of Class V whitewater with steep gradients and large boulders along the way. As the rapids decline, the magic begins. For the next 53 miles, often referred to as the 50 Mile Riffle, the cold river runs north and the fish jump high. Annual runs of spawning trout make their way from Hebgen Lake, rainbows in the spring and browns in the fall. Known the world over for its “hard fighting” trout, it’s not unusual to pull a 25” brown from these upper waters. In deference to the purists and fly-fishing enthusiasts, it’s wading only from Quake Lake to Lyons Bridge. Boats may be used to access the river, but if you’re going to fish, your feet must be on the riverbed. Fortunately, the Hebgen Dam releases water throughout the year, leveling its flows and relieving it of spring runoff issues and summer shrinkage.

Lower Madison – Ennis Lakes to Three Forks
A short section of the river between Ennis Dam and the power station maintains relatively low water levels and provides wonderful opportunities for wading. Past the power station the river regains its muscle and for 7 miles winds through Bear Trap Canyon. Hiking trails offer the only entry, great for those that like to walk and seek the solitude of a designated wilderness area. Floating is permitted but requires a lengthy shuttle and the ability to work through Class III-IV whitewater. Once out of the canyon the river flows in shallow riffles until it reaches Three Forks and joins the Missouri. From Warm Springs to Greycliff, the river is easily accessible for drifters and wading.
Reporting Outfitter
What do you think of when you hear "Montana?" Small towns? Cowboys? Cows? BIG TROUT?! The answer is D, "All of the above"! Montana is still the place it was 80 years ago, where a man's ... morehandshake means something and big trout thrive. Located in the "Trout Mecca" of Southwestern Montana, our location and our guide's experience allow us to guide on a number of world class rivers; the Madison, Jefferson, Ruby and Yellowstone rivers are arguably the best trout streams in the lower 48.

Whether you have never held a fishing pole in your life or if you've been fishing since you could walk, the versatile, select guides we employee at MFFT all live on, and spend all they're free time on, these select rivers. They know how satisfy ALL of our clients, from novice to pro.

But Montana is so much more than just a trout haven. With picturesque mountains, abundant wildlife and under a million people, you actually have to try to not enjoy our beautiful state. As longtime client and friend Don Patton once wrote me after a trip, "fish count is only one criteria, there are many more markers for success. We hit them all." Here at MFFT we strive to give our clients much more than just a fishing trip, we want to share our passion for fishing and our love of Montana with all of our guests and new friends.

Charles P. Graham

Owner-Montana Fly Fishing Trips

Montana Fishing Outfitter#10349
Reported Trip
  • Transportation to the river and back from Ennis, Mt.
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunches every day
  • Floating and learning the famous Madison River with a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide!
The Mother Madison has many different faces on its floatable and fishable stretch, starting at Lyons bridge where the river runs its way through pine trees towering above the banks, ... moreis fast and boulder strewn and as you approach your takeout you have fished possibly the most scenic float on the river. Once past Mcatee bridge, the water starts to widen and shallow up a bit as you reach the valley floor. A few miles past Mcatee you will Reach the "Cameron Flats" where you lose the trees and vegetation and feel like an ant surrounded by breathtaking mountain ranges. These flats run until you get a mile from Varney bridge, then you hit the "miracle mile" nuff said. The river from Varney to town ends in maze of twists and turns, full of deep holes and cottonwood covered banks. This stretch holds the biggest fish in the river. You wanna see it all? You can!! Montana Fly Fishing Trips will take you down all 30+ miles of floatable and fishable water that the Madison offers in just three days. Different sections offer different insects to match, different techniques and a chance to learn how to fish many different types of water. THIS is how you learn the Madison river.
  • Transportation to the river and back from Ennis, Mt.
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful stream side lunch for full day trips
  • Drinks and snacks for 1/2 day trips
  • Floating, wading or a combination of the two with a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide!
When it comes to fly fishing, the Madison River is on the top of most people's list and its hard to beat the fun and excitement you'll have with the team at Montana Fly Fishing Trips. ... moreWith thousands of floats under our belts on the Madison River alone, Montana Fly Fishing Trips has the experience and know-how to not only increase your chances of success but also to make your fly fishing adventure an unforgettable experience.

There's a reason Montana Fly Fishing Trips has chosen to make Ennis, Montana and the Madison River it's home. With 3,000 - 4,500 fish per mile, unbelievable scenic views, and fresh air, the Madison River is an anglers dream. Appropriately nicknamed "the fifty mile riffle" because of its consistent depth and speed, the Madison is ideal for float fishing as you can just follow your drift for about as long as you want. However, there are also a few stretches more easily fished by foot and designated wade fishing only and that can be a lot of fun! With abundant aquatic insects, as well as a robust baitfish population, this is a VERY healthy river. Floating, wading, dries, nymphs, streamers--whatever your pleasure, the Madison River and Montana Fly Fishing Trips is sure to please!

Great instruction, incredible fishing, beautiful scenery. It really doesn't get much better than this. Book today with Montana Fly Fishing Trips and see for yourself!!
Report Location
Start Access Site
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Madison River Fishing Report
Fishing Water Reports:
3 acres
5,869 ft
Boating, Fishing
Boat Services:
Sanitation & Water:
End Access Site
Find out about the latest conditions with the Madison River Fishing Report.
Fishing Water Reports:
Boating, Fishing, Camping, Picnicking, Hunting, Hiking, Wildlife Viewing
Boat Services:
Primitive Campsite
Picnic Site:
Fire Ring
Sanitation & Water:
Drinking Water, Toilet
1 reviews   0 comments
(5.0 of 5)
(5.0 of 5)
Can't wait to get out there
Thanks for taking me on a spring time mental float down the Madison.

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