McAtee Bridge Fishing Access Site

1 January - 31 December
6 acres
5,449 ft
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Madison River Fishing Report

Nearest Town:
Boating, Fishing, Hunting
Boat Services:
Sanitation & Water:
Restrictions & Closures
Fire Restriction:
Stage I Fire Restrictions
Weapons Discharge Prohibited:
Discharge of weapons restricted.
Fishing Water Reports
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.
On the Water Fishing Reports
Ended Here Reports
Tue, 16 Aug, 2016
Fishing turned out to be super fun with my friend Julia. We did Palisades to McAtee bridge to stay in front of the windy point traffic and behind the Ruby Creek crowd. I had her start ... morewith a half downed hopper and a flying ant. We never took 'em off. Whether they were eating the half downed for a moth or a hopper, I don't know. Since there weren't too many pine tree's around and they started eating it more regularly in the afternoon, it makes me think that they were eating the half downed hopper as a moth in the morning and a hopper in the afternoon. Red flying ant caught fish all day. Saw smaller black naturals but felt no need to switch. Fished dries, stayed out of the crowds, beautiful day--wonderful float. Thanks Julia
Fri, 1 Apr, 2016
Cold start, were in the water by 9:30 should probably have been 11:00 Fishing definitly picked up in the afternoon black buggar was MVP for sure. Fish are lazy. Found them in the soft ... morewater on the banks and behind the deep boulders. Took along float covered a lot of water. Ended up with about fifteen fish, one beautiful hook jawed Brown trout that measured out at 19 in.

Tight lines!
Mon, 21 Mar, 2016
Floated the Madison River from Lyons Bridge. It was cool and a little windy and the maiden run for the new boat. We weren't trying that hard and still managed to land some 8 nice fish. ... moreWater was clear and there was no traffic on the river but us. Winter is back on the menu for the next week. Next few days are for skiing.
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