Three Dollar Bridge Fishing Access Site

1 January - 31 December
100 acres
6,076 ft
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Madison River Fishing Report

Nearest Town:
West Yellowstone
Fishing, Hunting
Sanitation & Water:
Restrictions & Closures
Fire Restriction:
Stage I Fire Restrictions
Weapons Discharge Prohibited:
Discharge of weapons restricted.
Vehicle Length:
25 ft
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
Started Here Reports
Mon, 1 Feb, 2016
Upper Madison River - The Upper Madison has been good fishing up around Three Dollar Bridge, Raynold’s Pass Fishing Access and between the lakes. But the snow is around three ... morefeet around the river so it takes some work to get to the river. This weekend will warm up providing some good fishing opportunities. Small zebra midges are working well. Look for holes and deep runs as the water is a bit thin and the fish will be sharing the water. Expect more midge hatches as the weather warms. Another cold front is coming in next week so which should slow things down again. Up near the slide, on warmer days, look for midge hatches.

Lower Madison River - The Lower Madison has been fishing quite well. The recent break in the weather has helped increase the opportunities. The Dam has also been good fishing with Zebra Midges, Czech nymphs, Ray Charles as well as Mayfly nymphs. In the mornings they tend to be deeper with the fish eating on near top in the afternoons. We are also seeing small dries do well when fish are looking up. Look for deeper slower holds to produce. Crayfish patterns are always a good lower Madison option.
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