Madison Essential Gear


There is some basic equipment you may want for a day of floating or wading the Madison River.  On our guided trips we can provide all of the gear you will need. We also have plenty of Rod & Reel outfits in all Trout weights available for rent.

Rods: 5 and 6 weight are the most common, but some circumstances are better suited to a 4wt or a 7wt.

Leaders & Tippet: assortment from 7.5 ft. to 9 ft. and from 0x to 4x. Monofilament for dry flies and fluorocarbon for nymphs. You will rarely need 5x. 

Rainwear: We cannot stress enough how vital it is to bring proper rain gear. The weather in our valley fluctuates fast.

Waders & Footwear: Waders and wading boots, or wading sandals. Teva and Chacos are ok, but don't provide great traction in rivers like the Madison River. Felt soles are still legal in Montana and encouraged for wading the upper Madison. Just be sure to clean and inspect prior to use.

Polarized Sunglasses: A good pair of sunglasses can make or break the day. We recommend copper or bronze lenses to optimize your ability to spot fish within the river. Protect your eyes!!

Sunscreen: Don't be Cousin Eddie. Put sunscreen on today so you can fish tomorrow!

Warm Clothes: It's best to fish in layers. Bring a pair of gloves and a warm hat to maximize your comfort. There is plenty of storage in the boats. Bring more than what you think you need!

**Don't forget the most important part of the gear you bring, your Montana Fishing License!

We carry a wide variety of all the items listed here at our online store or swing into the shop before your trip!

Fly Patterns: They will vary greatly throughout the year, and from one river to the next. Your guides will know what flies are working but you can always stop into the Trout Stalkers Fly Shop and stock up on the MVPs prior to your trip.  There are several standard patterns that any angler ought to have in their box when fly fishing for Trout in Southwest Montana. Here is a partial list:


Parachute Adams #14 -20. Royal Wulff #12 - 16. Stimulator #10 -16. Royal Trude #12 -16. Elk Hair Caddis #12-18. Blue Wing Olive #16 - 22. Pale Morning Dun #12-16. Griffiths Gnat #18 - 24. Chubby Chernobyl #6-12, Yeager's Ant, Dornan's Water Walker #6-12, Mini Water Walkers #14-16- Henry's Fork Stone #4-10, Thunder Thighs Hopper #10-14, More or Less Hopper #10-14, Hopper Stone #10


Pheasant Tail #12 - 22. Hare's Ear #10 - 20. Prince Nymph #12 - 16. Red Squirrel #12 - 16. Serendipity #12 - 18. George's Stone #6 - 10. Girdle Bugs #4 - 10. Psycho Prince #10 - 16. San Juan Worms #6 - 12. Scuds #12 - 2, Jig Flash Back Pheasant Tail #12-16, Jig Prince #12-18, 3 Dollar Dips #16-18, Deleckta Mega Prince #6-12, Deleckta Lil-Spanker #12-16, CDC Baetis Emerger #16-18, Perdigon #12-18, Pat's Rubber Legs #4-12, Jig Yellow Spot #12-16


Wooly Buggers #2 - 10 in black, brown, olive, purple. Zonker #2 - 6 Natural (pearl/copper) and olive. Sculpzilla #4 - 6. Trevor's Sculpin #4. Double Bunny #2 - 6. Sculpin Patterns #2 -8 , Silver Bullet #6, Sparkle Minnow #4-8, Barley Legal, Galloup's Dungeons, Silk Kitties, Jig Buggers, Lil Kim

Need to buy flies before your visit? Visit our sister shops Cheap Ass Flies or Madison River Fishing Company for all of your fly needs. If you need to talk to an expert about your fly selection strategy, feel free to contact us!