Madison River
Fishing Report

Updated weekly by our team in Ennis.

Goin Down The Run Feelin' Bad

APRIL 2024

UPDATED 4/19/2024

We're over half way through April and the spring fishing remains consistent here on the Upper Madison. We have been blessed with a touch more snow earlier this week which is always welcome this time of year. The forecast for the next few days is looking awfully fishy. Air temps are forecasted to be in the high 50's to mid 60's and will make for a very pleasurable day on the water. Water flows have stayed relatively the same with Hebgen dam releasing 834 CFS and Cameron at 1200 CFS. With the warmer weather we have been having some of the tributaries are pushing a touch of color into the river. It’s not mud by any means coming in but the color is starting to green up which can make for great fishing. Per usual for this time of year, the subsurface fishing still remains the most consistent but there have been good reports of dry fly action on midges and BWO's when the weather permits.

The upper river has been very consistent from Valley Garden all the way up to the upper wade stretch. For indicator fishing we have been running either a CDC Prince #6, Pat's Rubber Legs coffee black or black #6/8, and worms as lead fly and then dropping Pyscho May Olive, Hogan S&M Olive Nymph, Juju Baetis, and Zebra Midges off of those. It's not really all that technical right now so keep it simple, cover ground and fish hard and you will be in good shape. Target the slower dark green buckets and shelves for best results. Streamer fishing has started to pick up as well. Slow stripping leech patterns such as the Jig Slum Lord, Hot Head Leech, and Mini Black Peanut Envy's have been rewarding anglers with some nice fish. When the weather permits we have been seeing some decent hatches of BWO's and lots of midges. The upper wade stretch by $3 bridge and Reynolds Pass has seen the most consistency but the lower section around town has been productive as well. The Mimic May BWO, Keller's Ms. Tickle Cripple BWO, and Mini Hot Mayfly Olive have been some of our favorite baetis dries this spring. We’re still seeing a handful of Skawalas here and there so don't be afraid to throw some olive or royal-bellied Water Walkers and Chubby's if you are itching for a big dry fly bite.

We just loaded up our fly bins with a bunch of new patterns so swing by the shop and see for yourself. As always please exercise caution as you’re wading as rainbow trout are still spawning throughout the river especially down in Valley Garden. Also be mindful that it is now barbless hooks only from Varney Bridge down to the lake. Feel free to swing by the shop for more up to date fishing reports and general fishing advice. Have fun out on the river this week and please be courteous and respectful to all other anglers on the river. Remember it's all for fun so enjoy your day no matter what the outcome is!

Hot Flies:

Streamers: Mayer’s Hot Head Mini Leech Olive (#14), Squirrely Little Bugger Black (#8), Jig Slum Lord Black, Slump Buster Black (#6), BH Wooly Bugger Peacock (#8).

Dry Flies: Mini Hot Mayfly Black (#18), Mini Hot Mayfly Olive (#18), Midge Adult (#18), Parachute Adams (#16), Comparadun BWO (#18).

Nymphs: Pat’s Rubber Legs Black (#6 - #8), Pat’s Rubber Legs Coffee (#6 - #8), Spanish Perdigon Rodrigues Black (#16), Jig CDC Prince (#14), Jig Tungsten Pink Worm (#16), Jig San Juan Worm Wine (#14), Jig Pink Egg (#16), Hot Bead Pink Egg (#16).

If you're interested in what the river looks like here in town, give the live cam a gander below!

- MTS Guide John Kelley

Upper Madison River Flows near Cameron, MT


Past Fishing Reports

A Cold Winds A Blowin' At My Door

SEPTEMBER 2023 UPDATED 9/14/2023  Fall is starting to set in here in the Madison Valley. Afternoon rain storms, cooler nights, and crisp, cool air have been a refreshing change from the summer heat. Hebgen Lake is amazingly still at 93% full....

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Let The Good Times Roll

AUGUST 2023  UPDATED 8/24/2023  We’re approaching the end of August and things are starting to heat up. The annual Ennis Fly Fishing & Outdoor Festival is returning to town this weekend on August 26th & 28th. We’re proud to be...

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Days Between

AUGUST 2023 UPDATED 8/03/2023  Fishing on the Upper remains solid, if somewhat unpredictable. Rainy cool weather this week has given us and the fish a reprieve from the full sun and 90 degree days we’ve faced for most of July. The...

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Throw on your warmest clothes and get out on the water. Winter is here!