Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Madison River - West Yellowstone - Montana

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon #18-22 Zebra Midge
February Midges Afternoon #18-22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
March Midges, Blue Winged Olive Afternoon #18-22, #16-20 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat, BWO Emerger
April Blue Winged Olive, Midges Midday #16-20, #18-22 BWO Emerger, RS2, Zebra Midge
May Caddis, Blue Winged Olive Afternoon #14-16, #16-20 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis, BWO Emerger
June Salmonflies, Golden Stoneflies, Caddis Midday - Evening #6-10, #10-14, #14-16 Rogue Foam Stonefly, Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
July Golden stoneflies, Pale Morning Duns, Terrestrials Midday #10-14, #16-20, #10-16 Rogue Foam Stonefly, PMD Sparkle Dun, Dave's Hopper
August Tricos, Terrestrials Early Morning, Midday #18-24, #10-16 Trico Spinner, Dave's Hopper, Chernobyl Ant
September Tricos, Terrestrials Early Morning, Midday #18-24, #10-16 Trico Spinner, Foam Beetle, Chernobyl Ant
October Blue Winged Olive Afternoon #16-20 BWO Emerger, RS2
November Midges Afternoon #18-22 Zebra Midge
December Midges Afternoon #18-22 Zebra Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Madison River, West Yellowstone offers a myriad of fishing spots renowned amongst fly fishing enthusiasts. Notably, the best spots to indulge in this leisure activity include:

  • The Upper Madison: Stretches from Quake Lake to Ennis Lake. Popular locations are Raynolds Pass, Lyons Bridge, and Warm Springs.

  • The Lower Madison: Begins at Ennis Lake and ends at Three Forks of the Missouri. Bear Trap Canyon is a prime fly fishing area here.

  • The Channels Section: Located below the Ennis Bridge. Known for consistent fly hatches and excellent fish populations.

Each location presents diverse features suitable for different levels of fly fishing expertise, and all are renowned for their abundance of trout. Whether a novice or seasoned angler, the Madison River offers unmatched fly fishing opportunities.

Best Access Points

Famous for its trout, the Madison River in West Yellowstone provides an exceptional fly fishing experience. Here are the best access points:

  • Madison Junction: Easily accessible and possesses good fish variety.
  • Seven Mile Bridge: Offers excellent wade opportunity and heavy brown trout population.
  • Raynolds Pass: A renowned access point with abundant parking space, but gets crowded during the season.
  • Lyons Bridge: Convenient access and less busy than some other locations.

Also, consider the following locations where there’s no bridge access:

  1. Moose Creek: Known for its quiet environment and possibility of high trout count.
  2. Pine Butte: Offers amazing walk-and-wade fishing experience and ample parking space.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Whitefish
  • Yellowstone Cutthroat
  • Mountain Whitefish
  • Arctic Grayling
  • Salmon Fly

About The River

The Madison River – West Yellowstone has a rich history dating back thousands of years, known for its incredible beauty and bountiful wildlife. Hunters, gatherers, and other natives once thrived by its shores before European explorers discovered it around the 18th century. As one of the three rivers feeding into the Missouri, it played a pivotal role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

The river was eventually named after James Madison, the fourth US President, by Meriwether Lewis. In the following years:

  • Prospectors, settlers, and traders used the river as a transport hub during the gold rushes.
  • Fishing enthusiasts began to flock to it in the early 1900s, drawn by the abundance of trout.
  • In much more recent history, it became a destination for river rafting and other water sports, contributing significantly to West Yellowstone’s tourist industry.

Today, the Madison River continues to remain a cherished testament to America’s expansive natural beauty.


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