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Upper Madison Fishing Reports

Your Local Source For Fishing Reports

Big Sky Country is our backyard. We've put our passion for Montana fly fishing trips to work and have hand-picked a selection of fly-fishing lodges, overnight float trips, and day trips. If you're thinking of a Montana fly fishing vacation, looking for a multi-day wilderness fishing experience, or just visiting Bozeman or Missoula or another Montana town and want to add on a fishing trip, let Yellow Dog's Montana roots work for you.

Listen to this WAYPOINTS Podcast: Jake WELLS – Planning the Perfect Trip to Montana

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Upper Madison River Fishing Reports
Updated Apr 22, 24

*Flow Data: Madison River at Kirby Ranch near Cameron, MT

The upper is a great fishing option. This cool wet weather could provide some good BWO and streamer fishing. Nymphing has remained a great option. Midges and BWO's have been hatching and fish have been looking up, particularly when the conditions are right. You can still find fish rising when it is sunny but the dry fly action is excellent when it is calm and cloudy. If you do see fish rising to midges, a Peacock Cluster or small Parachute Adams will usually trick the trout into taking your fly. If they are rising to BWO's a BWO Comparadun or Quill Body Parachute will trick trout into taking your fly. Skwalas are few and far between on this side of the divide, but if you see one don't shy away from fishing a large peacock chubby or skwala pattern. You just might be surprised by a few opportunistic trout. Nymphing with a stonefly, BWO nymph, or midge below an indicator will provide an angler with the most consistent action. The Black Twisted Stone, King Prince, or Olive Micro May are among my favorite upper Madison patterns. If nothing seems to be working a wine San Juan worm with a perdigon is a safe rig to fall back on. You may be able to trick fish with small streamers deep and slow. Bow River bugger or Precious metal are a few top ranked streamers for this time of the year. Keep an eye out for, and avoid spawning trout and their redds.


To purchase an assortment of up-to-date, hand-selected flies for the Madison River:

  • Select the Montana Fly Assortment below
  • Select the number of desired flies
  • Enter where and when you plan on fishing
  • Opt for In-store pickup at checkout

Montana fishing licenses are available for purchase online at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and at Yellow Dog Flyfishing - Fly Shop (some exceptions may apply). If you are planning to fish in the headwaters of the Gallatin River area above Taylor's Fork (approx. 1 mile upstream); be aware that most of this is in Yellowstone National Park which requires a separate fishing license and is seasonally open to fishing according to YNP regulations.

For Shuttles on the Upper Madison Contact:

  • Rocket Shuttles: (406) 581-4626 or (406) 764-9886
  • Dorothy's Shuttle Service: (406) 682-4886
  • Driftaway Shuttles: (406) 682-3088
Historical River Flow
Discharge Rate (cfs)