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Madison River Fly Fishing

 Quite simply some of the finest fly fishing in Montana

Madison River Fly Fishing Trips

Fly fishing the Madison River with our Montana fly fishing guides is a great way to experience the finest fly fishing in the Big Sky State. The Madison River is the first river many anglers think of anytime Montana fly fishing comes up, and it truly is a classic. Great hatches, high trout-per-mile numbers, a wide diversity of water, and the setting in one of Montana’s iconic river valleys makes any Madison River fly fishing trip a truly memorable experience. There is something special about the Madison River that draws anglers in and captivates them for a lifetime. 

We offer both full-day and half-day trips on our Madison River fly fishing trips. The Madison River lends itself well to both float and wade fishing, all season long. The Madison River flows from the confluence of the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers in Yellowstone National Park, into Montana, and can be divided up into 4 distinct sections: the Madison River in the Park, the Madison River between Hebgen and Quake Lake, the ’50-Mile Riffle’ Upper Madison upstream of Ennis Lake, and the Lower Madison downstream of Ennis Lake. We offer guided fly fishing trips on the Upper Madison, the Lower Madison, and the Madison in Yellowstone National Park.

Anglers on float trips can expect to float a productive 8-15 mile stretch of the Madison River. Anglers wanting to enjoy a day of wade fishing will find plenty of opportunities. Designated wade-only stretches of the Madison River are perfect for wade fly fishing trips. Fly fishing on the Madison River is well suited for both seasoned and beginner anglers. Our fly fishing guides are all experienced professionals that will work hard to make your Madison River fly fishing trip your best yet. 

Fly Fishing the Madison River

The Upper Madison River near Ennis, MT flows cold, fast and clear through the scenic Madison Valley, providing some of the finest trout habitat and fly fishing in Montana. These fish are known around the world for their size and spirit. Summer months offer great dry fly fishing opportunities while the spring and fall offer some of the best streamer fly fishing of the year for the biggest trout in the river. Nymphing is consistently good. Great hatches of stoneflies, mayflies, and caddisflies throughout the year make for happy trout that seem to almost always be on the feed.

The annual salmonfly hatch on the Upper Madison River draws anglers from all over the world to enjoy some of the finest dry fly fishing in Montana. The hatch moves upstream from Valley Gardens through the full 50-mile upper reach and generally lasts between 5-14 days. The river will be busy, but the fly fishing is truly special. Many of the largest trout caught each year by our anglers and guides will come from the Madison River during this hatch. Salmonflies are a big ticket meal, even for the biggest of trout, and one of the few food sources that will coax them to the surface.

The Lower Madison River downstream of Ennis Lake is an often-overlooked but productive stretch of river. This is primarily a brown trout fishery that also hosts good numbers of rainbow trout. This stretch of river is often too warm during the heat of the summer to fish well but offers great fly fishing for larger-than-average brown trout during the Spring and Fall months. The aquatic life on this stretch of rivers varies dramatically from almost all other rivers in our region. Crayfish are the main item on the menu for the predatory brown trout and are often the most productive patterns.

The Madison River in the Park is a great fishery in its own right and offers great fly fishing, in a unique setting. Anglers are often surrounded by wildlife such as bison and elk while sight fishing to trout in gin-clear water. The annual Fall migration of trophy-sized brown and rainbow trout from Hebgen Lake into the Madison River is world famous and is one of the best opportunities for anglers to catch the fish of a lifetime.

Book Your Next Montana Fly Fishing Trip

Plan Your Trip

Prime Season:

April 1- May 10 and June 15 – October 15

Notable Hatches:

Salmonflies and Goldenstones (June 20-July 15); Mothers Day Caddis (May 1-May 10); PMDs (July 1-20); Terrestrials (July 15-September 15)

Nearby Towns:

Bozeman, MT; Ennis, MT; West Yellowstone, MT; Big Sky, MT

Nearby Rivers:

Yellowstone River, Gallatin River, Jefferson River, and Missouri River

Trip Offerings

    What Our Clients Say


    My wife and I had a wonderful experience fishing with Montana Angling Company. Max was able to teach my wife to fly fish from scratch and she caught 5-10 really nice 18-20” fish her first time! He was very patient and knowledgeable. Thank you for such an amazing day! I would highly recommend from beginners to advanced fly fishermen and women.


    - Cooper M.

    What Our Clients Say


    Max is the perfect guide and teacher. My wife and I are newly retired and wanted to try fly fishing for the first time. We learned tons and caught lots of trout float and wade fishing. Can't wait to come back for our sophomore course. Thanks Max and Peter.

    - Cliff B.

    What Our Clients Say


    I've been guided by Max and his guides on the Yellowstone, Madison, and Missouri rivers and have had a blast every time. Their guides are knowledgeable, respectful, and patient--even when I tangle my line. The Montana Angling Co is a great choice whether it's your first time fly fishing or you're a seasoned pro--these guys know where the fish are and what they're hungry for.

    - Maggie O.

    What Our Clients Say


    Max’s professional demeanor, unmatched knowledge of fly fishing, and top rate gear combine to make any guided trip with him a special experience. Regardless of your ability or experience, you will not only catch fish, but you will have an excellent time as well.

    - Josh W.

    What Our Clients Say


    I have fished with guides across the United States and South America, and can say with confidence that Max's patience, passion, and knowledge of fishing are second to none. Whether you are an expert angler or fishing for the first time, Max is the guy you want to have in your boat.

    - Wesley R.

    What Our Clients Say


    We had an awesome experience with Montana Angling Co. Max worked with us to make sure we had the perfect day to go fishing. Our guide was Guy Flynn, and he was great. He was very patient with us and we enjoyed the conversation. He was putting us on fish all day long. Overall, we had a great experience, and I will definitely use Max's company again on our next trip to Montana.

    - Bryan L.

    Don't Wait, Book Your Fly Fishing Trip Today!