Fly Fishing the Madison River 2021

Drove 11 hours to Bozeman, MT to visit a good friend, Matt Carara, that Product Line Manager at Simms. He and his dog, Skagit, rowed us around the Madison river over two days. The first day was unseasonably chilly and windy. We spent most of the day trying to hunker down to avoid the weather, but eventually got into some fish willing to eat dry flies. The next day we floated the section just above Ennis, MT and had a great day nymphing up rainbow and brown trout.

Our Takes: The Madison River is called the fifty mile riffle for a reason. The relatively shallow, rocky basin makes reading water a challenge for the uninitiated. With flows around 1750, we had to search out buckets that were rarely more than five feet deep.

Nymphing with stonefly and caddis imitations was the most productive on the section near Ennis while a double dry rig with a stonefly and caddis or baetis imitation worked well on the lower section.

Flies: Dries include Purple Haze (12-14), Chubby Chernobyl (6-10), any caddis dry (14-16) Nymphs: Pat’s Rubberlegs (6-8), Beadhead Caddis Emergers (14-16), Pheasant Tail Nymphs (16-18) Fish 3x and 4x mono with dries and 4x fluoro with nymphs.

5 or 6 weight rod.

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