For up to the minute information or conditions call us at 800-227-7127 or email us at

Madison River Beaverhead River Report Big Hole River Report

Fall Fishing!

October 4th, 2015

The leaves are changing, the days are shorter and there is a little bite on the morning air. The trees are not the only thing showing some fall colors, the browns are starting to butter up and show more sign of aggression. Streamers have been the starting point in the clouds with a nice mix of larger sculpin patterns like Sculpzillas, Mini loops, and sex dungeons in black or olive. Or flashier bait fish patterns like zonkers and flash fry’s in copper and white. Both of these pattern types can end up being the ticket, and it will pay to have a bit of both with you when you go out. Nymphing has been fairly solid as well, smaller stuff like neon gnats and root beer flashers in size 18 have been the most popular trailers. While October caddis imitations like large rubber leg hares ears in in size 12 or 14 or UV red squirrels in size 10 have been reliable as a lead bug.

Surface activity should continue to increase if the cold cloudy weather continues. Already we are seeing lots of midges up in the wade section, and a fair amount of BWOs throughout the river when the conditions are right. Etha wing BWOs in size 18 and thorax dun BWOs size 18 or 20 are both excellent choices for starters. If it’s not cloudy and cold, attractor patterns like purple haze and para wulff Adams will still bring them up.

Call 800-227-7127 or stop in the shop for information on river float times and walk/wade restrictions in certain sections. We hope to see you soon!

MADISON RIVER FLOWS- October 4th, 2015
Hebgen Outflow 841 cfs
Kirby-West Fork Bridge 948 cfs
Beartrap Canyon, below Ennis Lake 1,240 cfs

On Tuesday, September 28th the Montana FWP held meeting on proposed regulation changes for the upper Madison. The meeting was well attended with a group of over 60 attendees made up of fishermen, landowners, outfitters, business owners, and residents from the Madison Valley. To begin, FWP biologists reviewed existing regulations as well as fish population data and trends dating back to the 70s on the Madison River. The Biologists then began to explain and defend each regulation proposal. Firstly, they addressed the possibility of changing the harvest count to one trout per day anywhere on the upper Madison regardless of size or species. One point that was stressed by the biologists was that by this rule change, they were NOT, in any way, encouraging the harvest of wild trout. Rather, they would be decreasing harvest opportunity by eliminating areas where multiple trout can be kept. While, simplifying and condensing the regulations seemed to be a main goal behind the proposed changes, they also hope to provide anglers with opportunity to harvest a fish that has been badly hooked and would most likely die upon release. Second, the issue of opening the entire river year round even the sections locally known as the “spawning areas” from the slide to roughly $3 Bridge and from Ennis Bridge to Ennis Lake. The FWP stated that their main intention was to provide off peak angling opportunities and to, once again, simplify the regulations. To the idea that trampling redds and disturbing spawning fish could pose a threat to the rivers ecosystem, the scientists offered graphs providing data showing the little/no impact on spawning numbers by anglers on other river that have been similarly opened up during this delicate time of the season. Finally, the forum was opened up to the public for comment. Opinions varied far and wide, but the major sentiment was a general dislike of the proposed regulation changes as they are stated now. More specifically the opening of the entire river and especially the spawning areas above Lyons and below Ennis was overwhelmingly discouraged, while ideas like possibly opening Lyons Bridge to town the entire year showed some promise. In Closing, the biologists reiterated that the decision was not ultimately theirs to make and that the Commission would review and decide the fate of the Madison based on their recommendations, the reaction of the public, and their own judgment. This decision will be made on November 12, 2015. If you would like to voice your opinion on the matter or just educate yourself further on the topic, copy this link into your browser.

Stay tuned for continuing River updates!

If you are in town, stop by the shop and ask us about the right bugs and stretch of river. We’ll hook you up with the best of both. We guarantee we have the best and most innovative patterns you’ll see anywhere!

Contact us for a copy of Madison River Fishing Company's 2015 Fall Clearance and Christmas Fly Fishing Catalog featuring dozens of spectacular fly fishing Clearance products. Give us a call at 800-227-7127 or email us at and we will send you a copy.

We also offer Montana fly fishing schools and Montana guide services.