This list contains the necessary gear to be fully equipped for a day of fly fishing the Madison River. Of course there is more things an angler could use, but this will do you just fine!

  • Rods: 5 and 6 weight are the most common, but some circumstances are better suited to a 4wt or a 7wt.
  • Leaders: assortment from 7.5ft. to 9 ft. and from 0x to 5x 
  • Rainwear
  • Waders and wading boots, or wading sandals. Teva and Chacos are ok, but don't provide great traction in rivers like the Madison River.  Felt soles are still legal in Montana and encouraged for wading the upper Madison. Just be sure to clean and inspect prior to use.
  • Polarized Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Plenty of warm clothes for layering including hat and gloves
  • Camera
  • Montana Fishing License

There are many patterns that will work on the Madison River 365 days a year, and many others that "have their day". Below is a partial list of commonly effective fly patterns, but the sky is the limit here. Be sure to stop in the fly shop for the latest patterns as it would be impossible to list them all here.


  • Wooly Buggers #2-10 Black, brown, Olive, Purple, all types
  • Zonker #2-6 Natural (pearl/copper) and Olive
  • Sculpzilla #4-6
  • Treavor's Sculpin #4
  • Double bunny #2-6
  • Sculpin Patterns #2-8


  • Pheasant Tail #12-22
  • Hare's Ear #10-20
  • Prince Nymph #12-16
  • Red Squirrel #12-16
  • Serendipity #12-18
  • George's Stone #6-10
  • Girdle Bugs #4-10
  • Psycho Prince #10-16
  • San Juan Worms #6-12
  • Scuds #12-20


  • Parachute Adams #14-20
  • Royal Wulff #12-16
  • Stimulator #10-16
  • Royal Trude #12--16
  • Elk Hair Caddis #12-18
  • Blue Wing Olive #16-22
  • Pale Morning Dun #12-16
  • Griffiths Gnat #18-24