Is Madison River Fly Fishing Only?

Madison River fly fishing is one of Montana’s premier fisheries and a great destination for anglers from all over. It offers a variety of different fishing styles and opportunities, from wading the famous Madison River to float trips on the upper reaches.

The Madison River is home to some of the finest trout fishing in the world, with wild Rainbow and Brown trout in abundance. It also offers great smallmouth bass and cutthroat fishing at certain times of year.

The Madison River is widely renowned as one of the premier destinations for dry-fly fishing in the nation. Its abundant populations of mayflies, caddisflies, stones, and other aquatic insects attract enthusiastic anglers from around the world. When fly-fishing on the Madison, anglers can choose between two primary techniques: dry-fly fishing using nymphs or streamers, or wet-fly nymphing. Both methods have their appeal; dry-fly fishing allows for fishing above water while still effectively targeting trout, while nymphing offers the opportunity to catch deeper fish that may not be as susceptible to dry flies.

Float Trips

Float trips can be a great way to experience fly-fishing on the Madison River. They offer access to more remote sections of the river that are often inaccessible when wading.

Float trips can also be a great way for novice anglers to get their feet wet and learn about different fly-fishing techniques without having to deal with deep water or difficult terrain. Most float trips on the Madison last from two to four days and are offered by local outfitters who provide gear, boats and guide services.


Madison River fly fishing offers many opportunities for both novice and experienced anglers alike. Whether you are wading or floating, nymphing or dry-fly fishing, there’s something for everyone on this beautiful river.

With its abundant hatches and plentiful fish populations, there’s no doubt that fly-fishing on the Madison is an experience you won’t soon forget! Is Madison River Fly Fishing Only? No – it is much more than that!

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins