Madison River

Cooper Taylor
A late season Madison River brown trout caught by Andy Stone.

Guided Madison River Float Trips…Walk and Wade Trips…Full Day, Half Day…Lunch, Flies, Rods, Reels, Casting Instruction…

The Varney Bridge. Built in 1897 by the King Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio. 
2019 will be the structure’s last year of existence.
 After 123 years, it will be torn down and replaced by a new version, signifying the end of an era. The old boat ramp is barely visible just upstream from the right side of the bridge. I estimated I have floated under this bridge over 800 times.

The Madison River is famous…lots has been written about it…it starts in Yellowstone Park where the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers come together and flows all the way to the Missouri River. It’s wide and shallow and swift and slippery. We have a whole bunch of trout; small, medium and large. It’s a great river for beginning flyfishers or experts and just about anybody can catch fish here.


At the Madison Flyfisher we offer the total Montana flyfishing experience: guides, flies, float trips. walk and wade trips, lodging, casting instruction, stream knowledge and great fun! 

Andy Weir with a fine Madison River rainbow.

 We offer the best flyfishing for the novice, intermediate or advanced angler and can accommodate families, couples, singles or large groups…kids are welcome!  

Where’s the fish?

The  Madison R. has some great fishing spots…some of the ones I like best are: Raynold’s, Three Dollar Bridge, Big Bend, Squaw Ck, Shelton Br, Haystack Hole, Horse Ck, Moose Ck, Geysers, Windy Point, Earthquake Rock, Kelly Br, Wolf Ck, Palisades, Swallow Cliffs, Rainbow Rock, Ruby Cliffs, McAtee, Indian Ck, Lunch Island, Shewmaker Ditch, Cameron Flats, Cottonwoods, Rail Fence Hole, Snag Hole, River Ranch, Varney Br, Spring Ck. Channel, Crane Island, Evel Kneivel Hole, Glenn West Memorial Hole, Mouse Hole, Eight Mile, West Nine, Burnt Tree, Evening Hole, Million Dollar Hole, Comleyville Flats and many more.


Some of my favorite flies, top to bottom, left to right: RB pillow, royal trude, Whit’s hopper, royal wulff, elk hair caddis, Dave’s hopper, Goddard caddis, deer hair caddis, bitch ck. nymph, RB caddis, Prince nymph, royal stimmy, bead head pheasant tail.


I use Clackacraft drift boats. I’ve tried them all and Clacka is the top dog. We usually float 8-10 miles a day. Sometimes we get out and wade. Lunch is always fun because I get to do two things I’m good at: eating and talking. We use dry flies and wet flies, whatever works best. You don’t have to cast very far but you need to get a good drift. When the trout see the fly jet-skiing through the water they dial 911 and head for cover! A lot of times I will stop and fish one of my secret spots. When this happens I become suspicious and paranoid that someone will see me. You can tell when this happens because I twitch around a lot.

The float trips are a lot of fun. But there are other ways to fish the Madison as you will discover sooner or later.

To book a guided flyfishing trip, email me:


Check Out:

Sweetgrass Rods

Tom Morgan Rodsmiths