Moose and baby along the Madison River

After 4th of July Weekend Fishing Report for the Madison River

Salmon Flies Still in Play

The big bugs are still in play and the fish are still looking at them. Currently the big bugs are above Macatee Bridge.  Lots of flying salmon flies and fish have taken notice.  Reports of single dry fisherman all day.  We like the low rider salmon flies for this portion of the hatch.  Think water walker type.  The fish have seen plenty of the big orange fluter bugs and now are looking for something down in the film.  We also like the drowned salmon fly as a dropper this time of year.

Caddis are Key Right Now

Tons of caddis out there right now.  Everything from the big bomber caddis down to the super small black caddis. We like the size 14 tan bodies as this is the most prevalent .  They are really keying on the emerging caddis in the afternoon.  We like the lime colored caddis emergers as a dropper behind the salmon fly.  Fish this on a short leash and keep it moving up near the surface.

Nymph Fishing is Strong

If you’r a numbers guy and want to rack up the body count nymph fishing is the way to go.  We like a yellow sallie nymph followed by a caddis emerger in the afternoon or a PMD nymph in the morning.  You will need a little weight to get it down but keep it near the bottom and you will hook up consistently .  We are finding the fish are about done with the rubber leg thing. I feel they have seen every color of rubber leg on the planet and have decided not to partake any longer.

Madison River has Plenty of Water

We are still running above normal on flows.  The Madison is currently about 2000 CFS at Varney Bridge.  This is slightly above normal flow.  Plenty of water to float anywhere and getting to the level where wade fisherman have lots of definition to fish. This is the best flow in our opinion for the Madison River.  The river remains cool and in fact the afternoons are better fishing once it warms up a little.


Low riding salmon flies like water walkers, elk hair caddis, x caddis, never sink caddis, para PMD, Purple haze.


Yellow sallie nymphs like iron sallies, my gal sal and yellow prince. CDC prince and lime juice caddis.


Sculpin patterns. Mini loop, trevors, shelia, zonker

Fishing Reports and Trips

  • Fishing Reports

  • Want to know the most up-to-date information to find where the fish are biting? The Tackle Shop Fishing Reports provide you with a comprehensive look at current water conditions, recent hatches and flow data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

  • View Reports
  • Float Trips

  • The Tackle Shop offers a range of full-day and half-day float trips in the Madison River Valley area. The trips are all-inclusive and cover files, rods, reels, waders and boots. Leave your worries behind and let us give you the fly fishing trip of a lifetime.

  • View Trips
  • Walk/Wade Trips

  • Enjoy one of our full-day or half-day walk and wade trips for a more immersive, slower-paced fly fishing experience. The Tackle Shop will cater to your individual needs so you are able to take in the sights and sounds of the best waters in Montana.

  • View Trips
Scroll to Top