2024 Fishing Regulations

New Fishing Regulations on the Madison River

New Fishing Regulations on the Madison River

Among a list of revisions to the Montana Fishing Regulations starting in the 2024/2025 season is a new set of rules on the upper Madison River, specifically from Varney Bridge to Ennis Lake. These rules specially pertain to hooks. Anglers are now required to fish barbless, single pointed hooks. This was changed last fall by the Fish and Game Commission and went into effect the first of the year.  The rational is that single point hooks barbless produce less harm on the fish. In South West Montana Brown trout are on a decline in many drainages. The Madison not being one of them.  This is a preemptive move to protect the spawning and larger brown trout in the Varney to Ennis Lakes section of the river.

Basically treble hooks are out.  Fishing two barbless flies are OK.  Fishing articulated streamers with multiple hooks are questionable.   Expect enforcement this summer with FWP wardens on the look out.  For those guys who like to spin fish make sure you bring some angle cutter pliers and remove a few points.  Also make sure barbs are smashed down flat.


Everyone has an opinion and here’s one fishing guides. This is long overdue and should be river wide… It’s a catch and release river, why not run barbless and ditch the treble hooks? Take care of the fishery that takes care of you!

Like I mentioned earlier, this isn’t the only big change to the rules here in Montana this year, so make sure to check out the new regulations book. I always recommend checking the regs anytime you’re fishing new water or entering a new license year. Stop in The Tackle Shop here in Ennis and grab a few free copies! They’re a great way to discover new spots too… wink wink.


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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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