The Madison River is fish-able year round no matter what the news or social media says about river closures, runoff conditions and wildfires. Climate change is real and we adapt to these new conditions by changing when and where we fish. Because of river closures and environmental concerns, more and more anglers worry about limitations to their fishing vacation in SW Montana. I want to reassure you and help you make the most of your fishing vacation to the Madison River by letting you know when and where to fish it.
The Madison River is a very different river from Yellowstone National Park to the headwaters of the Missouri River. I think of it as 6 different rivers in one, with three lakes thrown in. I will be discussing the best times to fish each sections based on runoff, winter conditions, river closures, some major hatches and crowds. I will also touch on the types of structure to fish as some anglers struggle to read much of the Madison River. I may mention a section of river that fishes best based on a major hatch, but I will not be going into details of hatches.