Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the Madison River - Yellowstone
The hatches on the Madison River in the park are very diverse and usually very heavy. The
water is very fertile and aquatic insects thrive there. As mentioned in the guide section, the
trout can become selective on certain hatches.
Blue-winged Olives are hatching when the season opens in some areas of the Madison and
hatch just about the entire season. There are several species including the baetis. There's an
early season baetis hatch in June and the another hatch near the first of September that last
through the first of October. There are also hatches of very small BWO species that are
usually a hook size 20 or smaller.
Little Black Caddis, called the Mother's Day Hatch in the West, could be hatching when the
season first starts. You may want to be prepared for it if you fish during early June before the
runoff starts, provided there's a short section of time to do it.
PMDs, or Pale Morning Duns are the most consistent of the mayflies on the Madison River.
They are usually hatching when the season first starts and last into the middle of August.
Speckled Wing Quills, or Callabaetis mayflies start hatching in the slower sections of water in
the Madison River about the last week of June and last through most of September.
Spotted Sedges are very plentiful. They start hatching around the last week of June and last
through mid August. Little Sister Caddisflies hatch from about the middle of June through
August. Green Sedges are very plentiful. Imitations of their larvae, called Green Rock Worms,
will catch trout all during the season. Several species of these caddisflies hatch from about the
first of July all the way through most of October. Little Short-Horned Sedges hatch during the
month of July. They are also very plentiful. White Miller caddisflies hatch from about the middle
of June for about a month. They hatch again from about the middle of August through
September. These are species of the Nectopsyche genus of caddisflies.
There are a few Green Drakes that hatch from about the third or forth week of June for about a
month or so. This isn't a heavy hatch. The weather and water temperature can vary this hatch
a week or two and even more some years. Flavs, or Small Western Green Drakes, also hatch
in sparse quantities. They usually start hatching about the middle of July and last about five
weeks. Tricos hatch in the slow water sections of the Madison from about the middle of July
through most of the month of September.
Salmonflies are present in the Madison River in good quantities in certain areas of fast water.
They start hatching about the second week of June and can last until the middle of July
depending on the water and weather. Golden Stoneflies will start hatching about the last week
of June and can last through July. They will be present in good quantities in the fast water
sections of the stream. Yellow Sallies, or Little Yellow Stoneflies, are also plentiful. They start
hatching about the middle of July and last until the second week in August.
You will find Yellow Quills or the Eperous species, hatching from about the middle of July
through August. Western March Browns start hatching about the same time and last through
August. Both of these mayflies prefer the faster sections of the stream such as the riffles and
Grasshoppers, ants and beetles are very plentiful in the meadow sections of the river. The
high grass and shrubs along the banks of the meadows are a perfect habitat for them.
Imitations of these insect will work during July, August, September and on into the first of
Streamers that imitate sculpin and leeches work great in the Madison River. You should use
them early in the season when the water is still cold; anytime it is slightly stained from heavy
rain; and during low light conditions such as early and late in the day.
Our "Perfect Flies" have been tested extensively on this river and have proven to be more
effective than any of the generic or attractor flies. We have specific imitations of everything
that hatches on the Madison River and in all stages of life that the trout eat them in. If you
haven't already tried them, we certainly hope you will. You won't be disappointed.
Madison River, YNP
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