Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Gear for the Madison River - Yellowstone National Park
The gear and tackle you need to fish the Madison River inside the park varies depending on
several things, mostly the method of fishing you choose to use.
For most of the fishing you will encounter, we think a 5 weight floating line would be the best
choice. You may also want a 6 weight floating line to fish nymphs and streamers. Spey casting
is also becoming popular at that time and you would need a Spey line for that if you choose
that particular method of fishing.
You would want a fly rod to handle each of the above line sizes you choose to use. The five
weight rod would be ideal at a length of nine feet. We think a medium fast to fast action would
be best for this one. The six weight rods should be nine feet in length in a medium fast to fast
The reels for the 5 and 6 weight lines, as well as the Spey line, should have good drag
systems. The drags should be smooth and adjust to fine increments. You don't want to lose a
large rainbow or brown trout because of a poor drag.
A nine foot leader length would probably be the best all around length. You may also want a
twelve foot length for fishing small dry flies in the smooth sections of water. The only other
exception would be when you are fishing streamers whereas you may want a short leader of
only 3 or 4 feet. Make sure you have leaders in sizes ranging from 0X for streamers up to 6X
for midges and other small flies.
You should also have plenty of extra tippet in sizes ranging from 0X to 6X.
Waders are necessary just about anywhere you fish the Madison River. We prefer the
breathable type but you may prefer the neopreme type if you fish during the very cold parts of
Felt soles would still be our choice. The new rubber soles may work okay. We haven't tested
them in the Madison River in the park yet.
The use of a wading staff would be an optional accessory.
A landing net would be purely optional for the Madison River. In the fall, when large brown trout
are in the river, you may wish you had one.
We recommend our "Perfect Fly" trout flies. We have specific imitations of every important
insect that exist in the Madison River. It is best to use the hatch chart and select the flies to use
for the period of time you will be fishing.
You can also call us 800-594-4726 and we will help you make the selection. Many of our flies
have been tested and proven to work in the Madison. If you haven't done so already, we hope
you will give them an opportunity to work for you.
Madison River, YNP
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