Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies for the Madison River - Outside
Yellowstone National Park
Fly Line:
The Madison River has some huge trout. There are some huge size browns and rainbows in
the river. The ideal all around fly line would probably be a 5 weight, floating fly line. You could
get by with just this one fly line size if you had to. Some anglers would prefer something
heavier for large nymphs and streamers. A 6 weight fly line would deliver most of the streamers
and heavy nymphs better than the 5 weight. You may also want to use a sinking tip line for the

Fly Rod:
You would want a fly rod to handle each of the above line sizes.  The five weight rod would be
ideal at a length of nine feet. We think a medium to medium fast action would be best for this
one. You want to be able to cast in the afternoon wind that comes about most every day during
the summer.

The six weight rod should have a slightly stiffer tip to handle larger nymphs and streamers. It
should be nine feet in length in a medium to medium fast action.

Fly Reel:
The reels for the 5 and 6 weight lines should both have good drags. The drags should be
smooth and adjust to fine increments. You don't want to hook one of the Madison River's huge
trout and end up with a broken tippet because you had a less than adequate fly reel.

You should be using at least a seven foot leader anywhere on the river. A nine foot length
would probably be the best all around length. The only exception would be when you are
fishing streamers. If you fish the Trico and other hatches that require long leaders, you may
want to use a 12 foot leader. If you fish streamers, you may want a short leader or only 3 or 4

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 need neoprene waders if you are fishing during the winter.

Wading Boots:
Felt soles would be our choice. The new rubber soles may work well. They have at other
similar waters where we've tried them.

Wading Staff:
The use of a wading staff would be an optional accessory. The current can run strong at times
and in certain areas.

Landing Net:
You probably shouldn't be fishing the Madison River without a landing net. Some anglers do,
but you would have a better chance of landing its larger trout with one.

Trout Flies:
We always recommend our "Perfect Fly" trout flies. We have specific imitations of every
important insect that exist on 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. If you haven't already done so, we hope
you will give our Perfect Flies a try. You will be glad you did.
Madison River, Montana
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Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Priority Mail.