Fall On The Madison – Montana Treasures

Fall On The Madison

Well, it’s officially Fall in Big Sky Country. Although for the past week or so, it’s felt like we might just skip over Fall and head straight into Winter. We definitely don’t want that, though. Fall is the primo time to be on the Madison River (upper and lower); and, we want as much of it as we can get.

A golden, Fall morning on the Madison River at Varney Bridge

Varney Bridge (Menu item M14)

I tell anyone who will listen, that if they really want to have a fly fishing experience of a lifetime, then they need to be in Big Sky Country in the Fall. It’s the time when the big fish (browns and rainbows) are moving, most of the tourists are gone, and there’s lots of peace and fun out on the water.

Any Fall day that is projected to be sunny prompts me to stop any and all plans and head for the Madison.

There’s nothing like hitting the river on a clear, crisp Fall day. Not only is there the anticipation of catching your largest fish of the year…perhaps, an angry brown chasing a streamer; but, just look around you. Blue skies, majestic mountains, sweeping yellow prairies, and aspen trees lit up like candles. This is God’s country.

You really can’t go wrong when selecting what section of river to fish. If I absolutely have to catch something, then I hit the ‘lower Maddie.’ Dragging streamers and nymphing in that stretch never fails me.

Late Summer views of the American White Pelicans still carousing on the lower Madison River

Lower Madison (Menu item M3)

Of course, if you have to have the ‘full meal deal’ (mountain scenery and superb fishing), then head over to the upper Madison. Valley Garden, Varney Bridge, and Storey (each near Ennis, Montana) are all good options.

Varney Bridge (Menu item M15)

Hands down, the most spectacular Fall colors and scenery are going to be found at the Palisades, however. Red fire bush next to crazy yellow aspens…The colors are just nuts. You’ll almost forget you came there to fish.

Palisades (Menu item M23)

Fall fly fishing on the Madison will not soon be forgotten. Definitely puts this one on your bucket list.

Fall colors are burning bright on the banks of the Madison River near the Palisades recreation area.

Palisades (Menu item M23)

 Refer to Montana Treasures free and handy Madison River Photo Map to locate all of the locations mentioned in this article. Enjoy! :)

Free Madison River Photo Map

Free Madison River Photo Map


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