Madison River Fly Hatch Chart

Madison River fly hatches are among the most prolific of any found throughout the Rockies. Mayfly hatches along the Upper Madison are the first to appear in March. By mid April, the entire river from Yellowstone downstream to Ennis—and beyond—is alive with hatches and trout activity.

madison river fly hatch chart

The following hatch chart lists the major aquatic insect hatches and terrestrial emergences for the Madison River. Hatches and emergence dates may vary from chart figures due to fluctuations in annual weather patterns and water flows. Hatches first appear along the Upper Madison and work their way north downstream to the Lower Madison.

Madison River HatchesSizeDates
Skwala Stonefly10 - 12Mar - Mid April
March Brown Mayfly12 - 14Mid Mar - May
Blue Winged Olive16 - 20May - June; Sept - Oct
American Grannom14 - 18Mid Apr - Mid June
Pale Morning Dun14 - 20Late May - Mid Aug
Spotted Sedge Caddis10 - 16June - Sept
Golden Stonefly6 - 8Late June - Mid July
Yellow Sally Stonefly12 - 14Mid June - July
Green Drake10 - 12Mid June - Mid July
Salmon Fly4 - 8Late June - Mid July
Little Green Drake14 - 16Mid July - Mid Aug
Trico18 - 20Late June - Mid Aug
Ants14 - 16Mid July - Aug
Beetles12 - 14Mid July - Aug
Grasshoppers6 - 10Mid July - Aug
Callibaetis Mayfly14 - 16July - Sept
Epeorus Mayfly12 - 14July - Aug
Midges14 - 20Late Jan - Mar; Oct - Dec

Recommended Madison River Dry Fly Patterns

The abundant and consistent fly hatches along the Madison River keep trout rising to the surface year round to feed. Dry fly fishing is the most common technique employed by anglers who fish the Madison. Most late spring to mid-summer dry fly fishing focuses on the salmonfly, golden stonefly, caddisfly, PMD, and Yellow sally hatches, as well as the emergence of terrestrials. BWOs and midges account for most fall and winter hatches. The following fly patterns are popular for dry fly fishing the Madison River through spring, summer, fall and winter.

Dry Fly PatternSize
Chubby Chernobyl2 - 16
Zebra Midge (black)18 - 20
Parachute Adams10 - 16
Purple Haze Parachute10 - 16
Salmonfly Patterns4 - 8
Pat’s Rubberlegs (Olive, Brown, or Black)6 - 8
San Juan Worm8
Elk Hair Caddis14 - 16
Parachuet BWO10 - 16
Goddard Caddis14 - 18
Griffith's Gnat20
Rogue Foam Stonefly6 - 8
Hedgehog Salmonfly8
Dornan’s Circus Peanut6 - 12
X-caddis12 - 20
Royal Stimulator8 - 16
Buzzball14 - 18
D&D Cripple14 - 18
Morrish Hopper8 - 12
Flying Ant12 - 18
Royal Wulff14 - 18

Recommended Madison River Flys for Nymphing

Aquatic insects are available for trout to feed on year round. That’s why fishing the Madison using nymphs constantly produces catches. The trout on the Madison River love nymphs, and a large percentage of the trout caught on Madison are caught using nymph patterns. The following nymph patterns match a majority of the larvae hatches on the Madison River and are recommended for nymph fishing brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout.

Nymph PatternSize
Prince Nymph8 - 16
Rubber Leg Stonefly4 - 12
Pat's Rubber Legs4 - 10
Prince Nymphs6 - 18
Pheasant Tail12 - 20
Serendipity14 - 20
Shop-vac14 - 20
Lil Spanker12 - 20
San Juan Worm/wire worm6 - 12
Sculpzilla8 - 10
Lightning Bug12 - 20
Two-bit Hooker16 - 20
Copper John12 - 20

Recommended Madison River Streamers

Streamers are a favorite of big trout on the Madison River. If you want to catch a giant Brown or trophy Rainbow, no better way than to fly fish some streamers. The following streamers keep trout biting all year long along the Madison.

Streamer PatternSize
Wooly bugger2 - 12
Delekta’s screamer6 - 8
Delekta’s double screamer6 - 8
Zonker2 - 10
Mini-loop sculpin6 - 8
Sculpzilla2 - 8
Articulated Fat Head4 - 6
Articulated Sex Dungeon5 - 6
Articulated Mini Dungeon6 - 6
Home Invader2 - 8
Dirty Hippy6