Madison River Fishing Report 3/16/21

Madison River Fishing Report 3/16/21

Our Madison River Fishing Report for 3/16/21. The Madison spring game is heating up with temperatures in the mid to upper fifties. We’re seeing rainbows heading up-river to do their annual spawning in the many skinny riffles so watch your step and your anchor out there! Those fry are the future of the river. Nymphing will likely be your best bet but if your patient, there are fish rising to midges. Look for soft, porpoising rises behind rocks and foam lines as the water warms. Sometimes a double dry with a larger visible pattern and the tiny virtually invisible midge eighteen to twenty inches behind it tied of the bend of the hook. A dry/dropper can be effective in these situations as well adding a tungsten bead nymph will search both feeding columns. They are eating streamers in the afternoon. Look for that green water and you’ll find trout.

A thick spring Madison rainbow>


  • Pat’s rubber Leg Stone black, brown, black, olive, olive /brown ##8-6
  • San Juan Worm red, burgundy, pink #14-10
  • Zebra Midge #20-14
  • Egg Patterns #16-14 pink, orange, tan
  • Psycho Prince dirty pink, orange, purple #16-14
  • Prince Nymph #16-14
  • Perdigons olive, brown or combinations #14-16
  • Pheasant Tail #14-18

For a more thorough list of nymphs check out my blog post Top 12 Nymphs for Trout.

A great looking Madison rainbow trout.


  • Griffith’s Gnat #16-20
  • Dandelion #18-20
  • Mother Shucker #18-22


Your best tactic for streamer fishing right now is to fish it low and slow. Read more about winter streamer tactics to up your winter streamer game.

  • Sex Dungeons mini or standard size in olive, olive/white, black, brown, white, grey or combinations of these colors.
  • Boogie Man in olive, olive/white black, brown and white or combinations of these colors
  • Swim Coach in olive, olive/white, black, brown, white, grey
  • Swimmin’ Jimmy Olive/white, olive, black, brown, grey
  • T&A Bunker Olive/white, olive, black ,brown, white, grey

For more information on Madison River fly fishing and guided trips on the Madison and Southwest Montana visit Fishtales Outfitting.

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FishTales Outfitting LLC is a licensed Outfitter with the State of Montana's Board of Outfitters
and Permittee for the Madison, Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers.

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