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Madison to Norris
This 14-mile (23 km) stretch of road is the northwest section of the Grand Loop of Yellowstone. For most of this stretch, the road parallels the Gibbon River as it passes through beautiful meadows, cascades down terraced runs, and over majestic waterfalls. The headwaters of the Gibbon River begin approximately 20 miles northeast at Grebe Lake and Wolf Lake.
This road section of the park provides access to two marked trailheads, four notable thermal features including Norris Geyser Basin and Steamboat Geyer, the world’s largest active geyser, five picnic areas, and, of course, Gibbon Falls.
Fly Fishing the Gibbon River: (between Madison and Norris)
From the confluence of the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers in forming the Madison River, the Gibbon River upstream mostly parallels this stretch of road providing multiple access locations for trout fishing. The river will flow through three large meadows (Lower Gibbon, Gibbon, and Norris), down steep gradients of fast moving pocket water, and over Gibbon Falls. As the river flows through the meadows it is home to larger sized trout, as compared to the canyon river stretches, with Gibbon Meadows typically housing the largest fish in this section of the park. However, the canyon sections of the river also provide some fun with plenty of feisty smaller trout to test your skills. Brown, rainbow, and brook trout inhabit this river. In the meadows, the fish range from 10 to 16 inches. During the fall, spawning brown trout that have moved from Hebgen Lake up through the Madison River will also continue up into the Gibbon River as far as Gibbon Falls providing some even larger fish.
Flies to Use by Hatch During the Early, Summer, and Fall Periods of Fishing the River:
Early/June: Blue-winged olive, little black caddis, PMD’s, green drake, midges
July/August: PMD’s, caddis, green drake, golden stonefly, green and spotted sedges, yellow sallies, pink ladies, midges, grasshoppers, beetles
Sept/Oct: Blue-winged olive, green and longhorn sedges, midges, yellow sallies, grasshoppers, midges