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West to Madison Caldera Rim.jpg
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West Entrance to Madison -
Yellowstone National Park

Just before entering Yellowstone National Park through the West Entrance you are greeted with a large sign (great for photo ops) indicating that you have arrived at the park and ready to begin your Yellowstone experience. Passing through the West Entrance, you begin a 14 mile (23 km) stretch through beautiful Madison Valley to Madison Junction. Much of this stretch of road parallels the Madison River that is formed from the joining of the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers just south of Madison Junction, and passes through a valley rich in elk and bison much of the season.

While driving this section of road you will have access to three hiking trailheads, a 1-mile scenic drive that takes you by the river’s edge, a historical exhibit, two geological informational sites, a summary of the 1988 fires that dramatically changed the Yellowstone landscape, a view of the caldera rim, and one of the many campgrounds in the park.

Fly Fishing the Madison River: Formed by the joining of the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers, the Madison River offers great fishing during the early fishing season (June). Both the Firestone and Gibbon Rivers receive warmed water from geysers, and combined with the hot summer months, the river can get too warm for trout to properly feed. Consequently, many of the larger trout head to Hebgen lake outside the park but return to spawn in the fall providing some great fishing from September to park closing in October. Brown and rainbow trout, and whitefish are the main species inhabiting the river. Average length is between 10 and 14 inches. The fall spawning run can produce larger fish averaging 16 to 18 inches. The Madison River is fly fishing only.


Flies to Use by Hatch During the Early, Summer, and Fall Periods of Fishing the River:

Early/June: Blue-winged olive, golden stonefly, little black caddis, PMD’s, green drake, midges

July/August: PMD’s, green drake, golden stonefly, sedges, yellow sallies, pink ladies, tricos

Sept/Oct: Blue-winged olive, green sedges, midges, yellow sallies, grasshoppers

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