Madison River - Bozeman, MT - Montana - Madison River
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Madison River
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Madison River offers many great fishing and nature enjoyment opportunities for everyone in the Gallatin National Forest. The Madison River originates at the confluence of the Gibbon and the Firehole Rivers in Yellowstone National Park about 15 miles east of the Gallatin Forest Boundary. Within the Gallatin, several short sections of the upper Madison River are located above and below Hebgen Lake, and also downstream of Earthquake Lake.
Each of these stretches of river can provide a unique angling opportunity. The South Fork of the Madison River is also a major tributary lying entirely within National Forest Systems lands. The species that are in the ricer are as follow: Rainbow, Brown, Cutthroat, Brook, Whitefish, and a few Arctic Grayling.
If you wish to camp along the river the area campgrounds include Bakers Hole, Cabin Creek, Big Beaver, and Rainbow Point.
A unique fishing opportunity exists in the short section of the Madison River upstream of Hebgen Lake during the fall, when brown trout migrate upstream to spawn. The stretch of the Madison River between Hebgen Lake and Earthquake Lake has good access along Highway 287 and offers fishable water when other streams and rivers are high and turbid.
The short reach of the Madison River below Earthquake Lake is dominated by a very high gradient section created by the 1959 Madison Slide, which limits fishing. Gradient is less steep near Forest Boundary. The famous salmon fly hatch usually occurs in this section of the Madison River between Ennis and Earthquake Lake during the month of July.
The South Fork of the Madison River can be characterized as a classic, low gradient, pool/riffle meandering stream. The South Fork also supports a large brown trout spawning run during the fall and is a primary source for brown trout recruitment to Hebgen Lake.

Facilities: Madison River provides different facilities at the different campgrounds that are adjacent to it.

Best Time To Visit: Madison River is accessible year round.

Fees: A fee is not charged to simply come to the river however a fee may be charged for additional recreational activities such as camping.

Accessibility: Unknown

Rules: Remember to have all boating and fishing licenses, follow the fishing regulations set down for the river, remember to keep all pets on a leash, and exercise a leave no trace policy.

Directions: Madison River is located parallel along Highway 287 southeast of Bozeman.

Map: Click here for a map to Madison River

Reservations: Madison River does not accept reservations.

Gallatin National Forest
P.O. Box 130
Bozeman, Montana 59771
General: (406) 587-6701
Fax: (406) 587-6758
TTY: (406) 587-6801
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