The Madison river also originates in beautiful Yellowstone National Park. The Gibbon and Firehole rivers converge to form the headwaters of the Upper Madison within the park boundaries. A short distance down stream the Madison dumps into Hebgen Lake. Fall fishing in this area of the Madison offers excellent opportunities at colorful lake run brown trout within and outside YNP boundaries. Below Hebgen lake’s dam there runs a short stretch of river before it meets Earthquake lake. In this area on August 17, 1959 a massive earthquake caused the canyon walls around the Madison to collapse. A temporary blockage of the river buried a small town in the process and ultimately formed Quake Lake.
From Quake Lake downstream to Ennis lake runs a stretch of the Madison nicknamed “The 50 mile riffle”. It’s swift gradient and rocky boulder gardens grow some hard fighting fish. As the Madison flows north through Raynold’s Pass, Three Dollar Bridge, and Pine Butte, many miles of walk and wade opportunities exist. From Lyon’s Bridge near Cameron, Montana the float fishing opportunities begin and continue all the way downstream through Ennis and into Ennis lake. The lower Madison beginning below Ennis lake, flows through the Bear Trap Canyon and out to Three Forks, Montana. Here the Madison joins with the Gallatin and Jefferson rivers to form the headwaters of the mighty Missouri river. Both the Upper and Lower Madison are world class stretches of river with opportunities at truly impressive wild trout.