Madison or Bighorn

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    Eric WellerEric Weller

    So I have done both rivers in the last 10 years and have to decide which to hit next fall. I have done them both but I’m looking at which would offer me the best chance of landing a 2 footer. Best to date is 22 1/2 at both the Bighorn and the Madison. I know if it’s strictly a numbers game the Bighorn can’t be beat. I’m a streamer guy 90% of the time but have no issues throwing dries or nymphs. So what’s everyones take? Bighorn or Madison?

    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    Eric it’s probably the Bighorn. I think you also need to consider potential water flows; the Madison has had a number of drought years in the last decade or so, whereas the Bighorn is a tailwater.

    If you’re specifically looking to break 2 feet though you might give some thought to Pyramid Lake. That’s a trip I want to do myself.


    Eric WellerEric Weller

    Having fished both extensively in the last 10 years I’m going with the Bighorn. It offers several positives that the Madison does not. First and foremost it gives my son who is new to fly fishing an easier learning curve. The fish density is much greater on the Bighorn, and it’s loaded with several fish in the 14-18 inch range. On my list to hit is the White river in your backyard which is without a doubt a great opportunity to grab something over 24 inches. The other big selling point on the Bighorn is cost, it’s cheaper trip overall since we do our own guiding. You do not get the scenery like at the Madison but it’s still a great Montana skyline. Thanks for your input Zach, looking forward to this seasons podcasts!

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