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Fish the Madison

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Ennis, Montana

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One of the most famous trout rivers in America that offers great days of fly fishing throughout the year. It can be a busy river, but it's busy for a reason! Consistent fishing and beautiful scenery make for a great day on the water. 

The Madison is a tailwater but has many freestone characteristics. Large hatches of caddis, mayflies, and stoneflies always give us some hatch to chase. In addition, the Madison has world-class hopper fishing!

The main attraction to the Madison River is its phenomenal dry fly fishing.  Even when no hatch is present, you can find fish that are more than willing to eat on the surface.  If conditions are tough we will teach you how to nymph or streamer fish. The Madison fishes differently than most trout streams, as it has very shallow, fast riffles.

We look forward to sharing our hands-on knowledge of the river with each of you.

Spin fishers welcome! We love catching fish, so if the wind picks up and slows down the fly fishing, we have fishing jigs, spinners, and crankbaits on this river. We do only use single barbless hooks on our conventional gear to protect the resource.

 

Fishing Calendar

 

January-March

Fish can be caught, but we would much rather be ice fishing.

 

April-May

The start of our regular fishing season. We start seeing hatches of blue-wing olives, tiny olive stoneflies, Skwala stoneflies, and early caddis on the lower river. These months see us switching between dry fly, streamer, and nymph fishing. Late May brings runoff on normal years. The higher the Madison gets, the more the fish get congregated on the banks. It can be some of our higher fish catch counts of the year. A great time of year to beat the crowds and learn all three fishing styles.

 

June

Early June can be perfect for streamer and nymph fishing if the water is still high. The big attraction of June is the salmon fly hatch. If numbers of fish are your game, you can hammer fish on salmon fly nymphs, but we specialize in chasing fish on dries. Never expect to catch 70 fish a day on the Salmon fly dry,  though it can happen. Instead, we are looking for 10-15 bites, but every one of those fish can be 20+ inches. The best time of year to catch a trophy brown or rainbow on a dry fly, but patience and trust in your guide are key.

 

July

Pick a fly, any fly. All of our significant hatches can be present. As salmon flies taper out, they are followed by Golden stones, huge caddis hatches, Mayflies, nocturnal stones, flying ants, and hoppers. July is known for consistent dry flyfishing and early morning nymphing.

 

August

We love August! The Madison is a different river in that the best dry fly days in August are sunny, warm, days. Days like that bring grasshoppers and big trout to eat them. Most days, we start later to get the best period of hopper fishing. Ennis lake also fishes great this time of year, so we can fish the lake early, then go for a hopper float in the afternoon.

September-November

Early September can still provide great hopper fishing until it cools off. As fall weather sets in, we then switch to targeting large fish on streamers. Fall is great time to gear fish, since large fish are on the move and covering water is imperative.

December-March

Book an ice fishing trip!

Ennis Lake

One of our favorite places to fish as it's a unique and shallow lake.  Once the weather begins to warm in late June and early July, we start to see large hatches of tricos and calibaetis mayflies.  Nothing is more fun than sight stalking large rising Brown trout & Rainbow trout in shallow, clear water. We will work on your cast as a further presentation is required with these wary fish. We can put you on fish from the boat, but it's also fun to just jump out and wade the shallow water looking for risers. The lake also offers great conventional fishing when there is no hatch.  We fish an assortment of flies, jigs, spinners, and crankbaits.

The Madison River 

Ennis Lake
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