Ennis is the place to be, where the fish are hungry and the hatches are on. Why not plan a trip?
Spring is one of the best times to plan a fishing trip to Ennis. By late May the major rivers are blown out, and after that comes the summertime crowds, but if you hit the sweet spot (early-April through mid-May) you can be treated to some of the best fishing this town has to offer - and boy is it good! From baetis to blue winged olives, abundant hatches bring eager fish bursting to the surface. The famous Mother’s Day caddis offers some of the hottest dry fly fishing all year.
When it comes to fishing towns, Ennis is hard to beat. Surrounded by blue ribbon rivers and set in the majestic Madison River Valley, it’s impossible to run out of places to cast a line. Nearby waters such as the Madison, Big Hole and Gallatin Rivers are abundant with authentic fishing opportunities for every angler. Smaller streams, such as the Ruby River, offer more intimate experiences in the backbountry. It’s no wonder Ennis is considered by so many to be the fly fishing capital of the world!
As well known for its wranglers as its anglers, Ennis has succeeded in maintaining the look and feel of its original, gold town roots. Fly shops are numerous around Ennis, stocked by local experts ready to advise and assist, while guides offer complete fishing packages to help you experience Ennis in all it’s glory. Warm and hospitable, the area offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from simple campsites, rustic motels and gracious hotels, to full-service, luxury fishing lodges.
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Early spring might just be the best time to fish the lower Madison, depending on what you're looking for. There is far less competition than the summertime when visiting anglers flock for reknowned dry fly fishing and monster trout. If you hit the water during the months before the runoff (March, April, and May) you find nothing but wide open rivers and hungry fish coming off the cold winter.
Ruby is the perfect name for this river, because it is a largely hidden, sparkling gem. It's a great place for anglers who enjoy solitude and low fishing pressure. Secluded and set among a gorgeous backdrop of majestic mountainry, the Ruby offers backcountry Montana fishing experiences like no other. Spring is a good time for nymphs and midges that attract hungry browns.
Mid-April through Mid-May brings some great dry fly fishing on the Big Hole River. While the crowds are missing, the fish certainly are not, and the stonefly hatch brings out aggressive fish trying to break their winter fast. The Big Hole is one of the most popular rivers in Southwest Montana for fishing in the summer, so early spring is the time to come to beat the crowds.
Hitting the Jefferson river at the right time is about finding the window between when the ice begins to melt and before runoff begins. When you get it right, and the weather allows, this river lights up! Dry flies and streamers bring eager trout to your line and lead to aggressive strikes. The Jefferson is an excellent option for spring fly fishing in Montana.
The Gallatin is an ideal river for nymphing in early Spring. Long stretches of wade fishing access allow anglers to drop in and target deeper pockets where fish gather while temperatures are still warming up. Fish in the Gallatin are known for being indiscriminate eaters, so any nymph you're comfortable with will do. Always come with a few dry flies ready for the right conditions.