Experience the Madison River Like Never Before
Learn the best spots on the Madison River with 5 great fishing days with Red Mountain Adventures. Eric Shores, with over 35 years of experiencing guiding on the Madison River will take you down a journey of the best places to fish.
The journey starts on the Upper Madison River on a guided float trip covering about 8-11 miles of premier fly fishing water. The following day includes a recipe (location flies, and technique) on a do it yourself wade location near the fly fishing town of Ennis. The third day moves you on to where the Madison River dumps into Ennis Lake for a full float day stalking the giants. The following day provides instructions again for a do it yourself wade day. Location will depend on the hot locations during your visit. The final day is another full day float day on the lower Madison River. All together, you will experience the Madison River like never before by true expert.
Note: The order or location may change based on where the best spots are at the time.
- 3 days with a guided expert
- 2 days of perfect wade fishing recipes
- Expert instruction to take you to the next level
- Lunch, drinks, and flies during your guided trips
What is Included:
Drinks & Snacks
Rod & Reel
1 - 2 anglers
3 - 3 anglers
Ennis Lake is a medium sized reservoir that separates the Upper and Lower Madison Rivers. A day trip on Ennis Lake is a great option when planning a Montana fly fishing trip. The lake ... moreis located just minutes from the town of Ennis and is also a short drive for anglers fishing around Bozeman.
Ennis lake is a very shallow impoundment with most of the lake less than 8 feet deep. The inlet where the Channels of the Madison drain into the lake provide shallow flats with weedbeds that harbor outstanding trout habitat. These shallow flats also allow for wade fishing. We use drift boats to access the upper half of the lake during prime hatches that take place on the lake in the late summer. The majority of the fishing on Ennis lake is sight fishing to large cruising browns and rainbows. We either fish directly from the drift boat or get out and wade on some of the flats. Occasionally we split a day with the morning spent casting to rising trout on Ennis lake and the afternoon spent fly fishing the Madison River.
Fishing is good early in the season when the ice first melts but the fish are deeper and blind fishing around drops and structure is most productive. As the summer progresses callibaetis and tricorythode mayflies become the dominant food source for the trout. Intense hatches occur daily in the late summer producing a daily feeding frenzy that every fly fisherman should experience. Trout feeding during these famous hatches have been labeled "gulpers" after the frequent sucking noise they make as they swim around with open mouths while inhaling the hatching mayflies.
If fly wranglers were gossips, the “Blue Ribbon” Madison River would likely be their primary object of attention. Arguably it’s the most talked over, written up and frequented river ... morein the entire state of Montana – and that’s saying something. What’s more, no one has anything bad to say about it and that’s for a good reason. There’s nothing bad to say. Its scenic journey begins in Yellowstone National Park at the convergence of the Gibbon and Firehole rivers and continues for 19 miles through parkland. Within the Park, fishing rules apply: no live bait and sorry to disappoint, but it’s catch and release only. Once outside the Park the river meanders past working ranches, stately conifer forests and cottonwood lined banks, interrupted by riffles and quiet runs that contain large rainbow and trophy brown trout. Flowing alongside Yellowstone’s West entrance road, the river enters the Hebgen Lake, created by Hebgen dam, until it reaches Quake Lake, a bit downstream from the dam. At this point the river is commonly called either the Upper Madison or the Lower Madison, although in fact, they are one and the same.
Upper Madison – Quake Lake to Ennis Lake
Directly below Quake Lake the river roars into 5 long miles of Class V whitewater with steep gradients and large boulders along the way. As the rapids decline, the magic begins. For the next 53 miles, often referred to as the 50 Mile Riffle, the cold river runs north and the fish jump high. Annual runs of spawning trout make their way from Hebgen Lake, rainbows in the spring and browns in the fall. Known the world over for its “hard fighting” trout, it’s not unusual to pull a 25” brown from these upper waters. In deference to the purists and fly-fishing enthusiasts, it’s wading only from Quake Lake to Lyons Bridge. Boats may be used to access the river, but if you’re going to fish, your feet must be on the riverbed. Fortunately, the Hegman releases water throughout the year, leveling its flows and relieving it of spring runoff issues and summer shrinkage.
Lower Madison – Ennis Lakes to Three Forks
A short section of the river between Ennis Dam and the power station maintain relatively low water levels and provide wonderful opportunities for wading. Past the power station the river regains its muscle and for 7 miles winds through Bear Trap Canyon. Hiking trails offer the only entry, great for those that like to walk and seek the solitude of a designated wilderness area. Floating is permitted but requires a lengthy shuttle and the ability to work through Class III-IV whitewater. Once out of the canyon the river flows in shallow riffles until it reaches Three Forks and joins the Missouri. From Warm Springs to Greycliff, the river is easily accessible for drifters and wading.
This is a small town with a big heart, a veritable fisherman’s paradise. Located near the fish-filled Madison River, and surrounded by the waters of Ennis Lake, the Ruby River, Hebgen ... moreLake, Quake Lake, Henry’s Lake, the Big Hole River and scores of smaller streams, the town boasts what many consider the best trout fishing in 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. Warm and hospitable, the area offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from simple campsites, rustic motels and gracious hotels, to full-service, luxury resorts. Fly shops are numerous, stocked by local experts ready to advise and assist, while guides can be booked for trips throughout the area.
Boredom is the only thing unavailable in Ennis. Throughout the summer season the city hosts a series of events, including its renowned 4th of July Celebration Parade and a genuine, old-fashioned rodeo. In August, fly-fishing luminaries from around the US, flock to Montana to compete in the Madison Fly Fishing Festival. Athletes also find their way to Ennis to compete in the city’s Madison Trifecta, two shorter races followed by a full Marathon at 9000 feet, the highest elevation run in America. For the true sportsman, October falls in with the annual Hunter’s Feed. What’s caught, typically elk, moose deer, pheasant and bobcat, gets cooked on the streets and served up to hungry spectators.
Flanked by three grand mountain ranges, The Tobacco Root, Gravelly and Madison, Ennis is scenic and entertaining – truly an authentic, fly fisher’s haven.
Fishing on the Madison River picked up last week as the water levels continued to fall. Water clarity has been good. The water coming out of Quake lake is a nice steelhead green. We ... morehave been seeing some big chocolate caddis, but not a whole lot has been happening on the surface. Two days ago we fished Ruby to Varney. Fishing was spotty but the fish quality was way up there. We got a 23” rainbow, four browns 18" to 20", and a smattering of 12" to 14". Admittedly we did go almost 3 hours without a strike.
That was a little hard to take, but when they finally started we had a really good two hours. Recent wave of hot weather has the immediate future in question. As a group we are undecided whether this 80-degree weather is going to blow the whole system out again? As of now water levels are starting to creep up again. Fished yesterday from Lyons bridge to Ruby Creek. The west fork has started showing color again so half the river was green half was greenish brown. Actually caught more fish in the dark side than the clear side, but in general fishing was not great. Good size but low numbers. We only got seven fish for a 9-mile float, one really nice 20 inch Brown and we went through every fly in the book. Madison river fish don't like rising water levels. I think we have one more bump which should last about a week then we should be in for a steady decline and some really good fishing Tight lines e
Tuesday, 7 Jun, 2016
- Cancellations made 14 days before will be fully refunded.
- Cancellations made 7 days before will be refunded 50% of the amount paid.
- Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.