With over 55 combined years of experience fishing the Madison River, we have the deep knowledge needed to guide you down this Blue Ribbon River. Located in Ennis, Montana, one of the top fly fishing towns in the world, Red Mountain Adventures is conveniently located to help you with your fishing experience.
Our guided float trips on the Madison River are perfect for:
- First time anglers who come here first to get easy, effective, and mindful instruction on fly fishing
- Novices to experts who gain from our deep knowledge and instruction on the Madison River
- Anglers with particular needs including stalking monsters, increasing the score card, or "dries only"
Book with us today and enjoy the best in Montana fly fishing.
- Full-day of professionally guided fly fishing for up to two anglers
- Lunch, drinks, and snacks
- Flies and other needed gear
What is Included:
Drinks & Snacks
1 - 2 anglers
|Daily, until May 31, 2017||1 day|
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.
A uniquely western mix of quaint and kitsch, West Yellowstone is a gateway to one of three, Montana based, national park entrances. While tourist shops and nature attractions threaten ... moreto distort the town’s true character, serious fly fishers should not be put off. In 2009, Forbes Magazine rated West Yellowstone as one of the top ten fly fishing destinations in America, describing it as the trout epicenter of the world. If that weren’t enough, in 2010, Forbes went on to list Firehole Ranch, located on Hebgen Lake, as the 5th best fly fishing destination in the world, one of only two cited in the US.
Epicenter is in fact an accurate way to describe this town. Top rated trout streams surround West Yellowstone such as the Madison, Gallatin, Yellowstone and Henry’s Fork of the Snake. The Upper Madison, Gibbons and Firehole Rivers are a stone’s throw away. For those partial to float and deep-water fishing, Hebgen Lake, Earthquake Lake, Henry’s Lake and Island Park Reservoir provide a large roster of fishing options. Heartier souls can go ice fishing during winter months while for those inclined to participate, the region hosts several, competitive, ice fishing tournaments.
Lodging choices are abundant, ranging from rustic campsites to absolute luxury. Year round sports opportunities are available including horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
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.
Calibates hatch still going strong on ennis lake. Good numbers of fish still working on the surface , but are getting smarter. Last week a size 16 pheasant tail couldn't miss. Now ... morenot so much. Actually did better on a size 18 blond parachute Adams. On the surface. Seems like less people lately. Thoughts are turning to shotguns and bows. The hatch usually starts around 9:00 or 9:30. Bugs peak around. 12:00. Then the wind usually comes up by 2:00 and shuts the whole thing down. Upcoming cold weather could Change thing s mayflies don't like cold weather. We will see.
Wednesday, 31 Aug, 2016
Run off is over. It’s game on for the Upper Madison. Recent rains created a slight bump in water levels but they are on their way down again. We fished mostly streamers with a little ... moregreen bead on the end. Most of the action was on the big streamer. We didn't catch high numbers but quality was way up there. A 20-inch brown and a handful of rainbows around 18”. Some caddis showed up later in the day but I think we were gone before the dry show started. Had some friends out last night said they had pretty good caddis fishing fight before dark. Waiting patiently for Salmon flies. Its our turn next. It’s about over on the Big Hole which means were close here. Tight lines. Eric Shores
Thursday, 16 Jun, 2016
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
Fished yesterday from pallasades to Macatee Bridge water clarity about 12 to 18 inches. Hooked fifteen fish landed 10. Not exactly a dry fly day. Water bumped up about 200 while we ... morewere on it but fish didn’t seem to mind. The MVPs were big and black right on the bank fished both big black salmonfly nymphs and some large black wooly buggers. Had a red worm as a trailer and in both cases the fish wanted the big meat. Saw a couple of fish on the worm but most of the action was on big and black. The color is coming mostly from the west fork of the madison , but we drove up above quake lake and both beaver creek and Cabin creek are running color but it is about the same color as the Madison so things should stay stable for the foreseeable future. The water color is off (more green than brown)but it is definitely fishable if you're brave enough to face the spring weather.
Monday, 16 May, 2016
Like Everything else in the area, good snow pack and good spring rains have waters on the rise, but water clarity is still good enough to fish dries. We have been fishing crawdad patterns ... morewith a small pink scud or a worm on behind it. Fish seem more interested in the small stuff. It has been a little on the cold side but here are still a few caddis coming out in the evening, but are hard to fish blind, need to find rising fish, which can be done look for the dead water next to the bank and check out any foam homes you can find. There are not a lot of salmon flies on the lower but there are some and they are starting to get active big, heavy and black should start working down there soon. The was a lot of angler traffic last week but recent cold rainy weather has pretty much sent most people home. Fishing gets solid B, B+ if you figure in the low angling pressure. The lower madison is dam controlled so water levels do not change as radically as on other rivers. This makes it a more predictable option in these times of spiking and receding water levels. If you want to catch a fish on a dry this is still probably the place to do it.
Monday, 16 May, 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.