Melting Ice made a good day of fishing on the Madison River near Ennis Lake

Date
Monday, 15 Feb, 2016
Water Clarity
Clear
Angler Traffic
Low
Fish Caught
4-8 fish
Report
The warm winds are a coming, ice is melting back, time to let the mind wander from knee deep powder to knee deep water.  A long piece of water has opened up, on the west side of Ennis lake.  Some fresh water seeps coming up are keeping the ice at bay, and the food chain is slowly coming to life. Went down yesterday with Shawn and my wife and were pleasantly surprised.  We were casting a small grizzly buggar out on the ice twitching it off, letting it fall to the bottom then stripping it in super slow.  Water is cold in both the lake and river; fish aren’t in the mood to do anything fast.  Patience is the key. Let them take a good long look at I it.  Shawn and Anni each had a couple of fish before I “got with the program” Once I got the right combination fly and technique I caught up in a hurry, One beautiful 21 in rainbow. 

It's game on out there.  Ice is coming off everywhere and the fishermen are emerging from their winter slumber.  On the way to Bozeman saw 4 or 5 drift boats on the lower Madison one boat had a fish on.  The 2016 fishing season has begun. Heading up river tomorrow to see if the fish are awake, higher up.  Tight lines everyone!
 
Start Time:
1:00 PM
End Time:
3:00 PM
Flies
Streamers
Name
Size
Grizzly Buggers
6
8
Fishing Water Report
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.
Game Fish Opportunities:
 (5)
The Madison River is arguably one of the best trout fishing rivers in all of southwest Montana, if not the entire world! It’s certainly the most talked over, written up and frequented ... morein the state of Montana – which is considered by some the capital of fly fishing. Anglers will find plenty of great access sites to wade or float along the Madison’s banks and reservoirs (including Hebgen Lake and Ennis Lake). Rainbows, browns, cutthroats, and more abound in this majestic fishing stream.

The Madison begins its course almost twenty miles into Yellowstone National Park. Within the Park, fishing rules apply: no live bait and 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 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 Hebgen Dam 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 maintains relatively low water levels and provides 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.
Reporting Outfitter
 (1)
Welcome to Southwest Montana's finest fly fishing adventures. Blue ribbon trout water is literally steps away when you visit us in the picturesque town of Ennis, Montana. You may spend ... morethe day on our home river, the world famous Madison or drive to one of our other local rivers such as the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby or the Jefferson. Whether you are a new angler or an old pro we have the expertise and patience to make your time on the water chasing wild trout a success.
Reported Trip
 (1)
  • Full-day of professionally guided fly fishing for up to two anglers
With over 55 combined years of experience fishing Ennis Lake and Madison River, we have the deep knowledge needed to guide you to the monsters. Located in Ennis, Montana, one of the ... moretop fly fishing towns in the world, Red Mountain Adventures is conveniently located to help you with your fishing experience.

We'll take you to the land of giant trout that cruise Ennis Lake. Cast to rising trout or bring them in by stripping small lake buggers is a lot of fun. A day on Ennis lake is a special experience to enjoy the views and tangle with fincky monster trout.
Fishing Waters:
Destination:
 (1)
  • Full-day of professionally guided fly fishing for up to two anglers
  • Lunch, drinks, and snacks
  • Flies and other needed gear
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 ... moretop 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.
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