Ennis Fishing Access Site

1 May - 30 November
77 acres
4,938 ft
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Madison River Fishing Report

Nearest Town:
Boat Services:
Picnic Site:
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Sanitation & Water:
Drinking Water, Toilet
Restrictions & Closures
Fire Restriction:
Stage I Fire Restrictions
Weapons Discharge Prohibited:
Discharge of weapons restricted.
Stay Limit:
7 days
Vehicle Length:
25 ft
Fishing Water Reports
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.
On the Water Fishing Reports
Started Here Reports
Thu, 10 Mar, 2016
Ice is receding and the fly tiers are once again becoming fishermen. Temps are supposed to reach in to the 60s this week giving the food chain another bump and waking up the fish. ... moreMost put ins and takeouts are open and the ice has cleared off most sections of most rivers.

Big Changes on the Madison this year the whole river is staying open all year. This makes options limitless. Wade fishing up river between Hebgan reservoir and Quake lake has been good as the rainbows are coming up to spawn and rainbow populations in this area have soared. The wade section between slide inn and Lyons bridge has also been good. Water is still cold so look for the time of day with the slightly warmer water temps usually 1:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon.

A few boats have been putting in up high at Lyons bridge. My buddy Charlie floated Lyons to ruby creek the other day and had good fishing on Girdle bugs for the second half “Morning was cold, fishing was weak” Most of the angler action has been going on below Varny bridge with the colder water temps it is more effective to find some slower water and get out and pound with nymphs on the bottom. Vary has a lot of good get out and wade water. Fishing could get really good down below town at Valley Garden. This is the first time it has been open this time of year. I don’t know anybody that has fished there yet this year but it could be good considering that it is right above the lake and the rainbow are in the mood to move up river.

The ice is off the lake but he waters on the south end is very shallow very difficult to navigate I tried to take a drift boat out to the main channel the other day and failed there wasn’t enough water to float an empty drift boat. Anybody thinking of floating down the river into the lake could be in for a big surprise when they get there. We did find some fish at the north end in the deeper water as usual a little black beggar pulled gently of the ice was the trick for us.

The Bear Trap Canyon has probably been fishing about the best. Warmer water temperatures have the midges and fish moving. Again, later in the afternoon, between the dam and power house. The fish are a little more aggressive down here so you can twitch a streamer and there are a few blue wing olives starting to show up opening the door to a little spring dry fly-fishing.

The stretch from Warm Springs down to Blacks Ford has been fishing well, with lots of drift boats, but good fishing on a brown buggar and a san juan worm. Get in early and stay ahead of the pack get out and wade the slow water.
Mon, 15 Feb, 2016
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 ... morelake. 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!
Ended Here Reports
Fri, 5 May, 2017
Fishing Water Report:
End Access Site:
The float section of the Madison starts at Lyons bridge and ends at the Ennis bridge. Fishing has been up and down all spring depending mostly on the weather. Get an overcast calm ... moreday with temps at least into the high 40s fishing seems to pretty good. Clear cold and windy, stay home and tie flies. The main show in the float section is still streamers stripped hard off the bank. Black seems to be the most productive for me. Fishing seems to start around noon peaking about 2:00 then dying of around 4:00 or 5:00. Warmest part of the day. Crowds aren't here yet it's nice and lonely out there
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