Planning,    Lodging, Meals, and Fun

Where to Eat in Ennis Montana

By Eric Shores 1/20/2016 5 minutes

Ennis is known for its fly fishing and majestic Montana scenery. It also boasts a wonderful atmosphere, making it a prime spot for vacations. For those of us who call it home, it's also a great place to catch a bite to eat. If you're looking for things to do in Montana, and you decide it's about time to tap into the local flavor, here's where you should go to find the tastiest food. 

The Gravel Bar and Banditos is usually my first choice for dining. Good crowd of fishing people, cold beer, and lots of choices. You can bellie up to the bar for a great burger and a cold beer, or head back to Banditos and enjoy some delicious Southwest cuisine with a good wine list.

Menu | 305 E Main St, Ennis, MT 59729

Alley Bistro 
On the south end of town, we have the Alley Bistro. Good food for a good price, good wine lists, and some local brews on tap. 

Info |59 MT-287, Ennis, MT 59729 

Read More Top Fly Fishing Bars Near Ennis Montana

Continental Divide
At the other end of town, we have the Continental Divide. It is our local 4-star restaurant. Great place to eat really good food and drink really good wine.  Owner and chief Eric trap is not only an excellent chef but also a devoted fly fisherman. So at some point you will probably get hit up for a fishing report.

Info |47 Geyser St, Ennis, MT 59729 

McAllister Inn 
After two years of remodeling, the  McAllister Inn in McAllister (10 miles north of Ennis) is open again.  Great restaurant and nice bar, beautifully redone.  Owner Kevin Kreig is half rancher and half resturanture  He raises his own beef for his restaurant - Scottish Highlanders aged to perfection. The McAllister Inn is truly a carnivore’s delight.

Info | 5566 US-287, Ennis, MT 59729

Sportsman’s Lodge
 Good dinner, great breakfast. Nice and quiet. Also a good place to get a cabin for a few days.

Info | 310 US-287, Ennis, MT 59729

Grizzly Bar
35 miles south (up river) from Ennis. Close to some great wade fishing below Quake lake. This is an awesome place for après fish on the upper Madison river. You can get anything from a burger to a sizzling T bone.

Info | 1409 US-287, Cameron, MT 59720

Campfire Lodge
45 miles south of Ennis, this rustic breakfast nook overlooks the Madison just downstream of the Hebgan dam.  There's nothing better than Sunday morning breakfast followed by a little nymph fishing in the afternoon. Really pretty place to hang out.

Website155 Campfire Ln, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

No matter where you choose to eat, the Madison Valley has lots of good food and a variety of choices. Tell us about your favorite places near Ennis to grab a bite to eat!

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 Waters
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.
/ Boat
1 - 2 anglers
7 hours
Fishing Waters:
A full day trip on Ennis Lake near The Madison River and Ennis Montana. This trip meets in Ennis, Montana. The guide will meet you in Ennis and provide transportation for the short ... more10 minute drive to Ennis Lake. At the boat ramp guides will provide instruction on the days fishing tecniques and launch a drift boat or motor boat on the lake. This trip is not ideal for first time anglers but can offer really fun casting to rising trout for those with some casting experience. The guide will provide all the flies and tackle that you need for the day. All you really need to bring is a Montana Fishing license, appropriate clothing and sunglasses for eye protection. The fishing typically involves targeting rising rising trout with dry flies and dry droppers but fishing weed lines and flats with small lake streamers is effective as well. July and August are the prime months for targeting rising fish during big morning hatches. The fishing is usually done from the boat but wade fishing the flats is an effective technique as well. Wearing waders optional but recomended. At mid day you will take a break and enjoy lunch provided by your guide. The fishing on Ennis lake is typically stalking and delicatly casting flies to rainbow and brown trout. Ennis Lake typically will fish well from May through August. Late June through early August are considered the peak season. Trout typically range from 15-20 inches with fish over 20 inches possible. Fish in the 16-20 inch range are normal and the bigger fish of the day typically range from 19-21 inches. Ennis Lake is a great day trip to add some dry fly fishing to a Madison River or Ennis Montana fishing trip.
/ Boat
1 - 2 anglers
2 days - 3 days
This is our 2-3 day, personalized introduction to fly fishing. You will learn knots, fly selection, how to find where the fish are and soooo much more. Our guides have been fishing ... moreall of their lives, they know what they're doing and are excited to share that knowledge with you! We offer this on the water, individualized, class in two and three day sessions. Besides another great day of fishing in Montana, booking the three day intro will give you a chance to: ask more questions as you learn more and start knowing what questions to ask, see more of a variety of water and better learn to adjust your fishing to different situations, get a better understanding of bug life (entemology) and what part that plays in your fishing plans, as well as more intricate fishing knowledge from one of our professional and experienced guides. The rivers you learn this wonderful sport will be determined by the guide and where he/she thinks you will be most successful. However, if there is a certain river (i.e the Madison) you would like to spend some time on, let us know and we are happy to accommodate.
/ Boat
1 - 2 anglers
3 days
Experience the Madison River Like Never Before Learn the best spots on the Madison River with 3 great fishing days with Red Mountain Adventures. Eric Shores, with over 35 years of ... moreexperiencing 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.

Note: The order or location may change based on where the best spots are at the time.
What do you think of when you hear "Montana?" Small towns? Cowboys? Cows? BIG TROUT?! The answer is D, "All of the above"! Montana is still the place it was 80 years ago, where a man's ... morehandshake means something and big trout thrive. Located in the "Trout Mecca" of Southwestern Montana, our location and our guide's experience allow us to guide on a number of world class rivers; the Madison, Jefferson, Ruby and Yellowstone rivers are arguably the best trout streams in the lower 48.

Whether you have never held a fishing pole in your life or if you've been fishing since you could walk, the versatile, select guides we employee at MFFT all live on, and spend all they're free time on, these select rivers. They know how satisfy ALL of our clients, from novice to pro.

But Montana is so much more than just a trout haven. With picturesque mountains, abundant wildlife and under a million people, you actually have to try to not enjoy our beautiful state. As longtime client and friend Don Patton once wrote me after a trip, "fish count is only one criteria, there are many more markers for success. We hit them all." Here at MFFT we strive to give our clients much more than just a fishing trip, we want to share our passion for fishing and our love of Montana with all of our guests and new friends.

Charles P. Graham

Owner-Montana Fly Fishing Trips

Montana Fishing Outfitter#10349


Eric Shores

Eric Shores has been guiding clients on Montana Rivers for over 32 years. He's as wily as any old brown trout when it comes to getting his clients on to fish and his stories will entertain you along the way. Many of our clients have become life long friends after a memorable day on the water with Eric.


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