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Madison River 2011 – Ennis, Montana

August 6th-13th, 2011
Again, the annual Montana Fly Fishing trip.
We set up a float trip on the Madison River with Joe Dilschneider of Montana Trout Stalkers & guides Jim Morrison & Chris Knott. They are the best guides & always make it a very productive day on the water even when other boats are having a rough go of it. Try to set up your Madison float with Joe and his folks early in your trip to pick up on any tips that can be useful on your own.

Day 1: Saturday – Drove non-stop to Ennis, Montana and checked in to our favorite place – the El Western, again.
Day 2: Sunday – After changing a flat tire on the truck, we fished The Madison River at Valley Garden. Great water this year with nice pools in the channels and inlets. Caught & released unharmed several small rainbow trout & a couple medium browns. Best bet was the Caddis. Also trailed an ant & lightning bugs behind stoneflys, girddle bugs & whooly buggers with some success.
Day 3: Monday – Floated a full day on the Madison with Montana Trout Stalkers & Joe. Dropped in 3 boats at Storey Ditch and pulled out near Burnt Tree. It wasn’t the greatest day for big fish, but still quite productive right up to the last cast. A couple guys in the group caught a few 22-24″ fatties. Spent most of the day trailing nymphs and lightning bugs behind stoneflys. We even tried double bunnies, zonkers & streamers without much luck.
Day 4: Tuesday – Day started a bit slow, so we just fished Ennis Lake & Bear Trap Canyon.
Day 5: Wednesday – Fished the Upper Ruby River. Read more about fly fishing the Ruby River here.
Day 6: Thursday – Midday we hiked & fished a small alpine lake off North Meadow Creek Road. Beautiful area, but don’t waste your time if your looking for fish. I think the whole place was nothing but a feeder and watering hole for cattle. After dinner at the Taqueria Las Palmitas we headed to the the trout farm, Bear Trap Canyon. Nice evening with plenty of action. Caught 2 rainbow & 1 brown on Elk Hair Caddis & a Prince Nymph trailing a brown Stonefly bug.
Day 7: Friday – Checked out of El Western & headed to Yellowstone Park. We stopped on the way to let the kids play in Quake Lake. The 83deg weather and breeze would have been great if it weren’t for the massive infestation of horse flies. We toughed it out for a hour or so before driving to West Yellowstone for some supplies to fish the Yellowstone River. First stop was my favorite place to buy fishing stuff in West Yellowstone, Madison River Outfitters. Second stop was the famous Bud Lilly’s Fly Shop. I buy flies at Bud Lilly’s because they are always helpful & the fly fishing report whiteboard always seems to be accurate and up to date. After getting the required Yellowstone National Park Fishing Permit ($15 for 3-day) and flies we headed to Old Faithful.

Day 8: SaturdayYellowstone Park, Firehole River, & the Madison River. Read more about fly fishing the Firelhole River, the Madison & Yellowstone..
Day 9: Sunday – Head west…home.

-gone fly fishing,


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