Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Madison River - Below Ennis Dam - Montana

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Morning and Late Afternoon 18-24 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
February Midges Morning and Late Afternoon 18-24 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
March Blue Winged Olives, Midges Midday 16-20 Blue Winged Olive, Zebra Midge
April Blue Winged Olives, Midges Midday 16-20 Blue Winged Olive, Zebra Midge
May Blue Winged Olives, Caddis Midday and Evening 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis, Blue Winged Olive
June Salmonflies, Green Drakes, Caddis All Day 8-14 Rogue Foam Stonefly, Green Drake Parachute
July Yellow Sallies, Caddis, Hoppers All Day 10-18 Yellow Sally, Elk Hair Caddis, Pink Pookie Hopper
August Hoppers, Ants, Beetles All Day 10-16 Pink Pookie Hopper, Foam Beetle, Hi-Vis Ant
September Hoppers, Ants, Beetles, Tricos All Day 10-22 Trico Parachute, Hi-Vis Ant, Foam Beetle, Pink Pookie Hopper
October Blue Winged Olives, Midges Midday 16-24 Blue Winged Olive, Zebra Midge
November Midges Morning and Late Afternoon 18-24 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
December Midges Morning and Late Afternoon 18-24 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Madison River, below Ennis Dam, is internationally recognized as a premier location for fly fishing. Some of the top spots include:
  • Valley Garden Fishing Access: Encompassing both the upper and lower river, this spot offers miles of spectacular fishing.
  • Eight Mile Ford Fishing Access: An exceptional locale for hatching insects, making it highly desirable for avid fly fishers.
  • Ennis Bridge Fishing Access: Close proximity to the town of Ennis, and ideal for catching brown trout.
  • Varney Bridge Fishing Access: With its slower moving water, it is particularly suited to beginners.
These locations each possess distinct appeal but largely, the best place for fly fishing on the Madison River would depend on your individual preference for surrounding topography, type of fish species, and level of fly fishing expertise.

Best Access Points

The Madison River features some unique fly-fishing spots filled with colorful trout. Below the Ennis Dam, there are several access points worth exploring:

  1. Valley Garden Fishing Access: Situated about 5 miles south of Ennis, it’s an ideal spot for beginners and experts alike.
  2. Ennis Fishing Access: Just below the Ennis Dam, this site offers diverse trout varieties.
  3. McAtee Bridge: Approximately 12 miles downstream from Ennis, notable for its wild brown trout.
  4. Varney Bridge: Provides abundant fishing opportunities especially during spring and fall.
  5. Eight Mile Ford Fishing Access: A popular spot located in the Madison Valley segment of the river.

Each of these access points has its unique features, providing diverse fly-fishing experiences. Above all, each caters to different skill levels – from novices to seasoned anglers.

Local Fish

  • Rainbow Trout: Renowned for their fight and size, Rainbow Trout are a favorite among many anglers.
  • Brown Trout: Crafty and elusive, these native fish make them a challenging catch.
  • Mountain Whitefish: Often ignored by fly fishers, Whitefish can be fun to catch and often abundant in the river.
  • Brook Trout: Although not as common in the Madison River, Brook Trout can be found and are a delight to catch.
  • Cutthroat Trout: A native species to the area, Cutthroat Trout can be rare but rewarding to catch.
  • Arctic Grayling: These unique and beautiful fish are a favorite for their delicate fight and beautiful coloration.
  • Yellowstone Cutthroat: A subspecies of Cutthroat, the Yellowstone Cutthroat is particularly prized by anglers.
  • Golden Trout: Known for their stunning coloration, Golden Trout can be a rare and exciting catch on the Madison River.

About The River

The Madison River, below the Ennis Dam, is a section of this renowned river in Montana with a rich influence on modern fly fishing. The Madison River has long been celebrated for its clear, cold waters and abundant Trout, ideal for fly fishing.

Historically, the river’s significance goes back to 1805, when it was discovered by Lewis and Clark. The river was named after James Madison, 4th US president.

Milestones in the Madison River’s History

  • In 1898, the Madison River was stocked with Trout.
  • In 1927, Ennis Dam was built for irrigation purposes, creating Ennis Lake and separating the Upper and Lower Madison.
  • In 1950’s, the area witnessed the growth of “catch-and-release” fishing philosophy.
  • In 2008, Madison River was declared a Blue Ribbon Trout fishery.

Today, the section below Ennis Dam provides some of the best fly fishing in the world, attracting anglers globally to experience its bountiful waters.


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