Ennis, Montana

photo by Perry Cragg
This is Fan Mtn. at sunrise just east of Ennis. The “Sleeping Indian” rests on his back, chin up to the sky.
The old bridge across the Madison R.
Nice one Morgan!

Guided Madison River Float Trips…Walk and Wade Trips…Full Day, Half Day…Lunch, Flies, Rods, Reels, Casting Instruction…

Getting to Ennis is easy…if you have a camel or a dogsled anyone can do it. Fly or drive to Bozeman, MT, rent a Sherpa and you’re there in no time. The Madison River flows right through Main St. so even a caveman can find it. I live here….right in town. You could call me a “townie.” You’re a stranger till you’ve lived here 20 years and I’ve been here since 1979. I actually fished here before that but I snuck in without a passport. Ennis has three bars on Main St. They are right next to each other so if you get thrown out of one just stumble down a few feet to the next one. Somebody will always serve you. 

In town you will see cowboys, yuppies, rock stars, hillbillies, trust-funders, bums, knuckleheads and fly fishers…take your pick. Just about EVERYBODY has a Suburban and a drift boat. Years ago we used to have fly casting contests in the parking lot at the grocery store at two in the morning after the Long Branch Saloon threw us out. Not anymore…the grocery store shut down and no one can stay awake that late.


We have great restaurants…anything you want… gourmet cuisine, medium rare burgers, cheap beer, expensive wine, lattes, strawberry pie, ham and eggs…but no room service and no valet parking.    Ennis has TWO banks; a big one and a REALLY BIG one, so if you need money they have plenty of it.


We have a HUGE new grocery store with a really cool owner who throws a party for all the fishing guides every summer. The guides all stand around swigging down free beer while they tell each other stories…”how big, how long, how many”?


If you get tired of fishing or shopping you can always drive 70 miles to Yellowstone Park and join *two million other tourists all taking pictures of the same buffalo, moose or elk.   Or you can drive 14 miles the other way to Virginia City to watch people walk up and down the street looking for Wyatt Earp or Wild Bill Hickok.  

*four million

Main St. Virginia City, Mt.
Madison River ice gorge in Ennis…old bridge and new bridge.

All in all, Ennis is the best place I know to spend the summer. Stay away in the winter though, unless you have an igloo.




There is a lot to do in Ennis besides trying to fool the trout. We have a golf course; Madison Meadows. It’s only a nine holer but where else can you play golf and kill rattlesnakes at the same time? 


We’ve got great hiking in the hills, but watch out for bears. They prefer Californians but a couple of guys from Oregon got jumped last summer. 


Some people ride bikes around town. If you get here and need a bike, just go out to the County landfill and pick one up. Tell the manager I sent you, he’s a friend of mine and he has a wide selection.

We have an authentic Western rodeo every Fourth of July with a parade down Main Street. The parade used to go down to the end of the street, turn around and come back so you could see it twice. These days, the parade only goes down the street one time…the road apples got so thick the millennials from Bozeman got grossed out and complained because their yoga pants got a stench.

Ennis 4th of July parade.

Ennis has everything you need. We catch a lot of trout and we let them all go. How good is that? Contact me for details. It’s a beautiful thing.  


email me: rbdowntown@3rivers.net



Local Links:

Ennis Area Lodging

The Rainbow Valley Lodge

The El Western Cabins and Lodge

The Sportsmans Lodge

Fan Mountain Inn

Silvertip Lodge

Riverside Motel

Ennis area fly shops

O’Dell Creek Fly Shop

Madison River Fishing Company

The Tackle Shop

Beartooth Fly Fishing

 The Madisonian…all the local news you need