The backyard of the Madison Valley Ranch is a fly fisherman’s playground. Spectacular Big Sky Country views inspire any guest and the daily wildlife viewing is reminscent of the West as seen by Lewis and Clark. You can escape from the hectic pace of everyday life and indulge in a luxury adventure where all the details are someone else’s worries. With the details handled by the ranch's attentive team, you can focus on what truly matters. With friends, family or colleagues, enjoy a memorable time together while immersed in the much-revered culture of Montana fly fishing and the thrill of “fish on.” The Madison Valley Ranch is located on the banks of the “Channels” section of the world-famous Madison River, three miles outside the quintessential fly fishing town of Ennis. Centrally located in the heart of Southwestern Montana, the Ranch provides excellent access to a variety of blue ribbon wild trout fisheries. The Ranch is among the nicest and best-run operations in all of Montana, with beautiful rooms, great amenities, and a kitchen staff that takes pride in serving gourmet meals. For a completely Western-style family vacation, the ranch offers non-angling activities, including horseback riding, touring Yellowstone National Park, hunting, hiking and sightseeing.
LOCATION: Ennis, Montana
SEASON: April 15 to October 31
CAPACITY: Maximum of 20 fishing guests per week
CLOSEST MAJOR AIR HUB: Bozeman, Montana (BZN)
TARGET SPECIES: Rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Montana fishing license and valid I.D.
CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO 888-777-5060 INTL 01-1-406-585-8667 info [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com
The Ranch offers all the modern conveniences with a comfortable cowboy touch. Various gathering areas - from the great room to game rooms to broad porches - provide a relaxing environment to catch up with friends, check emails using Wi-Fi or the house computer, watch HD satellite TV, or even schedule a corporate meeting using the fully-equipped conference space. Enjoy the hot tub as a relaxing way to marvel at the outrageously clear Big Sky. Combine all this with your well-appointed guest rooms and you’ll be rejuvenated for the next day's great adventure!
All rooms at the Ranch have their own outside entrance, a covered front porch, private bathrooms and very comfortable double and queen-sized beds. Outside, each room’s front porch offers a countryside view of the surrounding mountain ranges, the ever-changing Montana sky, and wildlife in the fields.
Main Lodge Rooms
Connected to the Main Lodge, these four rooms each have private entrances, bathrooms, and porches. The bed configurations range from rooms with a queen and double bed, to a queen and a single bed. North side rooms are treated with views of the pond and Tobacco Root Mountain range. South side rooms look down the valley towards the Shinning Mountains and wildlife rich fields.
Duplex Suites and Channels Lodge Lower Deck Rooms
The Duplex Suites are in a separate cabin. In addition to having private entrances, bathrooms, and porches, each suite has a back bedroom and a front sitting room with a wet bar and table for lounging, organizing flies, or just spreading out your gear. In the back room there is a queen and a double bed. In the front room, two couches can transform into twin beds – great for kids! These suites are significantly larger (50% more than the Main Lodge rooms). It’s also a treat to be the shortest distance to the Ranch’s outdoor hot tub or the Pond.
The Channels Lodge Lower Deck Rooms
These rooms were completed in 2007 and have more square footage than the main lodge rooms, in addition to having private entrances, bathrooms and porches. These rooms each have two queen beds. The Channels Lodge lower deck rooms face to the west, towards the Madison River and offer additional privacy and superb wildlife viewing. One of the rooms offers a handicap accessible bathroom.
Upper Deck Channels Lodge Rooms
Treat yourself to spectacular views of the "Channels" section of the Madison River, Ennis Lake, and the surrounding mountain ranges. Designed by the owners to maximize the views, and to be luxuriously comfortable during an extended stay, these spacious rooms are available on a limited basis. Each room has two queen beds. The Upper Deck rooms give a perspective you won’t want to miss!
Food and Beverages
The food at the ranch is memorable and the perfect complement to your adventure. Orvis’ Guide to Great Sporting Lodge Cuisine says it best: “After a day spent in the outdoors, the chance to come back to a meal from world-class chef Scott Warren is a fitting end to the day. Using the finest local ingredients as well as imported mainstays, Scott sets a table that ranks at the top of the lodge cuisine anywhere in the world.” Combine this with an awesome buffet breakfast, streamside lunches, appetizers and complimentary beer and wine and you will leave the dinning room satisfied and happy every time!
Typical Length of Stay
A standard package is five (5) nights / four (4) days, although trips of any length can be arranged.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
We are happy to assist you or your family in the organization of non-angling activities during your stay. Remember that we can customize your package! If you want to fish less and sightsee more, let us know. We can create an adventure package for you. Whether it’s horseback riding, taking a scenic float, touring Yellowstone National Park (the Ranch is only 72 miles from the West entrance and is an awesome day trip for guests), hunting, hiking, or exploring, give us a call to discuss your needs and desires.
Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi is available free of charge and most cell phones work in Montana. Be sure to check with your service provider prior to your trip regarding specific coverage in the area.
Daily float or wade trips with experienced, professional guides can easily keep experts challenged, while at the same time providing guidance, enthusiasm and patience to novices and intermediate anglers as well. With their backgrounds in teaching, instruction and wildlife biology, you’ll enjoy long days fishing for wild trout just as much as you'll enjoy talking and spending time with your guide on the water each day. And, don’t be surprised to find yourself reluctantly putting your rod down to take in all there is to see on their area rivers: snow-peaked mountains, ever changing flow of the river, and the abundant wildlife.
This tributary runs through the Madison Valley Ranch property and is a great little dry fly stream. Expect a lot of brown trout action.
The “Channels” section of the Madison River
An amazing piece of water that flows behind the Ranch. This area is wade fishing only with limited access and has a variety of water to fish. The “Channels” section is a great dry fly fishery with an abundance of caddis hatches throughout the summer. Guests particularly enjoy fishing this section in the evening, although it can also be a great way to warm up your fly fishing muscles on arrival or departure days.
The Madison Valley Ranch Private Pond
This well-stocked two-acre pond is a great place to practice and hone your casting skills. Loaded with big Kamloops rainbows, you can either fish the pond from the bank or use one of the float tubes provided by the Ranch.
Probably the most recognized trout stream in the world, the Madison River offers over 100 miles of fishable water. Legendary for its salmon fly hatch and great hopper fishing during the summer months, this is a great river to experience float and wade combos on the famous “50-Mile Riffle” section. The "Channels" section of the Madison runs right behind the Ranch and is a great stretch to fish. It is a wade-only section with very limited access and many different channels that hold trout. It offers good caddis and hopper action and is ideal for evening fishing after dinner.
As the longest undammed trout stream on earth, it provides over 300 miles of fishable trout-bearing water. This river is known for its prolific hatches and excellent cutthroat and rainbow fishing. Great for long floats and wading!
Offering Montana’s most consistent fishing for trophy brown trout, this is also the most challenging river in all of Southwest Montana. Because of its smaller size, thick vegetation, and undercut banks, it is not an ideal fishery for beginners. For those willing to put in their time, however, it can well be worth the effort.
Big Hole River
This is the classic western trout stream with lots of gravel bars, drop-offs, and great fish-holding structure. This is an ideal river to wade and one where you end up using the boat more for access than for fishing. Known more as a brown trout fishery, it also offers an opportunity to get into a few grayling.
Boats and Equipment
Float fishing on area rivers is done via McKenzie-style drift boats designed for fly fishing. The Ranch offers a full selection of top-of-the-line rods, reels, waders, and other equipment complimentary to all guests.
How To Get There
The nearest commercial airport is Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), located in Bozeman, Montana. Serviced by Delta, United, Alaska, Frontier and Allegiant Airlines, the airport is approximately 1.5 hours from the Ranch.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
If you would like to drive directly to the ranch on your own or rent a car in Bozeman, a map will be sent to you prior to your departure. A pre-arranged shuttle service between Bozeman and the ranch is also available at $200 round trip for the first two people, and then each additional guest is $24. Check-in time is any time after 2PM and check-out time is before 10AM.
Montana fishing licenses are available at all area fly shops and sporting goods stores, or online by visiting the following website: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. You will need to present a valid driver's license in order to purchase your fishing license.
Yellow Dog offers a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or travel [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.
Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person, based on double occupancy and quoted in US dollars. Trips of any length of stay can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.
Main Lodge Room
3 Nights / 2 Days = $2,170.00
4 Nights / 3 Days = $2,955.00
5 Nights / 4 Days = $3,730.00
6 Nights / 5 Days = $4,515.00
7 Nights / 6 Days = $5,200.00
3 Nights / 2 Days = $2,260.00
4 Nights / 3 Days = $3,075.00
5 Nights / 4 Days = $3,880.00
6 Nights / 5 Days = $4,695.00
7 Nights / 6 Days = $5,410.00
Lower Channels Lodge Room
3 Nights / 2 Days = $2,320.00
4 Nights / 3 Days = $3,155.00
5 Nights / 4 Days = $3,980.00
6 Nights / 5 Days = $4,815.00
7 Nights / 6 Days = $5,550.00
Upper Channels Lodge Room
3 Nights / 2 Days = $2,380.00
4 Nights / 3 Days = $3,235.00
5 Nights / 4 Days = $4,080.00
6 Nights / 5 Days = $4,935.00
7 Nights / 6 Days = $5,690.00
- All lodging
- All meals (buffet breakfast, streamside lunch, evening appetizers, and a four-course dinner)
- All house beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages at the lodge
- Use of rods, reels, and waders
- Flies and tackle
- Lodge staff gratuities
- Round-trip transfers to and from where your guided trip is each day
- River shuttle fees for guides' vehicles
- Use of property amenities including fishing on the Jurassic Pond, Jack Creek, and the lower Madison River
What's Not Included
- Airport transportation (can be provided at an additional cost)
- Fishing licenses
- Gratuities for guides
- Taxes (will include upon invoicing)
Fishing Seasons in Montana
April - May
Springtime is probably the best-kept secret in Montana. All rivers fish well and are generally low and clear. Spring run-off usually doesn’t begin until late May or early June, and you can expect a lot of streamer and nymph fishing with possibilities for early caddis and mayfly hatches. This is a great time to experience Montana as things begin to “green up.” You can expect some aggressive feeding from the fish.
This can be a transition month in Southwest Montana. While some years high water might be a problem, June can still offer tremendous fishing. In anticipation of the salmon fly hatch this is a good time to fish a lot of stone fly nymphs for big browns.
July – August
Lots of fun and sun. Late June and early July brings out the Salmon flies on the Madison and the Big Hole. July offers a lot of great caddis fishing and in August its time to start thinking big dry flies! The hopper fishing is tremendous and this is the time to fish big attractor patterns.
This is the local’s favorite time of year, and the fall in Montana is beautiful. You can still fish hoppers and big attractor patterns, and the fish are beginning to turn on to big, gnarly streamer patterns. You can expect temperatures to be in the 70s with the rivers low and clear.
If you like fishing streamers, you can expect a lot of action from aggressive fish during the fall months. The weather can be somewhat unpredictable, but the fish don’t seem to care. This is also a great time to do cast-and-blast combos (call Yellow Dog for more details.)
“After being home for six weeks, Diane and I are still telling our friends about our great stay at the Madison Valley Ranch. The food was five-star quality, and the friendly, laid back atmosphere created by you and your staff made us feel like old friends.”
- Brad and Keane B. (Ft. Collins, CO)
“Justin and I loved the trip. The lodge and locale are great, smoothly run, and relaxing with great food and great guides! I would come back in a heartbeat!”
- Bill A. (Memphis, TN)
“Debbie, Katie, and myself had a great time this past week. These guys run a great ship!”
- Carl, Debbie, and Katie H. (Ft. Collins, CO)