In 1905 the Montana Power Company constructed a dam on the Madison River just north of The Tackle Shop and Ennis, Montana, creating Ennis Lake. The two and a half mile long lake stretches across the valley and covers nearly 2000 surface acres. Ennis Lake is shallow with a maximum depth of 20 feet and an average depth of eight feet. As a result, during summer months the temperature of the water below the dam can elevate to above the optimal temperature for trout. The good news is that a majority of the lake has habitat perfect for aquatic insect growth resulting in great hatches and large trout. We fish to these "gulpers" from the boat or wading in the lake. It is an exciting moment to have a big rainbow grab your Callibaetis and run you into your backing as he takes off across the lake. If your here in the Madison Valley fishing you really need to spend a day fishing Ennis Lake.
Best time to fish Ennis Lake:
We like to concentrate our efforts on Ennis Lake during the summer and early fall. The Callibaetis may fly hatch is the signature hatch on the lake and produces some of the best and little know still water dry fly fishing int he world. If you want to hit the hatch plan sometime in early August and plan to get up early. The pre-hatch starts about 5:30am and the dry fly action is full on by 7:00am most days. It usually shuts off with the first afternoon breeze about noon. The lake can fish well into the fall but mostly on nymphs and streamers.
Photo by Diana Mallard