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Ennis, Montana Fly Fishing In April

Ennis Montan Fly Fishing in April

Winter in the Madison Valley is harsh with strong winds and sub-freezing temperatures for weeks at a time being the norm. It is common for the Madison River to be covered in several feet of ice near Ennis, making floating and even accessing moving water, nearly impossible. However, conditions become mild by late February and the valley begins to thaw in March with most of the river being open by April.

The upper river stretches, near Three Dollar Bridge, remains free of ice for the winter, and offers some of the best winter fly fishing in Montana. So, if ice is an issue near Ennis, continue heading south and focus angling efforts between Lyon’s Bridge and Raynold’s Pass.

The entire Madison River is typically free of ice by April, but many of the boat ramps and fishing access sites oftentimes remain closed until debris can safely be removed.

As Spring arrives, Rainbow Trout begin to move into side channels and creek mouths as they prepare to spawn. Anglers fishing upstream of Lyon’s Bridge and downstream of Varney Bridge are advised to be mindful of spawning trout and avoid walking on clean gravel patches that are their spawning redds. Spawning activity is significant in these stretches of the river in April and May.

The Ruby River is a small stream with a productive tailwater fishery below the Ruby Reservoir near Alder, MT. Located about 30 miles west of Ennis, the Ruby is easily accessed from Ennis and is a nice “change of pace” Montana fly fishing venue in the spring.

Ennis Lake is typically free of ice by April and is popular with local anglers fly fishing with indicator rigs near the river mouth using leeches and Chironomids.

April Highlights for Flyfishing Montana, near Ennis

The Madison River is the prime angling destination near Ennis during the spring with April being a fantastic month, in particular. Midge and blue-winged olive hatches are prevalent throughout the river on cloudy days. March Brown and caddis hatches begin to appear later in the month on the lower river sections near Ennis.

Trout are active throughout the day with peak fishing taking place during the late morning as temperatures increase. Nymph-fishing between Varney Bridge and Ennis Lake can be exceptional with a variety of attractor patterns like San Juan Worms, stonefly nymphs, and brightly-colored Perdigon-style jig nymphs in sizes 14-16.

Bozeman Fly Fishing Guide Pro-Tip:

The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch on the lower Madison River, downstream of Beartrap Canyon, is one of the premier hatch events for dry fly fishing in Montana.

Warming water temperatures in mid-late April trigger this spectacle of nature during which the river is literally covered in mats of hatching caddis for several days.

For anglers staying in Ennis, taking the 45-minute drive to fly fish the lower Madison River during this hatch is worth the effort. Watch our lower Madison River fishing report for timely updates during April.

Ennis Montana Fly Fishing Trips in April

Fins and Feathers Guide Service has been outfitting Montana fly fishing trips near Ennis for over two decades. Float and wade trips between Varney Bridge and Ennis Lake are the emphasis of our Madison River fly fishing trips in April.

Experienced anglers can expect a mix of streamer fly fishing while floating and nymph-fishing productive runs during frequent stops throughout the day. Dry fly fishing opportunities are condition-dependent this time of the year, but common during early afternoon hatches of mayflies on cloudy days.

Wading the upper river between Lyon’s Bridge and Raynold’s Pass is another option for our guided fly fishing trips near Ennis in April. These days are oriented more toward the dry fly angler with midge and mayfly hatches being best earlier in April.

Add a day of floating the lower Madison River for a completely different fly fishing experience than found on the river near Ennis. Ideal for anglers of all skill levels in April, the gentle currents of the lower River offer new anglers the chance to quickly improve their skills with a variety of fly fishing techniques.

Reservations for guided fly fishing trips near Ennis are available online, via e-mail, or by calling us at 1-406-468-5019.

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