The Ennis dam on the Madison river forms Ennis Lake, also known by old timers as Meadow Lake. The dam is located in the upper part of the Beartrap Canyon about 10 miles north of Ennis. Ennis Lake is a medium size body of water that is very easy to access and fish.
Ennis Lake is famous for a couple things.
- Giant Gulpers
This is not the place to get caught in the wind without a motor of some sort. Wind is the number one factor to consider if you are thinking about fishing the lake. Typically the morning and evenings are your chances at calm conditions. Also, Ennis Lake is very shallow and full of sediment from the Madison River. This is great for wading in the middle of the lake, but causes summer temperatures to push into near deadly ranges for trout. It also causes a termendous growth in aquatic weeds. Finding the lake bottom springs and weed free river channels are keys to finding active fish in the heart of the summer heat.
Without a doubt, the reason Ennis Lake is on the fly fishing map is because of the Calibaetis mayflies that hatch day in and day out in the warmer months. In fact occasionally, the hatches can be so thick that its hard not breath them in! But you've got to accept this if you are going to experience the "Gulpers" that Ennis Lake is famous for. These brown and rainbow trout average 16-20" and it is no secret that they get much much bigger. They get there name from the noise they make when they eat the adult mayflies. GULP! On a calm day, you will hear this noise all around you. Unfortuntely you may also hear it in your dreams as you toss and turn trying to figure out how to catch these fish. They are notoriously fickle.
Without the right techniques and flies, you don't stand much of a chance with the bigger fish. Having a guide with the right boat and knowledge will make all the difference and fortunately we offer just that. A very popular trip for us is a few hours on the lake in the morning, some lunch and then a short float on the Madison River in the Afternoon. Learn more about our fly fishing trips here. We also offer SUP Rentals in Ennis.