Madison Valley Ranch-The 2015 ORVIS Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge of the Year!

At the Madison Valley Ranch, situated on the banks of the Madison River near Ennis, Montana, their backyard is a fly fisherman’s playground. Big Sky Country views inspire, and the daily activity of wildlife takes you back to a different time. You can escape from the hectic pace of everyday life and indulge in a luxury adventure where all the details are taken care of by their welcoming and attentive staff.

Daily float or wade trips on the Madison and surrounding rivers with experienced, professional, Orvis-endorsed guides keep experts challenged while providing guidance, enthusiasm, and patience to novices. The location in the heart of SW Montana offers anglers unparalleled access to wild trout on renowned blue ribbon rivers. At the Madison Valley Ranch, you are just a cast away from your finest fly fishing experience ever!

Contact Front Range Anglers Adventure Travel Manager Lisa McLaughlin for additional information and to BOOK!

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The Fall is a great time of the year to fish the upper Madison River. Typically this is the beginning of the fall season here in southwest Montana. The weather depends on the particular year and can be quite variable. Some years its t-shirt weather, others can see our first hint of snow. Regardless, the river is in excellent condition this time of the year and the fish respond well to the shorter days and cooling water temperature.

Fall is when some of the world’s most experienced anglers choose to visit the upper Madison for a chance at a big brown trout as they enter their spawn. Aggressive browns are best targeted with a medium to large size sculpin streamers. Fish in the 18-20″ range are common with the right fly presentation and larger fish in the 21-23″ range are a definite possibility. A longer fish is considered a trophy on the Madison River and we see several caught each fall.

If the fish aren’t chasing the streamers then a nymph rig is usually the answer. Stonefly, caddis and mayfly nymphs in the size #6-18 range are suitable. The most common nymph rig is a 7.5′ 3X leader with an indicator down to 8″ of 3X tippet and 18″ of 4X between two nymphs. Due to the swift flows of the Madison, some split shot above the tippet is key to getting it down quickly to the fish.

If we are experiencing a long summer, hoppers and ants could still be an option in The Fall. If it’s a little cooler and cloudy, we tend to see some good small Baetis hatches this time of the year as well. A #18-20 mayfly pattern is best fished in the slowest water possible where you will hopefully find an active pod of fish sipping adults off the surface.

Equipment wise, a 5 or 6 weight rod with a floating line will suffice in most situations. A stout 7 weight and a sink tip line could also be helpful for casting big streamer patterns. Leader and tippet size will vary depending on the technique you are using. 5X should suffice for small dry flies, 2-4X is great for nymph rigs and 0-2X for streamers.

Clothing is perhaps the most important thing to effectively fish in The Fall. Given the variance in weather patterns, you should be prepared for just about anything. Layering up in the morning is the best way to approach the day. If it warms up later in the day you can dress down to just a fishing shirt and lightweight pants. If cooler weather is forecasted you’ll want an insulated soft shell and a waterproof wading jacket in the event of precipitation. Waders are preferred here in the fall but are not a necessity if you decide to fish from the boat the entire day. Even if you don’t wade the river, waders are a great way to keep warm and dry. The Madison is considered a difficult wade river. Felt soles have proven to be the best solution for traction on the slippery rocks. Lots of anglers wear rubber soles though. Madison Valley Ranch provides ORVIS boot-foot waders free of charge if needed. Additionally, gloves, a beanie and warm socks are never a bad idea to pack. Other than that, sunscreen, a hat, and polarized sunglasses are a must! You won’t need any bug spray.


Your Stay at the Lodge

Four nights lodging in the Lower Channels rooms. Each room has a private entrance and one queen and one full/twin sized beds.



Terms and Cost

Included:  Lodging & guided fishing, a gourmet breakfast buffet, streamside lunch and 4-course, single seating dinner,  Non-alcoholic beverages, beer & wine, use of ORVIS rods, reels and boot-foot waders,  Flies & tackle for any guided fishing, Use of MVR facilities, including access to a private 2-acre trout pond, Jack Creek and private river access, MVR Staff gratuity

Not Included: transportation to the lodge, hard alcohol, MT lodging tax (~$13/person a night), gratuity for guides, and MT fishing license.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

At the time of booking 50% of the trip is due and payable. At 90 days the remainder plus all VAT and taxes are due. Cancellation greater than 90 days from the date of trip, all monies refunded less $100 fee if a replacement angler is found. if within 90 Days, no refunds are provided unless a qualified replacement angler is provided. No refunds are provided for trip cancellation due to Weather, Acts of God, Airline/Travel issues.



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Front Range Anglers is committed to providing you with the best Colorado fly fishing guides and guided fly fishing experience possible.