Ennis and Hebgen Lake

Ennis Lake and Hebgen Lake Guided Trips

Lake fishing has quickly become a favorite of mine as it offers up a completely different set of challenges. I think lake fishing can be thought of as being more difficult and or that a higher degree of casting skill is required.  To the former I would say certain types of lake fly fishing can be more difficult. That is true for fly fishing the Madison River as well. As for casting it is possible to catch fish on the lake without the prerequisite of being a great caster or a long caster. Those reasons should not be limiting factors as to why we don't fish lakes more. Both Ennis Lake and Hebgen Lake offer similar but different fishing opportunities. Check here for Rates.




The lake boat parked and ready to take off Ennis Lake in the evening. Near Ennis, Montana

Ennis Lake

Ennis Lake sits at the very north end of the Madison Valley and contains the Madison River just before it spills over Ennis Dam and through the powerhouse and on down the Beartrap canyon through rapids and whitewater. Flat, circular, somewhat shallow and with large expanses of weed beds, Ennis Lake offers some superb habitat for trout. Most years the lake has lots of food to offer with the usual leeches, chironomids, callebaetis mayflies filling in the bulk of the diet. Some of the highlights are centered around summer dry fly fishing with callebaetis adults and cripples. Spring chironomid and leech fishing can also be great. Many of the same setups for leech and chironomid fishing work with variations to allow for how shallow it can be. Ennis Lake also offers the opportunity to stalk cruising trout on foot. Ennis Lake suffers from the vagaries of runoff as it is not a large lake and the Madison River runs right into the heart of it. When spring runoff conditions persist the wind in the Madison Valley can move runoff sediment around the lake easily. A great fishery right out the back door. 


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Hebgen Lake

Hebgen Lake is located about an hour south of Ennis, Montana and offers some of the greatest lake fly fishing for trout in the region. Hebgen Lake is a great alternative or addition to fly fishing the Madison River.  It offers alternatives to dealing with high water during snow melt and run off periods. Hebgen Lake also has very productive gulper fishery. As with other waters, many tactics will work. Interested in  booking a Hebgen Lake trip? Contact me with questions.

Hebgen lake offers an extremely diverse fishery for a lake. Much of the spring chironomids and leeches work well as fish transition to edges and shallower waters after ice out. Chironomids under slip indicators is a great spring and early summer technique. Leeches fished in the same manner and or slowly stripped along under sinking lines are also techniques that produce results on Hebgen. The highlight of Hebgen Lake could be the Callibaetis fishing also referred to as gulper fishing. Throughout the mid summer callibaetis mayflies emerge from the lake bottom and as fish begin to key into them this can create some very good opportunities at dry fly fishing for larger lake fish. The highlight, it might be argued, is the possibility of catching some of the large brown and rainbow trout that inhabit the reservoir while sight casting to them as they cruise and sip mayflies off the surface. 


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The lake fishing boat with stripping basket, trolling motor and high end electronics.

The lake boat

A 17'6" Tracker with a 70hp Yamaha, Minn Kota trolling motor and premium Humminbird electronics come together to give us the tools needed to chase trout on Southwest Montana lakes.