Right in the middle of world's best fly-fishing country and just a bit off the beaten path to Yellowstone National Park, you’ll find Ennis. This bustling and picturesque western town is located in the heart of the Madison Valley, east of the Tobacco Root Mountains and 13 miles from historic Virginia City.
Southwest Montana is known around the world as a premier trout-fishing destination, and Ennis is a perfect “base camp” for exploring the many opportunities to wet a line that exist within this phenomenal region. The Madison River is widely renowned for its large population of rainbow and brown trout, and provides easy access for both waders and drift-boat fishermen. The upper Madison, which is upstream from Ennis Lake, has large stretches of catch-and-release fishing and fishes well most of the year. Below Ennis Lake, the Madison flows through the spectacular Bear Trap Canyon and then on to the confluence of the Missouri river. Just a short drive away, the Big Hole and Beaverhead are two large rivers that provide miles of water to wade or float. For those who may prefer more solitude, the Ruby River is a smaller, more intimate stream that gives a nice change of pace from the larger waters in the region. There are many small streams and alpine lakes in the mountains around Ennis, for fishermen to find a similar ambiance. Not to be forgotten, Hebgen, Quake, and Ennis Lakes are part of the Madison River system and give lake fishermen an abundance of choice. Cliff and Wade Lakes, and Ruby reservoir are just a quick jaunt off the main highway and provide more secluded waters than the larger area lakes. It is no wonder they say that in Ennis, “you really can…catch it all!”
Despite its primary role as a hunting and fishing center, Ennis’ three blocks of downtown businesses are brimming with Old West charm and thriving with art. Majestic mountains, untamed rivers and fascinating wildlife capture the imagination of some of the countries finest artists. With the vision of residents and art lovers in the valley, Ennis truly has become a living gallery of art.
Walk the streets of Ennis and you will find incredible sculptures by Jim Dolan, David Lemon, Gary Adams, and other notable artists. In fact, Ennis has more art on display than many large Montana cities. Excellent galleries dot Main Street and give the visitors a glimpse of the wide variety of talent this area holds with paintings, baskets, weavings, stained glass, sculptures, and furniture you name it; it’s on display.
The Madison Valley is primarily cattle country and keeps the old west alive with its local farms, ranches, and rodeos. The people of this area take pride in that fact. And nowhere is this love affair with livestock more apparent than in Ennis during Rodeo Weekend! This small town swells with excitement as people from all over come to celebrate one of Montana’s most popular Fourth of July rodeos.
Ennis is a spectacular vacation destination and is home to a community of 1,000 people, eager to make you feel welcome.