Southwest Montana is known around the world as a premier trout fishing destination, and Ennis is a perfect "base camp" for exploring our many opportunities to wet a line.
The Madison River is renowned for its large population of rainbow and brown trout, and provides easy access for both waders and drift boat fishermen. The upper Madison (upstream from Ennis Lake) has large stretches of catch-and-release fishing, and fishes well most of the year. Below the lake, the Madison flows through the spectacular Bear Trap Canyon and then on to the confluence of the Missouri River. These lower stretches of the Madison are best fished during the spring and fall months.
A short drive away, the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers are also quite large providing miles of water to wade and float.
For those who want more solitude, the Ruby River is a smaller, more intimate stream that can offer a nice change of pace from the larger waters. There are also many small streams and alpine lakes in the mountains around Ennis.
Fishermen who prefer lake fishing also have plenty of choices in the Ennis Area. Hebgen, Quake, and Ennis Lakes are all part of the Madison River system. Short drives off the main highway will get you to more secluded waters such as Cliff and Wade Lakes, or the Ruby Reservoir.
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 has become a living gallery of art.
Walk the streets of town, and you will find incredible bronze sculptures by Jim Dolan including the famous "A Wreck Waiting to Happen" in the Wild Rose Park on Main Street. Jim's other works include a wild mustang, the lucky fly fisherman, and the surveyor.
Dedicated in 2000, the Veterans' Memorial is a powerful tribute to those who have served our country. The cowboy/soldier bronze at the site is the work of local artist David Lemon. The new "Welcome to Ennis" steel cowboy signs, the mountain sheep resting at the school, and many other art surprises await visitors. All in all, there is more art on display here than in many large Montana cities!
Along with these permanent displays, our local artists can be found doing quick sketches or designing posters for the Ennis-on-the-Madison Fly Fishing Festival, signing t-shirts at the 4th of July Parade, or donating works for auctions to support the Madison River Music Festival, the Madison Valley Library Building Fund, and countless other worthwhile causes.
Excellent galleries dot Main Street and give the visitor a glimpse of the wide variety of talent with paintings, baskets, weavings, stained glass, sculptures, bowls, knives, scrimshaw and furniture all on display.
Painting by Bern Sundell, Courtesy of Riverstone Gallery