Packing List

What to Bring

Rest assured that Madison Valley Ranch stands by the belief that you do not need to bring any fly fishing gear to have a successful fly fishing trip. We are fully stocked with all the latest waders, boots, fly rods, fly lines, reels and flies from Orvis and other leading fly fishing brands.

With that said, we understand that many of our guests want to bring their own gear. Some choose to bring just their rods and waders. Others bring everything from packs to fly tying equipment. It all depends on what you want to get out of your trip to Montana.

Below you will find a comprehensive guide to packing for your Montana fly fishing trip. Our weather and fishing conditions change on regular basis so it is best if you are well equipped to remain comfortable during your day of fly fishing. Please reach out to us if you have any further questions/concerns that we are not addressed below. We are happy to provide further information and product recommendations and you get ready for your stay with us.


Bringing the appropriate clothing to Madison Valley Ranch is essential. Our weather is quite variable. The saying "If you don't like the weather, just wait 20 minutes." couldn't be more applicable than for SW Montana. It's what makes this place so amazing. With the correct layers and fabric, you'll be much more comfortable for whatever is thrown your way!

Woman in fly fishing clothes
Cool fishing hat.


Your head is worth protecting, trust us! Hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and sun shields are extremely helpful when floating down the river. Don't leave home without your favorite fishing hat! but, if you forget it it's no big deal because we have plenty. Just keep in mind that if the breeze picks up you'll want something that won't blow off easily.

Wading Gear

Waders are optional and we are fully stocked in case you don't have your own. The summer season provides comfortable wet wading. A solid fly pack is recommended for those of you that want to wade fish. Wading staffs and certain boot soles will also help to keep you on your feet. A net comes in handy, especially when you're fishing light tippets.

Fly fishing with a dog

Fly Fishing Gear

Every angler has different preferences when it comes to necessary gear. Some of us are gear junkies and others are minimalists. We encourage you to bring whatever you feel you need for a successful day on the water. That can be everything or nothing! Ennis, Montana is a central hub for fly fishing in Montana anyway so there are plenty of local fly shops that can help you get what you need.


There are countless fly patterns for Montana trout. Often times our guides find themselves relying on the most traditional patterns for their daily success on the water. One thing for sure is that the Madison River has many moods and there always seems to be one hot fly for any given day. Our recommendation is to not over do it when packing flies. There's a good chance the fish will be keyed in on a certain size and color. That's what our pro shop and local fly shops in Ennis are for.

Flies for the Madison River

Helpful Tips

Traveling with Fly Fishing Gear

Checking fly fishing gear can be risky. The last thing you'd want is for the airline to lose your bags before you embark on a fishing trip. Thankfully you're allowed to carry-on the crucial gear including rods, reels, lines and flies. We highly recommend keeping these items on you at all times. The rest you can check if you don't have room in your carry-on luggage.

Keeping it Simple

We pride ourselves on providing our guests with everything they will need for a successful day on the water. That includes the use of our Orvis rods, reels, lines, wader and boots. We also have a fully-stocked fly shop on property where you can get leader, tippet, split shot, indicators and the best fly patterns for Montana. So when you're getting ready to come visit us, don't hesitate to travel light if that suits you. Some appropriate clothing, polarized glasses and a hat are all you really need. Plus, we have all that too if you forget something!

Montana's Seasons