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“Totally awesome!”

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Madison Valley Ranch
Ranked #5 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Ennis
Dallas, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Totally awesome!”
Reviewed October 3, 2012

MVR is an awesome specialty lodge located in SW Montana. MVR caters to fly fishers who want a total immersion in fly fishing for trout in SW Montana. The lodge has excellent rooms, 5 star cuisine, complimentary wine and beer, snacks and a chef prepared 4 course meal in the evening in the dining room where you can share your experiences of that day's fishing.
Guided float trips are included in the package. Clothing, flies, etc are available.at MVR.

For the non-fishers, Ennis is a few minutes away, and has fly shops, restaurants, anitques, gas stations, and other amenities you would expect in a small town. Bozeman is approx. 1 hour north of Ennis, and offers quality restaurants, shops, stores, airlines, rental cars, and services. Yellowstone Park is approx. 1 1/2 hours south.

We have absolutely no negative comments about this facilty or our experiences. We intend to return to MVR in the near future, and strongly recommend MVR to anyone considering a trip to SW Montana.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kentuckytroutbum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
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English first
Saskatchewan
Level 6 Contributor
297 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2012

MVR was a great location for fishing and for friends to get together. Our group has been fishing together for 30 years and this was the best site, by a long shot, for the quality of the facilities, the superb food, and the terrific staff.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank BigAlks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reston, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

It is more than a respite from the day-to-day business of our lives; it is a destination, a comfort, and a feeling of well being that we enjoy in your company, and all of the folks that are a part of the MVR experience. The fishing, food, fun, and friendships makes the overall experience a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This was the 4th time at MVR and it is truly a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: Duplexes are large almost suite like. Upstairs channel rooms in the big house have the best views.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank restonlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Bluff, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
96 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Elizabeth and Scott Warren, lodge manager and executive chef, could just as easily be doing those jobs in the finest Four Seasons Hotel. While the ranch is perfectly situated close by the Madison River, one of the world's premier fly fishing destinations, and the amenities and facilities take a back seat to no place, the hosts make a world of difference. We are frequent ranch visitors and have always considered Vista Verde the best of all, but Madison Valley Ranch, a fly fishing destination, is its equal though limited to one attraction. My son and I visited for a three-day fishing package. Our guides, Dave and Charlie, were excellent. My son has become a fly-fishing devotee, a major accomplishment since the pole was not attached to XBox. The food at Madison Valley is beyond description. Step aside El Bulli. (Yes, I know it's closed, but will we ever know whether Scott's food actually led to the demise of the great Spanish institution) Elizabeth Warren has a personality that fills every room in the ranch. The wine list is exceptional as well and there is an exceptional supply of beer and soft drinks.
You don't have to be a fly fisherman to love this ranch but you will be when they're done with you. It's a short drive from Bozeman. Add it to your list of must do's.

Room Tip: There is no ac in the rooms but it doesn't matter, you'll still need a blanket. All the room...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Donald P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
Reviewed June 18, 2012

My brother had his bachelor party/trip at Madison Valley Ranch (MVR) back a couple of years ago. Such a fantastic change from the been there/done that Vegas guys trip. We stayed at the guest house behind the main lodge at it was very upscale and comfortable...had a huge flat screen TV, its own kitchen, living room and bathrooms.

The fishing was fantastic...my first day of fishing (float trip) I netted 17. The second day I netted 12.

The food was on par with the finest restaurants in Denver using local ingredients. Scott is a superb chef.

Elizabeth is a high energy, warm and charming manager of MVR. She is very responsive and makes your stay the best possible experience.

I had such a great time that I've booked another trip this summer for a father/son trip.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank johndenver303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2010

I went to this lodge for a business meeting. Probably the best meeting place i have ever been to for Strategic Planning meetings. The setting is spectacular. It is a 3 minute walk to great fishing on the Madison River after the days meetings were completed. When we returned to the lodge, we found expertly prepared hors de ouvres and Dancing Trout beer in frosted mugs. My friends preferred wine, and i was told they have an excellent. wine list.
After the meetings ended , I stayed on for two days of guided float fishing. The Madison is one of those famous places that lives up to all the hype. The guides were excellent. Big, feisty Browns and lots of them. At the end of the day, fosted mugs, gourmet meal, and we watched the World Series in very comfortable recliners.
Needless to say, I had a few thoughts of closing my business and staying on for a while.
This place is nice enough to bring your wife. The decor, beds, food etc are all top notch.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank gary089
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
palo alto, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 8, 2010

My wife and I stayed at the Madison Valley Ranch (MVR) from July 29-August 3rd, 2010.

I had grown up fly fishing, but hadn't done it in 15 years. My wife had never been fly fishing, but wanted to try it... so I felt like I had one chance to do it right, and hopefully get her hooked on fly fishing too! I checked around on the internet and made some phone calls.

Our criteria:
1. phenomenal fishing
2. beautiful scenery
3. gourmet food
4. not roughing it
5. easy place for my wife to get some fly fishing lessons

From the get go, Elizabeth Warren, the ranch manager at MVR, was far and away the most responsive, helpful, and punctual of the many emails I sent out. She's so friendly and enthusiastic, and even more so in person.

Several things set this lodge apart from the others:
1. it has its own 2 acre casting pond which is stocked with a British Columbian strain of rainbows that's perfect for learning to flycast. On arrival, Elizabeth greeted us and helped us with our luggage. After about 15 minutes, Elizabeth met us at the pond and gave my wife her first fly casting lesson and my reintroduction lesson. The lodge is an Orvis endorsed lodge, and has many nice Orvis rods and reels that are "house rods" which are free to use for all lodge guests on the pond or for daily fishing. There's also a whole section for leaders, flies, etc. that guests can register on the lodge's log to sign out.
2. There's fantastic fishing in the Madison River for experts and beginners alike. We had planned on guided fishing 3 days with one rest day. My wife enjoyed it so much that we decided to fish 4 days straight! I think she's hooked on flyfishing! We fished several stretches of the Madison River by drift boat with several guides (Chris Connor and Rob Kessler were awesome guides). We caught many brown and rainbow trout, with some in the 18-20 inch range. It was a blast. We fished nymphs, streamers, and dry flies. Most importantly, my wife absolutely loved it -- and it was her first time!
Although we didn't have time to try it, there's also fantastic fishing in Jack's creek and the Channels section of the Madison River, both of which are on the lodge's premises. I walked down the short path from the lodge to the Channels section on my last day and was really bummed I didn't have time to fish it. Incredibly beautiful and the waters looked ideal for fishing.
You don't need any equipment. We brought our own waders, but they have Orvis waders at the lodge for your use too. We used the house rods or rods provided by the guides, all of which were top notch quality.

3. THE FOOD IS INCREDIBLE
So Scott is the chef at MVR. He's the real deal. Graduated culinary school in the Pacific Northwest with graduate training at the Culinary Inst. of America in Napa Valley (Greystone). Scott makes breakfast daily with some of the best pancakes and French toast I've ever had. His eggs benedict is great too.
But, the real highlights are the appetizers and dinners. Appetizers are served daily at 6:45 pm. Over our 5 nights, some appetizer highlights included: spicy bison meatballs, shrimp nachos with fresh guacomole and pico de gallo, chicken quesadillas, teriyaki beef skewers,etc. Scott's dinners are incredible. Non fatty, non-fried. Healthy and incredibly tasty meals that highlight local farm raised meats. Daily four course dinners with a salad, soup or small plate, main entree, and dessert. Highlights from our stay included: stuffed pheasant, local farm raised bison tenderloin, dijon herb crusted pork tenderloin, local cornmeal crusted rainbow trout, housemade duck confit salad, red pepper and roasted garlic soup, crab and shrimp cakes, molasses ginger cake, and probably the best bread pudding I've ever had.
My wife has some dietary restrictions (lactose intolerant) and Scott was always on top of this.
There's always wine (CA zinfandel, CA cabernet, CA sauv blanc, Argentine Malbec, CA Chardonnay) and local microbrew beer available for you at the lodge. There's also several fridges stocked with Perrier, Pellegrino, bottled water, cokes, diet drinks, etc. Wine, beer, all the food, and soft drinks are all included in your stay (free of additional charges).

4. The company. Wow. Didn't think of this or expect it. The lodge is small, catering to up to around 20 guests. During our stay occupancy was from 7-18. Dinners and appetizers are communal in the dining room. Everyone we met was incredibly nice and conversation super easy. Another example of the above and beyond of this lodge are the many "house digital cameras". Elizabeth encourages you to take one while fishing. When you return she downloads the images, prints up the fish pics and then has them ready for appetizers which leads to some great conversation. I used my own camera, as many others did, and she still did the same for us.

5. The Service. We've been to some pretty high end hotels around the country and international. Elizabeth and Scott are among the best hosts we've ever had. The vibe here is relaxed, convivial, and fun. NOT stuffy or high brow. BUT all of your needs or requests are promptly attended to. The vast majority of those staying here were all repeat guests, some of whom have been coming for 15 years.

I've written a lot. I've been a Trip Advisor user for at least 5 years, but mainly just a reader. We just wanted to make sure others who were looking for a fly fishing experience in Montana know how great MVR is. This is quite honestly one of the best vacations we've ever had! If you're a foodie and a fisherman, this is heaven on Earth.

I've loaded some pics so check them out!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank westcoastcatfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Madison Valley Ranch

Property: Madison Valley Ranch
Address: 307 Jeffers Rd, Ennis, MT 59729-9004
Location: United States > Montana > Ennis
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Ennis
Number of rooms: 18

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