Complete Trout School at Madison Valley Ranch, MT

Learn how to become a complete trout angler on some of the most iconic western rivers

Complete Trout School at Madison Valley Ranch, MT


ALL-INCLUSIVE - Trip includes lodging, meals, and guided fishing! Learn how to become a complete trout angler on some of the most iconic western rivers at the new Orvis Complete Trout School at Madison Valley Ranch in Ennis, MT. When people talk about fishing in Big Sky Country on rivers like the Madison, Yellowstone, and the Big Hole, the phrase "big trout" is usually not far behind. While you're at the lodge enjoy luxury accommodations, unparalleled hospitality, and wonderful food. Professionally-trained Chef Scott Warren will prepare gourmet meals made with the freshest and many local ingredients.

Madison Valley Ranch is a perfect location to learn how to fly fish or to improve your skills. Lodge manager Elizabeth Warren and our exceptional instructors can help anyone progress in their fly fishing. Learn how to cast just outside the lodge on Jurassic Pond then put your newfound or refined skills to the test floating down some of the best trout rivers in the West. Whether you are a beginner who would like to get into the sport, or a skilled angler looking to progress to the next level, we have the knowledge and expertise to help. We provide all the newest Orvis equipment, fantastic amenities, and a beautiful setting for the ultimate Fly-Fishing School. Our on-the-water instruction and practice on actual fish can't be duplicated on a city lawn or parking lot.

In this comprehensive school, you will have the opportunity to fish from drift boats or get out and wade for different species of trout, such as brown and rainbow. Learn how to catch trout in many different scenarios. You will learn how to fish with dry flies, nymphs, and streamers and learn how to read the water and select the right fly. The skills and memories you gain here will certainly last a lifetime.

For more information about an Orvis Fly Fishing School, call 866-531-6213.


Fly Fishing School Class Program
Madison Valley Ranch, Ennis, Montana

Arrival day at Madison Valley Ranch: August 16
Time Activity & Description
2:00 p.m. Guests should check in at 2:00 p.m.
6:30 p.m. Appetizers and cocktails.
7:00 p.m. Dinner/introduction and discussion of the class.

Day One: August 17
Time Activity & Description
7:00 am Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Brief discussion of equipment (rod, reel, line).
9:15 a.m. Pick up and lay down cast. What a fly rod needs to do in order to work.
9:30 a.m. Students casting.
10:45 a.m. Return to the lodge.
11:00 a.m. Discussion on leaders and tippet, knots, and rigging for trout in a variety of situations.
12:00 p.m. Lunch.
1:00 p.m. Discussion on getting your line hand involved, shooting line, false casting, roll casting.
1:15 p.m. Students casting.
2:30 p.m. Videotape students casting.
3:00 p.m. Discussion on fish senses, fly selection, basic entomology.
4:00 p.m. Student walk to the river. Discussion on reading water, how to fish dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, and streamers. How and why you mend your line.
5:00 p.m. End of first day. Students are welcome to continue to fish until dinner.
6:30 p.m. Appetizers and cocktails.
7:00 p.m. Dinner - After dinner guests are welcome to fish and look for an evening hatch, but be prepared for an early start and two full days on the water.

Day Two: August 18
Time Activity & Description
7:30 a.m. Buffet breakfast.
8:00 a.m. Depart for full day of guided fishing and try out your new or refined skills.
12:00 p.m. Lunch served streamside.
4-6 p.m. Return to lodge.
6:30 p.m. Appetizers and cocktails.
7:00 p.m. Dinner

Day Three: August 19
Time Activity & Description
7:30 a.m. Buffet breakfast.
8:00 a.m. Depart for full day of guided fishing and try out your new or refined skills.
12:00 p.m. Lunch served streamside.
4-6 p.m. Return to lodge.
6:30 p.m. Appetizers and cocktails.
7:00 p.m. Dinner

Departure day at Madden's Resort: August 20
Time Activity & Description
7:30 a.m. Buffet breakfast
10:00 a.m. Guests depart


Complete Trout School at Madison Valley Ranch
2014 School Dates

August 2014 16-20 Saturday-Wednesday SOLD OUT


Overall: Show Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 2 reviews


2 of 2 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5

    Best money EVER spent! - 8/24/2014

    I'm an absolute novice at fly fishing...and began to wonder what possessed me to enroll in the Orvis Complete Trout School, to be held at Madison Valley Ranch-in Ennis, MT. I found the brochure at the Scottsdale, AZ Orvis shop and took it home on a whim. A few weeks later I had signed up and was shortly there after contacted by phone and had a packet mailed to me...while the phone call was reassuring, I had begun to talk myself into a panic that I might have bitten off more than I could chew. The thought of possible being in the midst of very experienced anglers—while all I could bring to the table would be fears of wildly flying hooks and new body piercings to the unwilling had me thinking of what might be covered by travel insurance! How foolish of me, the moment I arrived at the Madison Valley Ranch I was greeted by both the Orvis instructor-Peter Kutzer and the lodge manager and host Elizabeth Warren. Their genuine welcome immediately put to rest any concerns of performance expectations. This was a school and not a proving grounds trial. Peter is an extremely competent instructor and was able to quickly size up all of us in the group and address the information he was presenting in such a way that it was comprehensible across the knowledge spectrum. He constantly proved visually and verbally with excellent examples of what he wanted us to see for both the dynamic and didactic points. It was a true pleasure to see such a skilled individual demonstrate with ease what he was teaching. His competence fostered my confidence to believe I could follow (at least at some level). I’ve since found Peter online under “Ask a fly fishing instructor” and he is exactly like you see him on his video links. Orvis is very fortunate to have such an individual—but I doubt they need to hear this from me! The fact that Orvis chose to hold this school at Madison Valley Ranch is proof that the do their homework. On it’s own, this lodge is place I don’t want to share with others BECAUSE I want it all to myself! I would be remiss not to share that I was absolutely stunned with the level of competence and professionalism that was present during my stay. Elizabeth Warren & her incredible Chef husband Scott Warren, along with the very friendly and efficient lodge staff made the school that much more incredible. It was difficult to separate the Orvis from the Madison Valley Ranch as the two worked seamlessly to assure the highest level of satisfaction and service. I have already begun to share my photos of the days events (the very competent and friendly river guides documented our catch dutifully) and Elizabeth had hard copies printed in minutes of out return to the lodge daily! Madison Valley Ranch made me feel both welcome and were genuinely concerned that any expectations should be brought forth. What a great place and example of a genuinely interested management. The owners should be very proud of the people that they have working so hard to provide such a great level of service and satisfaction. I will be back; and will share my memories with friends and family of such a wonderful opportunity that I lucked into. Thank you all! Doug Guest of Spanish Peaks

  • 5/5

    Don't think twice - just book it! - 8/22/2014
    By: from Philadelphia, PA, USA

    What an adventure! This was my first official fishing trip with guides. Day 1 was spent with Orvis' Peter Kutzer going over the basics for the beginners and advanced techniques for those of us who've fly fished before. It was the perfect day for any skill level: how to read the Madison, how to choose your fly, knots, casting (including my new favorite - the double haul), and so forth. The next two days were spent on the beautiful Madison River with amazing guides. I caught rainbow trout, brown trout, and a mess of huge whitefish. All I could think about while I was here was "living the dream". The ranch is beautiful. The food is world class. The amenities are numerous ("Welcome! Can I offer you a local craft brew or a glass of wine?"). The manager/assistant manager take care of everything and do everything they can to ensure a perfect stay. The pond is stocked and the Madison is right in the backyard. The guides know what they're doing and have the patience of saints. I could go on and on. I dreamed of fishing in Montana for years, and they made it happen with every little luxury you can imagine. I plan to tell everyone I know about it and hopefully return one day! It was worth every penny.

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Email Dan Gracia: Orvis Fly Fishing Schools Specialist

Dan Gracia
Fly-Fishing Schools Specialist
Orvis Sporting Traditions

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