This Is Montana’s Most Luxurious Fly Fishing River Lodge

Settled on a mile-long stretch of Montana’s legendary trout fishing Madison River, Madison Double R is the Treasure State’s premiere fly fishing lodge made for the sybaritic traveler in need to scratch their outdoorsmen itch. 

Once a working cattle ranch, the reimagined ranching lodge takes inspiration from its storied past when it was once referred to as “River Ranch,” (hence the “Double R” name). Now at the helm of owners and hosts John and Krista Sampson, the former fishing guides and Montana residents since the early ‘90s established a top fly fishing angler resort that provides the utmost luxurious outdoorsy experience.

Driving down the gravel road squeezed between grazing pastures replete with native wildlife — including deer, elk, antelope, coyotes, songbirds, and the occasional moose sighting — guests are immersed in the great outdoors within seconds upon arriving at the vinyl-fenced ranch. Simple luxury is executed through Modern Rustic style: natural wood A-frame ceilings, stag artworks, dark brown leather furnishings, exposed stone fireplaces, and expansive windows allow natural light to fill the 3,500-square-foot main lodge comprised of two pods interconnected by an outdoor trellised terrace.

The 11-cabin stay provides two spacious accommodation designs: the Creekside Cabins sleep up to four guests and boast views of a beautiful meadow ringed by towering cottonwoods, while the Mountainview Cabins are 1,700-square-foot stays that sleep up to eight guests comfortably with jaw-dropping views of the Madison Range. All stylish abodes are outfitted with 2 plush queen-sized beds per room, polished oak wood flooring, oversized showers, soaking tubs, cozy fireplaces, and trimmed glass doors that open up to private cedar decks. Plus, each shed hosts a four-seat golf cart, as well as a pair of mountain bikes, to add another deluxe touch.

Just steps from the Main Lodge, an authentic 1800s-Western-theme parlor, Back Eddy Saloon, provides an original bar front from the historic Norris Bar to belly up to and share tall tales of the fish caught that day along the Madison River. Typical man cave necessities include a shuffleboard table, pool table, sound system, and a decent-sized television to accompany the imbibing atmosphere. 

From morning to night, the on-site culinary program features locally sourced foods and ingredients, fresh fruits and nutritious snacks, curated wine pairings with dinner, and creative riverside lunches to sustain guests during all outdoor activities. (We had the opportunity to sample a delicious Greek salad, classic cold cut sandwich, lemon poppy seed muffin, and a ridiculously moist butterscotch cookie that was seriously out-of-this-world delicious.)

Credit: Sofia DeWolfe Photography

Given its proximity to one of the world’s most sought-after trout fishing streams, the fly fishing opportunities are top-notch at Madison Double R. Those who’d consider themselves novice anglers don’t need to fret as the lodge’s guides are experts at understanding the waters, knowing the fish, and teaching inexperienced fishermen, ensuring a high-quality — and most importantly fun — fishing expedition.

After a day of taking in the great outdoors while floating down the river, there’s truly no better place to return to than the sophisticated comfort at Madison Double R.

Top Takeaways

Location: Ennis, Montana

Address: 357 Varney Cutoff Rd, Ennis, MT 59729

Rating: Five-Star

The vibe: A sybaritic outdoorsman’s oasis, where luxurious style, private service, and fine dining are all available at your fingertips.

Food + Drink: The property’s outstanding culinary team provides on-site breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Local products and ingredients are incorporated into the freshly prepared dishes — a fully stocked bar with premium wines, beers, and spirits is available as well.

Our Favorite Part of the Hotel: The ever-so-cozy main lodge with the exposed stone fireplace, upscale recessed bar front, and posh leather living room seating is a pretty tough spot to beat.

Amenities: Free WiFi; Fitness center; Hot tub; Pickle ball court; Turndown service; Laundry 

What’s Nearby? Ennis; Virginia City; Yellowstone National Park; Madison River; Madison Valley History Museum; Nevada City Museum & Music Hall

Any personal neighborhood recs? Just a 15-minute drive from Madison Double R is Downtown Ennis: known as “a cowboy town with a fishing problem.” This Wild West-reminiscent hamlet is replete with local restaurants, boutiques, saloons, and you guessed it, angler shops to get visitors suited up with best-in-class dry flies, streamers, nymphs, and anything else you need along the way. Pop into the authentic Gravel Bar for a good ole American cheeseburger, craft beer, and live music.

Rooms: 11 cabins

Pricing: Rates start at $1,250/night 

Closest Airport: Commercial: Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (1.5-hour drive) Private: Ennis Big Sky Airport (15-minute drive)

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