About Us

For seventy-eight years The Tackle Shop has been serving fly fishermen on the Madison River in southwest Montana. Take a moment and browse this section to learn about Southwest Montana's oldest fly shop. We will introduce you to the owner, tell you about The Tackle Shop today, the people we work with that make Ennis, Montana such a wonderful place, and share with you the history of The Tackle Shop. You will notice that The Tackle Shop is an Orvis Authorized Dealer and Orvis Endorsed Outfitter. Spend some time and get to know us. Then give us a call and let us get to know you!

The Tackle Shop is located in Ennis, Montana on the banks of the Madison River. You will find us on Main Street right under the large metal fly on our roof. We have been doing business from the same location for 79 years and proudly claim the honor of being Southwest Montana's oldest fly shop. Over these past 79 years the shop has had 10 different owners, all carrying on the traditions set forth by original owner Elwood Combs. Each owner has put their own stamp on the business and we think you will like the changes being put in place by current owner, John Way. Take a moment to learn a little about John and introduce yourself at your first opportunity.

John Way, Owner

John Way was born and raised in the Catskill Mountains on the banks of the fabled waters of the Delaware, Esopus and Beaverkill rivers. John dreamed of how he could make his mark on the vanishing American west and more specifically Montana and the Big Sky Country. In 1991 John found his opportunity, enrolling at the University of Montana where he received his degree in Wildlife Biology. While attending the University, John started his outfitting career guiding fishermen on the Blue Ribbon Rivers of Montana and working in local fly shops. Post graduation John turned his love into his livelihood.

From his early years of guiding John has taken outfitting to a new professional level. Over the past 20  yrs John has successfully managed Montana's largest and most diverse outfitting business, a South Dakota luxury high volume pheasant hunting lodge, and managed the outdoor recreational division of one of Montana's most exclusive private residence clubs. As a result, John's experience includes hundreds of pack trips into the Bob Marshall and Gros Ventre Wilderness Areas and Yellowstone National Park and thousands of fisherman days on Montana's trout streams and rivers. His expertise also includes habitat development, wildlife management, sporting clays course development and operations, managing three pheasant shooting preserves, food service, and lodging.

Recognized by the industry as a leader in the outfitting business, John has been the feature of over 20 publications, including Fly Fisherman Magazine, Sports Afield, Outdoor Life, Grays Sporting Journal, The Robb Report, Women's Health and Fitness, Sporting Clays, and Petersons Hunting. John's passion for providing his clients with the ultimate outdoor experience, his ability to recognize opportunities, and his vast experience make him an elite in the outfitting industry.

John currently lives in Ennis, Montana with his wife and three dogs,  where he manages The Tackle Shop and his consulting and outfitting company, The Montana Way Outfitters and Consulting. John is the current President of the Ennis Montana Chamber of Commerce.  He was recently appointed by the Montana Governor to sit on the Montana Board of Outfitters.   John also sits on the Board of Directors of the Pole Star Alliance Project fulfilling his other passion of using the great outdoors to bring people closer to Christ. In his spare time you will find him living the life of his dreams, eternally searching for the perfect drift, flush or bugle.