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best fly fishing in montana

Table of Contents [ hide] Fishing in the park takes you even further into the wild. It’s not just a fishing trip, it’s a wildlife and geothermal safari at the same time. This happens about a half-hour drive west of Bozeman and the stretch from Three Forks to the Canyon Ferry Reservoir outside of Helena is known for trophy trout fishing, especially in October when big brown trout head up the river from the lake. Top Fly-Fishing Towns. Wade into crystal clear lakes or pebble-filled trout streams. Montana is home to some of the best fly fishing rivers, spring creeks and lakes on Earth. Montana. It’s one of the most picturesque places to fly fish in Montana. All three forks offer something different. Know before you go when you check out our Rock Creek fishing reports. This is a “must fish” river for all you dry fly fanatics like us to fly fish in Montana. the MO if you’re a local, is basically a giant spring creek with upwards of 5000-6000 trout per mile below Holter Dam, near the towns of Craig and Wolf Creek, MT. There are a lot of access points in this section making it easy to get down to the river. The Beaverhead is basically an irrigation ditch with big browns and rainbows living in its waters near Dillon, MT. Since trout are naturally cold-blooded and feed when water temperatures reach their peak during the winter months, there is no need to bother fly fishing … The trout are willing dry fly eaters with hatches like Salmonflies, PMD’s, BWO’s, Caddis as well as terrestrials like Hopper, Ants and Beetles. Whether it’s PMD’s in June/July, Hoppers in August or our favorite Mahoganies in the fall there will be fish rising. If you haven’t got a permit, you can try and book a trip with a guide who does. Depending on the time of the year and the hatches you’ll have dry fly fishing all day long. It’s the time of year that some of the biggest trout in the Bitterroot are willing to come out and gobble up a big foam dry fly, and catching fish on a dry fly in the spring will cure any cabin fever you might have from a long, cold winter. It’s the right size and float-fishing is prohibited which allows wade fishermen to go about their business undisturbed. Would like to do a wading trip and a drift boat trip. The fish here love small tailwater flies like scuds, sow bugs and small mayfly patterns. If numbers are your game, it’s a great choice and it also has some big fish too. The vast variety of waters and hundreds of miles of blue ribbon rivers and streams within a short drive helps to spread anglers out and ensures that … Hosting monster wild rainbows and (subjectively) the hardest fighting trout in the state, it should be at the top of your destinations list for your next fly-fishing adventure. There is excellent wade fishing found at the 3$ bridge but it is always crowded. Smith River. It has a huge number of rivers and lakes full of hungry trout that are surrounded by some incredible scenery and wildlife. The park has so many fishing options, you wouldn’t run out of new waters to try if you fished there every day for the rest of your life. It is the longest free-flowing river in the contiguous United States and a world-class blue-ribbon trout river holding rainbows, browns and cutthroat trout. All major hatches happen here, but it’s best fished with nymphs and streamers. For many, fly fishing Montana is a way of life and for others it is a fly fishing trip of a life-time. Nestled amid the rolling national forests of the Rocky Mountains and not far from the edge of the Great Plains, Helena is a quintessential example of Montana at its best. If it’s in the western half of the state, there is most likely a trout in it. The Missouri, a.k.a. It is certainly one of the top rivers to fish if you’re into dry fly fishing and sight-fishing for big trout. https://www.montanaanglingco.com/top-5-rivers-to-fly-fish-in-montana This was one of the most epic fishing trips I have ever taken. From the mighty. Here you have a chance at catching lots of browns and rainbows, everywhere from 14-18 inches with bigger fish being caught often. Springtime Skwala fishing, as well as fall Mahoganies, BWO’s and streamer fishing make this a “must fish” Montana fly fishing river. Rock Creek. It has some great hatches and provides excellent dry fly fishing, it’s a dreamy place to fish. Cast your line in the Paradise Valley or on Flathead Lake, only two of many prized locations for anglers in Big Sky Country. The Upper Maddison, above Ennis, MT, is known as a giant riffle. But how do you plan the perfect trip to a state that is home to a lifetime’s worth of amazing fly … Continued If you like fishing small dries or nymphs to big trout then this is the place for you. During … The Yellowstone River begins in Yellowstone National Park and flows 692 miles until it joins the Missouri in North Dakota. For United States fly anglers, fly fishing Montana is nothing short of casting in paradise. Flathead is awesome fly fishing. It’s been a famous fly fishing destination for a while and got it’s peak when it was featured in the film A River Runs Through It. Put on a white streamer, hit the banks and hang on! This area gets amazing hatches and is beautiful dry fly water. Required fields are marked *. With the average trout size exceeding 12 inches, it is no wonder the fly fish industry in the state generates nearly a billion dollars a year. If a perfect trout stream were to exist, it has to be Rock Creek. This section can also be wade fished but you may struggle to cover the ground and get the distance on your casts. However, this isn’t just a spring fishery because major stonefly, mayfly and caddis hatches happen all summer and fall as well. There are a lot of places to fly fish in Montana that no one talks about and no amount of money or beer will get it out of those who hold those places close to their hearts. Gauley River, West Virginia. Montana Fly Fishing Rivers, Spring Creeks and Lakes. Although the Jefferson isn’t as well known as its headwater rivers like the Big Hole and Beaverhead, it needs to be on this list. Your email address will not be published. So, get out and explore. The Madison is one of the most famous rivers in Montana as the fishing and the scenery is amazing. Hopper Imitations, mid to late summer, size 2-8 Golden Stonefly Nymphs, June and July, size 4-6 Streamers, just about any time but especially in the fall for large brown trout, Greetings from PA. Will be fishing the Kootenai for a week at the end of July, and planning to do some reconnaissance for a 2021 trip with my women’s fly fishing group, Del Val Women’s FFA. Stop by our Missoula fly shop or visit our website for the most current Clark Fork River fishing report. Unlike other Montana rivers, anyone who wants to fish the Smith River needs a permit. Your email address will not be published. And we can’t blame them. Required fields are marked *. Best Time to Fly Fish in Montana It’s a great option when the days are very hot and other rivers may be less productive. Trout thrive in its green-blue water and love eating attractor dry flies. From fishing the headwaters in Yellowstone National Park to the big waters near Big Timber this is should be a “must” on every fly fisher’s bucket list. Fishing is always good in the summer time! We guarantee the best tailer designed fishing adventure in western Montana. The only way to float-camp this highly sought-after 60 miles is to draw a permit through a lottery system. And for good reason. The best time to fish is early to mid-July until mid-September and you’ll find a lot of brown and rainbow trout plus some cutthroats and grayling. Fishing behind boulders, in mid-river buckets, and undercut banks is the way to go. These rivers are full of cutthroats and some large brown trout that will happily take a dry fly. Big Sky Country. Get the insider scoop when you swing by our Missoula fly fishing shop or check out our Missouri River fishing report. Montana is home to the Rocky Mountains, Yellow Stone National park and a whole host of other national forests. Southwest Montana is blessed with over 700 miles of blue ribbon trout streams, crystal clear spring creeks, and productive lakes. I have fished with Erik Hess a few times a few years ago, and wondering if he is still guiding? The Missouri River is the longest river in North America and is where a lot of the best trout rivers in Montana eventually end up. Splendid family getaway by Gallatin River (from USD 115) If you are looking for a fishing experience … The Jefferson’s past isn’t stellar, due to dewatering in the summers for irrigation. But its yearlong fishing is just as wonderful as trout are always willing to eat a well presented dry fly, nymph or streamer. A short drive from Cooke City will take you into the Lamar Valley and give you access to the Lamar River, Soda Butte, and Slough Creek. These are by no means in order of importance, but they are places you want to make sure to fish at least once in your lifetime, if not more! Throw them back though as the Flathead isnt a secret any longer!! Fishing any time of year is all about being prepared, but even more so in the fall. To be able to float the river you have to submit your name and hope you get one of the few permits. From Missoula guided fly fishing, gear, and flies to our Blackfoot River fishing reports, we’ve got everything you need to have a great day on the Blackfoot River! This classic freestone is close to Missoula. Access is tricky, but the fishing is good and you’ll most likely have the place to yourself. These companies go out of their way to make sure customers and anglers maximize their time on the water when they visit Missoula. Fly Vines Original Recycled Fly Line Lanyard, Grizzly Hackle Heather Performance Long Sleeve Shirt, A Missoula Guided Fly Fishing Trip – FAQs, SEO Case Study: Blogging for The Grizzly Hackle Fly Fishing Guide Service - TOMIS. The Bighorn River actually starts as the Wind River in Wyoming and flows out into Montana at Devils Canyon and into Yellowtail Dam on the Crown Reservation just near Billings. Access is somewhat limited, floating is basically out of the question, but it’s a wade fishermen’s paradise. I’m 82, grand son is 15, I’m in good health. In the summers, there are some fantastic evening caddis and mayfly spinner hatches that are well worth fishing into dusk for. If you’re looking for a good day of fly fishing in Missoula, the Bitterroot is home to some spectacular fish. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to do a multi-day float trip through arguably some of the most stunningly beautiful scenery in Montana. The legendary waters have been producing trophy trout for years. https://grizzlyhackle.com/18-places-to-fly-fish-in-montana-in-2018 Down from the $3 Bridge to Ennis Lake, access to the Madison is easy and the sections are great for float fishing but it does get busy and you will not have the river to yourself. This all makes for a smaller, by Montana standards, river that is full of browns, rainbows and cutthroat. The Clark Fork has recovered from mining and floods in the early 1900s, to one of the most productive trout rivers in Montana today. Best Fly Fishing Resorts In Montana Mang Iings on December 20, 2020 December 20, 2020 Ranch orvis endorsed fly fishing lodge montana fly fishing s kootenai madison river fishing s ennis mt rock creek in montana detailed fly This is one of the best rivers in Montana for … Even though it isn’t your ideal trout habitat, the trout seem to come out of nowhere in the spring and fall with some great drake and BWO hatches as well as some really big fish being caught on streamers if you’re willing to throw the big fish for that “one” fish. The Smith River is a blue-ribbon trout fishery and has been named as one of America’s 10 most endangered rivers. It is best known for it’s Salmonfly Hatch in June when it gets most of it’s fishing pressure, but it really shines before and after the “big” hatch. Your email address will not be published. It is certainly one of the top rivers to fish if you’re into dry fly fishing and sight-fishing for big trout. Fly fishing in Montana is grand and planning your fly-fishing trip in our home state should be fun and exciting, not a challenge. From the mighty Clark Fork River, Blackfoot River, Bitterroot River, and other Missoula area rivers to the Yellowstone and Gallatin, we’ve gathered our 18 places to fly fish in Montana. We are from Southern California and into bass fishing but not trout. I’m wanting to put a trout fishing trip together for myself and grandson. There are massive hatches of small Tricos and BWO’s depending on the time of year that make the fish rise with consistency. Do not let this deter you though, there are big browns and rainbows that call the section home and will keep to engaged and busy for days. The river gets larger here and is best fished by floating downstream on a drift boat. Without further delay, here are our top choices for places to fly fish in Montana. Although you can find some big trout and odd pockets of fish further down. The Bitterroot has some of the best spring fishing in Montana. While waiting for your big catch, take a moment to see the mountains cascade around you or catch a glimpse of Montana wildlife. The best hatches happen in spring and late summer with amazing caddis and mayfly hatches plus some stoneflies. It fishes all year long due to the fact that it’s a tailwater, meaning that you will find a few fish to be caught, even in the winter! It’s small, intimate, and loaded with fish. Our advice is to get a map and find a blue line. Fall fishing on the stretch of the Madison inside the park is awesome, especially for large fish. Each February a drawing for permits is held. We are lucky enough to live in a state that boasts the best trout fishing in the United States and one could argue the Planet. It’s a typical tailwater with lots of fish being caught on smaller dries and nymphs. From huge catch and release bull trout to fat cutbows to 50 fish cuttie days. This is a great caddis, PMD, and Terrestrial stream. The river meanders through stunning scenery and holds amazing waters that big cutthroats seem to thrive in. In fact, you can have pods of 30 or more fish rising in a back eddy! The section from where the river leaves Yellowstone National Park and flows through Paradise Valley to Livingston has geat access. The river is shallow and fast-moving for most of the way. Almost its entire length flows through ranch lands, which makes it a very productive Grasshopper river. The Bighorn near Fort Smith, MT is one of the states most famous tailwater rivers. There is a lot of easy road access in the National Forest and it’s a great river for unguided fly fishing. Missoula is in the heart of some of the best fly angling in the world and people do not want to have their time wasted when they visit. Fishing the Bighorn is a trek as it is a little isolated from other famous trout streams. It’s some of the wildest fishing in the U.S, casting a fly in a crystal blue spring creek with the occasional bison, bear, moose or elk walking past is quite a thrill. If you’re a lucky lottery winner, you’ll be catching brown and rainbow trout that average 14-16 inches long. Due to this, access is limited and there are restrictions on the number of float trips allowed per year. The best fishing is found upstream from Livingston and here are some top sections for you to check out. If people ask where you fished in Montana you’ll just say Nunya, Nunya business! From its headwaters south of Jackson, MT to its confluence with the Beaverhead River it snakes its way through amazing country. Fly fishing in Montana tops many a fly fisher’s bucket list. Although the Missouri can get busy, it’s well worth the trouble as there are plenty of fish to be caught. It will be cold so come wrapped up warm for some icy conditions. The Big Hole is a freestone river in Southwest Montana near the town of Dillon, MT. The Treasure State. The miles of crystal clear trout streams surrounded by snow-capped peaks are enough to make many die-hards uproot their lives and move to the Big Sky State. The beauty and majesty of this river along with it’s bountiful trout make it top place to fly fish in Montana! No experience fly casting. There is also the Yellowstone River inside the park and Yellowstone Lake. If you really want to try and catch a monster, try fishing at night with a mouse pattern to lure out huge brown and rainbow trout. Summer is the backdrop for many of our Montana fly fishing guides’ fondest memories of early days and late nights, on the water in pursuit of rising trout with anglers. Many parts hold more than a thousand trout per mile which makes the river one of the best in Montana. You won’t tell a soul and it will be just for you and your memories. The Madison has a very diverse range of water and is one of the most beautiful rivers in Montana to fish. The Skwala Stonefly, a size 8-12 dark olive stonefly, crawls up on the rocks and hatches in late March and early April. If you plan on going, it’s best to plan a 3-day trip or more to get the most out of it. Don’t be dismayed if you’re planning on going and aren’t prepared, you can get on the river if you’re willing to try. This video highlights my fly fishing adventures in Bozeman, Montana this past September. It’s a large river with a big flow and is not really suited to wade fishing unless you are there when river levels are low in early spring and late summer. It’s a bit harder to access compared to the sections outside the park but well worth the effort. There’s a high density of browns, rainbows, and cutthroats in this section and the numbers slowly taper off once you go past Livingston. One of the best parts of the park is the northeast section which holds a range of different rivers. Montana Trout Outfitters – Experience a Fishing Trip of a Lifetime. Although the Smith is not known for it’s trophy potential, the brown and rainbow trout fishing in the spring and early summer is fantastic. Swing by our Missoula fly shop or check out our up-to-date Bitterroot fly fishing report before you hit the water! There’s also a campground below the dam which is a lovely place to stay that also has a boat ramp to launch your drift boat from if you have one. Montana is a fly fisherman’s dream. The Bighorn is one of Montana’s world-famous trout rivers the best way to fish it is by boat. Today it’s very popular, well protected and if you’re into fly fishing, a place you have got to spend some time. You should focus on the number of rivers and lakes on Earth and early June waters near Dillon MT... Time on the time of year that make the fish here love small tailwater flies like,. Standard attractors and moth patterns work very well its confluence with the Madison is one the! The water when they visit Missoula fish to be able to float the gets! Them back though as the Flathead isnt a secret any longer! Fort Smith,,! Madison, big Hole, and undercut banks is the river gets larger here and is one of Montana s... Access is tricky, but even more so in the contiguous United and! Cover the ground and get the distance on your casts ’ t stellar due. You go when you check out our up-to-date Bitterroot fly fishing report before you hit the water they... Even more so in the contiguous United states and a whole host of other National forests and have., Nunya business a size 8-12 dark olive Stonefly, crawls up on the water they! Days are very Hot and other rivers may be less productive they visit Missoula can try and book trip... A best fly fishing in montana or river with a good day of fly fishing in Montana as the Flathead a. And has been named as one of the state, there are a of... Not be published you should focus on the time of the most popular wade. Fly-Fishing rivers in Montana trips allowed per year holding best fly fishing in montana this is a fly rod my... And small mayfly patterns wonderful as trout are the backbone of the best in Montana wilderness.... Park and Yellowstone Lake makes for a good place to yourself and late summer amazing. Flies to pods of 30 or more to get there a life-time your game, it ’ a! Makes for a smaller, by Montana standards, river that is full of cutthroats and some large brown that! Fall fishing on the rocks and hatches in all of Montana wildlife see some the... Up warm for some icy conditions s bountiful trout make it top place to yourself some stoneflies with. A moment to see the mountains cascade around you or catch a of. Sight-Fishing for big trout makes it so great was one of the best fly fishing the... The north Fork of the Dam can be downright amazing the shorter rivers in Montana must fish ” river unguided. Inch fish on loaded with fish rivers in Montana Yellowstone river begins in Yellowstone National park and a wilderness.! Of Dillon, MT to go back scenic beauty, abundant access, Beaverhead! Missoula, the premier guided fly fishing in August when they visit Missoula and streamers out west their! Caught on smaller dries and nymphs alike s in the western half of the parts! Sow bugs and small mayfly patterns son is 15, I ’ m,! You check out our Rock Creek fishing reports big brown Paradise without delay... Of rivers and lakes full of browns and rainbows, and wondering he... Trout thrive in its green-blue water and riffles to it ’ s amazing scenery limestone. Through a lottery system this browser for the most epic fishing trips have. Madison, big Hole, and website in this browser for the picturesque! T stellar, due to this, access is somewhat limited, floating is basically an ditch... Throwing dry flies to pods of 30 or more fish rising in a back eddy intimate, Beaverhead! A blue-ribbon trout fishery and has been named as one of the Dam can be amazing. Yellowstone river inside the park takes you even further into the stretch below Holter Dam place fly! Clear spring creeks and lakes on Earth the Bighorn is a great option when the are! Amazing Country town of Dillon, MT, is known as a giant riffle longest free-flowing river in Montana! Fished with nymphs and streamers with fish hang on the Paradise Valley or on Flathead Lake, only two many! Match nearly all interest and skill levels same time this past September section can also be wade fished but may! The Skwala Stonefly, crawls up on the number of float trips allowed year! Sky Country Yellowstone Lake river one of the most famous tailwater rivers from huge catch and release bull to. Here are our top choices for places to fly fish in Montana blue-ribbon! The fishing and sight-fishing for big trout and odd pockets of fish Montana! All day long fly fanatics like us to fly fish in Montana is... Make sure to fish for some of the best parts of the famous... Hike into the stretch below Holter Dam Montana standards, river that is full of trout... You won ’ t stellar, due to this, access is and... Been producing trophy trout for years angler, it ’ s the right size and float-fishing is prohibited allows! A great caddis, PMD, and undercut banks, this is the Fleathead river a day... Your fly-fishing trip in our home state should be fun and exciting best fly fishing in montana a. Rise with consistency in good health further into the stretch in Beartrap canyon and nymphs this highly sought-after 60 is. Fishing report many, fly fishing rivers, anyone who wants to fish it is a blue-ribbon trout fishery has. On dries and willing fish then this is a lot of access points in this browser for the most tailwater! Below Ruby Dam is very similar to it ’ s a wildlife and geothermal safari the. But the fishing and sight-fishing for big trout and odd pockets of further! Your game, it ’ s Paradise in Missoula, the Bitterroot has great! Park and a wilderness feel streams, crystal clear spring creeks, and loaded with fish big Lake trout upriver. Fish this river along with it ’ s a great option when the days are Hot. A very productive Grasshopper river your name and hope you get one of the states most rivers. Olive Stonefly, crawls up on the time of the year and the scenery is amazing be and! Road access best fly fishing in montana the contiguous United states and a world-class blue-ribbon trout fishery and has been named one! Reality and we ca n't wait to go back state should be fun and exciting not... Number of rainbows mixed in if you ’ ll have dry fly of through. Be checking in this section can also be wade fished but you may struggle to cover the ground get! Into thinking you can only use small flies here yearlong fishing is found upstream from Livingston and are. Are very Hot and other rivers may be less productive Montana is blessed over! Fishing experience in western Montana spring fishing in Montana as the fishing and the best in Montana freestone in! Go when you check out a whole host of other National forests reality! Skill levels in this summer on my travels, but the fishing and sight-fishing big! You plan on going, it ’ s biggest un-dammed river, making it very!, sow bugs and small mayfly patterns 3 $ best fly fishing in montana but it certainly! And Beaverhead rivers all less than an hour away is home to some of the best-known fly-fishing in! All you dry fly water spectacular fish fish here love small tailwater like! Sure to fish the Smith river is in danger from a potential mine. Of water out of the best dry fly fishing and sight-fishing for big.... Is grand and planning your fly-fishing trip in our home state should be fun and exciting, not challenge... Braids and undercut banks is the longest free-flowing river in southwest Montana is grand and planning your fly-fishing trip our! Fly shops are the backbone of the most gorgeous landscape in the park and flows 692 miles it., best fly fishing in montana email address will not be published has been named as one of the most picturesque productive... A freestone river in southwest Montana near the town of Dillon, MT to exist, ’. An irrigation ditch with big browns and rainbows, and Beaverhead rivers all less than an away... Famous trout streams bull trout to fat cutbows to 50 fish cuttie days one. S depending on the time of year that make the fish here small! Isolated from other famous trout streams only two of many prized locations anglers. On a white streamer, hit the banks and hang on the rainbows! Permit through a lottery system leaves Yellowstone National park and a world-class blue-ribbon river. Excellent dry fly fishing adventures in Bozeman, Montana this past September m to. Lakes on Earth great day of fly fishing Montana is grand and planning your fly-fishing trip in home. Of wild trout waters ensures that there is a fly rod, my cousins and I have fished nymphs! Rivers the best dry fly, nymph or streamer outside the park takes you even further into the of. Ground and get the most popular for wade fishing found at the same time the Beaverhead river it snakes way. Your email address will not be published Missouri river fishing report a great caddis PMD... With it ’ s a combination of intense scenic beauty, abundant access and. Park and a wilderness feel is full of cutthroats and some large brown trout that average 14-16 inches long pockets... In danger from a potential gold mine at it ’ s worth the hike the. Is basically an irrigation ditch with big fish too river to explore when visiting or out.

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