Montana Fly Fishing Rivers
Looking for the best Montana Fly Fishing Rivers?
Well, you’ve come to the right spot! We outfit and guide on some of the top Montana Fly Fishing Rivers! Check out the world-class Montana trout streams we fish! Whether you are looking for some of the best dry fly fishing around on the Missouri River, one of the most breathtaking floats in the country on the Blackfoot, a single day, or a multi-day trip on Montana’s “secret gem”, the Dearborn. Or lastly, a ‘bucket-list’ trip on the Smith River or the South Fork of the Flathead River, we have a trip that we guarantee will fulfill all your Montana fly fishing dreams!
Montana Fly Fishing Daytrips
The ‘Mighty Missouri’ is one of the finest Montana Fly Fishing Rivers in our great state, hands down! The 30-mile-long “blue ribbon” designated stretch of the Missouri River begins below Holter Dam and ends at Cascade, Montana. This nutrient-rich tailwater fishery boasts an average of 5,000 to 7,000 or more adult trout per mile!
Although beginner and novice fly fishers often enjoy great success, the nature of the Missouri River is more suited for advanced-level anglers. The average age and size of the Rainbow and Brown Trout exceed the averages on most of the other Montana Fly Fishing Rivers in the state! That being said – with age comes wisdom!
The Missouri River is very well known for its prolific hatches of very small aquatic insects. It is also well known for being difficult to catch fish at times. Often you are competing with literally millions of insects in and on the water, in all stages of development. It can be a challenge to figure out what the fish are eating! Once we figure that out, long accurate casts and excellent line control are paramount to your success!
The Big Blackfoot River is truly one of the most magnificent “freestone” Montana Fly Fishing Rivers in the west! We are proud to claim the Blackfoot as our “home” river. The beauty of the Blackfoot and its surroundings is unsurpassed and the fly fishing is phenomenal!
Westslope Cutthroat Trout dominate the Blackfoot. The Cutthroats are quite forgiving in the fast flows of the Blackfoot. They are not quite as finicky as the trout can be on some of the other rivers we fish, so even beginners can expect lots of action! There are also good numbers of Rainbow and Brown Trout here as well as the predatory Bull Trout, which can grow to be well over 30 inches!
The Blackfoot River is well known for its strong Salmonfly and Golden Stonefly hatches and hungry trout anxious to crush a large bushy dry fly! The Blackfoot fishes well from April through October. Spend a day or more with one of our fly fishing guides and see for yourself how well!
Yup, ‘A River Runs Through It’, and so can you!
A Well Kept Secret
The Dearborn is not one of the better-known Montana Fly Fishing Rivers, but rather a secret Montana ‘gem’.
The Dearborn River is very scenic and major tributary of the Missouri River. It begins in the Scapegoat Wilderness on the East Front of the Rockies and merges with the Missouri River a few miles below Craig, Montana.
The float fishing “season” is rather short on the Dearborn, usually only lasting 3 to 4 weeks, tops. The most popular float fishing stretch of the Dearborn begins at its intersection with Montana Highway 287 and runs for about 18 miles where it joins the Missouri River. Although it is possible to row upstream for a couple of hundred yards and take out at the “Dearborn” boat ramp, most floaters continue on down the Missouri for another 1 1/2 miles or so and take out at the “Mid Cannon” fishing access site.
The fishing for big Rainbow and Brown Trout can be outstanding at times, more so the closer you get to the Missouri River. There are decent hatches of Salmonflies and Golden Stoneflies to be enjoyed on the Dearborn, but timing is everything!
The boat traffic and fishing pressure can be heavy during the peak of the float season. The best way to enjoy the best fishing is to get a really early start or wait until mid-morning to begin. This places us before, or well behind the majority of the crowds.
If you have not floated the Smith, then it’s about time you did! The Smith River is one of the most popular Montana Fly Fishing Rivers that exist! It is an awe-inspiring 60-mile float through majestic canyons and towering rock cliffs and walls. In addition to that, the fishing is amazing!
The Brown Trout and Rainbows here are very abundant and hungry! And, the average size of the fish is nothing short of amazing! Dry fly fishing can be absolutely awesome, but large nymphs and streamers account for the most consistent fishing success.
Smith River Trips begin at Camp Baker, about 25 miles from White Sulphur Springs, and end at the Eden Bridge, about 25 miles from Ulm, where the Smith enters the Missouri River. This is a 5-day trip with beautiful designated, reserved riverside campsites. This trip is quite suitable for the whole family to enjoy! Don’t miss out on this coveted opportunity! Learn more about the Smith River Here, or call today to reserve your spots!
Our Most Prized Fly Fishing River!
The South Fork of the Flathead River is our “crown jewel”! This gin-clear river flowing through the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness is home to incredible numbers of Westslope Cutthroat and Bull Trout!
There are no other Montana Fly Fishing Rivers that we can compare it to in terms of “cooperative” fish. There are so many Westslope Cutthroats in the South Fork that there is serious competition for food! Not only are they as numerous as stars in the sky, but many also reach an astonishing size! Cutthroats exceeding 20 inches are not uncommon!
Dry fly fishing is so consistently productive that we very seldom fish with nymphs. As a matter of fact, we almost consider nymphing as “cheating” on the South Fork!
The South Fork of the Flathead is also one of the very few places in the lower 48 where it is legal to fish for Bull Trout. Some of the Bull Trout in the South Fork are absolutely huge! Some will exceed 40 inches! 6, 7, and even 8-weight rods are required to land these monsters! They will really test your tackle once they get hold of your streamer!
South Fork trips are 7 days long. It takes a day and a half on horseback just to get there. Mules carry our gear and rafts to the upper river where our trips begin. Depending upon the trip, we may spend 2 nights at our first riverside camp and take 4 days to float out. Or we might stay only one night at each campsite and take 5 shorter days to float out.
This is the most fantastic fishing trip you could experience in Montana! Don’t miss out on it – call us today!