Chances are, though, anglers are going to land something on the Big Hole River. It has information on individual local chapters and can be found here: There are many excellent fly shops across Montana. Below its junction with the East Fork of the Gallatin, float fishing is allowed. Streamers accounted for 20”+ brown trout for each of us. In all seriousness, most anglers can find excellent fishing between late March through October. I agree with the results of the shoot out and recommend the SKY G 590. If it is windy and you are fishing big water, a six weight might be a good idea to bring as well. This section of the river receives the most fishing pressure throughout the year. Don’t get too focused on your fishing. A June salmonfly hatch always proves to be bountiful and puts the most fishing pressure on the river. Expect cutthroat and rainbow trout in the upper reaches with a transition towards rainbow and brown trout in the lower stretches of Rock Creek. It then flows through the picturesque Big Hole Valley, with big topography flanking all sides. While wade fishing is possible with low water levels, the section of the river below the dam swarms with boats throughout much of the year. Best Places to Fly Fish in Montana. Thankfully, this issue has largely been addressed through ongoing Superfund cleanup efforts and the river is being revived. Thousands of anglers from across the world fly into this university town to fish the warmer seasons. Fishing to these risers out of a drift boat with callibaetis or trico imitations provides consistent action as long as the wind is not blowing too hard. Because of the tumbling nature of Rock Creek, stoneflies are plentiful including the salmonfly hatch that brings anglers from all over. Looking for something a little bit different? Of course, the Yellowstone River within the National Park is a must fish. Each February a drawing for permits is held. The next morning, we returned and changed tactics. The Bighorn River, in south-central Montana, is one of the best trout streams in the country. A Golden Stone hatch follows and lasts through July. This is probably because of the lower overall fish counts on the Jefferson. You may also find an occasional grayling here. Challenging access and uncertain flows from irrigation dams lend to limited fishing pressure on the Sun River. Fly fishing classes. The landscapes, besides being stunningly beautiful, are relatively undeveloped - the nation’s fourth-largest state only has a population of 800,000. For the lakes, make sure you bring callibaetis and trico patterns as well as some leech and crawfish patterns. The good news is that this river also features phenomenal mayfly and caddis hatches along with some stoneflies. Thus, it is fished less than the rest of the river. Rock Creek’s season spans much of the year outside of winter. The river forms at Three Forks where the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin River’s come together. Below Sun River Canyon, the river and fishing mellow out, with nice long riffles and runs. 4 Gallatin River. So it becomes necessary to know about the best fly-fishing destinations in US with ease. And the surrounding landscapes are straight from the postcards seen at the regional airports. Contact us. Also, keep an eye out for the grizzly bears that call the park home. Browns will ravenously attack hoppers for most of the summer into early fall. The Missouri River is a true bug factory. This stretch of river is famous for fly fishing in Montana, as it is where many of the iconic scenes in A River Runs Through It were filmed. This is one of the best rivers in Montana for wading anglers. Once it enters Montana, it flows through Hebgen Lake. The large rainbow and brown trout along with an occasional mountain whitefish will keep you entertained for days. All those big lake fish head up into the Park waters starting in late summer. The float usually takes four days to complete. Bring a heavy rod and big streamers for the bull trout. Anglers come from across the world to land 16-inch rainbow and brown trout, which are in no short supply thanks to superb hatches. Stop by a park visitor center to get a current copy of the regulations. A boat or float tube is ideal to get you out to where the fish are. Check current regulations if you intend to target bull trout to make sure that you stay legal. The fishing regulations can be found here: Information on fish stocking is found here: Fly Fishers International located in Livingston Montana has great information about fly fishing: Montana Trout Unlimited is also a great resource. This classic freestone is close to Missoula. The best time for the four-day float is in June, when the weather is a more reliably sunny, the high water has subsided, and the caddis are hatching. While there are many great places to fly fish on the Missouri River, some of the best fishing is in the stretch below Holter Dam. This northwest corner of the state is far less traveled and is more like the Pacific Northwest ecosystem than traditional big sky country. Guided Trips. The shallow waters of Rock Creek have excellent trout habitats, including riffles, rock gardens, and deep pools. With the famed Madison River in Montana such a short drive away, we made certain that we took time to fish it. Bring light rods, long leaders, and fine tippets for these educated trout. Thanks for visiting us at Montana Fishing Outfitters, we are here to help you make your Montana fly fishing trip come to reality. Best Time to Fly Fish in Montana. For anglers, fishing in Montana is about as close as you can get to heaven. From the stunning red canyons of Colorado to the crystal-clear mountain lakes of the Wind Rivers to the beaver flows of New Hampshire, you can find lots of fly-fishing destinations that have excellent fish action. 1. Here’s a LINK to my store -> River Traditions, “This site is owned and operated by River Traditions LLC, a limited liability company headquartered in Michigan, USA. Discover the best fly fishing lodges in Montana. Intense rapids make up much of the section below Quake Lake, adding to its reputation as one of the best white water rivers in Montana. When these fish are in Hebgen, they provide opportunities for sight fishing cruising risers on calm days. This change in scenery and river flow also provides visitors with a healthy mix of techniques to try. River pressure eases after the Skwala hatch in the spring, and the river provides excellent fishing throughout the summer and fall. Just visiting the Big Hole makes for a memorable fishing experience regardless of the catch. As a tailwater, the Bighorn fishes very well on standard tailwater patterns. Yellowstone is about wildlife viewing, geothermal features, and yes, the fishing. Heavy hatches of mayflies like pale morning duns bring seemingly every fish in the stream to the surface. Standard attractor dry flies are often the best approach on this fine trout stream. Montana's premier fly fishing guide service. If you want to fish on Yellowstone Lake, remember you have to kill all lake trout caught. Montana. The river eventually joins the Jefferson and Madison rivers to form the Missouri River in Three Forks. Remember to bring long leaders as these fish get spooky! Outside the national park, the stretch of water between Gardiner and Livingston showcases this beautiful landscape. Consider streamer fishing on the upper Jefferson if you like targeting large brown trout in tight structure. The Madison River begins in Yellowstone National Park at the confluence of the Firehole and Gibbon rivers. While wade fishing is possible, the wide river is best floated. A Fly Box: Bring your best fly box to keep your flies safe and dry while fishing in Montana Flies: Pheasant Tails, PMD’s, baitfish patterns. Here, the canyon landscape transforms into vast agricultural acres surrounding the lower river. If you’re a lucky lottery winner, you’ll be catching brown and rainbow trout that average 14-16 inches long. Evening caddis hatches can be fantastic as well. There are different patterns highly recommended. Access to the Big Hole River is relatively easy. It provides a winter and summer habitat for many large rainbow and brown trout that move in and out of the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park to spawn. This changing landscape affords several fly fishing opportunities. It is a further drive from places like Bozeman than the Madison or Gallatin. Overall numbers of trout begin to decline as you head downriver from Livingston although there are some large trout and even a few sections that still have high densities. For most of your fishing in Montana, a standard fast action nine foot five weight fly rod is best. The Gallatin is a fast flowing river with a high gradient. Good shoreline to walk and wade are more limited but not impossible to find. Nothing speaks to the soul of Montana like fly fishing. Montana in Pictures: 15 Beautiful Places to Photograph, 12 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Missoula, 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Montana, 7 Best Rivers for White Water Rafting in Montana, 12 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Montana, 2021, 10 Top-Rated Things to Do in Great Falls, MT, 12 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Helena, MT, 10 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Bozeman, MT, 19 Best Places to Visit in the United States, 11 Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the World, top attractions in Yellowstone National Park. This video highlights my fly fishing adventures in Bozeman, Montana this past September. Rainbow, brown, brook, cutthroat, and lake trout are all found in Yellowstone along with grayling and mountain whitefish if you know where to look. Originally explored by Lewis and Clark, the Missouri River has a long history as a major gateway to the western United States. This famous section of the Missouri River is easily accessible from Craig, Montana, 40 miles north of Helena. Fly fisherman on the Big Hole River near Melrose, Montana | U.S. Department of Agriculture / photo modified. Known for jumbo sized brown trout, the Beaverhead is a surprisingly small river considering the size of the fish that live there. These two lakes are found close to the Madison River at $3 Bridge. For anglers willing to make the hike, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone provides a productive fishery. Here are a few of the flies you shouldn’t leave home without. Brown trout caught while fly fishing the Bighorn River. The Park itself could keep a fly angler busy for the rest of their life. Clean water, fresh air, mountain vistas, rich culture - what’s not to love in Montana? The only natural lake on the Madison River, Quake Lake was formed by a strong earthquake in 1959. Another lake located on the Madison River, Ennis lake also offers some great fly fishing. If you are planning on spending a lot of time on streams like the Gallatin or Rock Creek, a longer rod might be a good idea for the extra reach. Early summer and fall are the best seasons to fly fish the Madison within the park. Make sure and bring plenty of flies to match a variety of hatches. Book now. Most of Montana's rivers and streams teem with trout. Take me to Vrbo. With good hatches, the dry fly angler will particularly enjoy this river. October is fall fly fishing at its finest in Montana. The sheer volume of incredible trout water guarantees that. The Smith River offers magnificent Montana landscapes alongside fast striking fish. Stop to enjoy the scenery as often as possible. And because of the calm waters regulated by the dam, a variety of fishing vessels take to the water. Drift boat fly fishing through the Alberton River Gorge on the Clark Fork River. The 25 miles of the river within Yellowstone National Park are accessible with a hike and a park fishing permit. Parts of the Gallatin are shallow enough to wade across the river. Cast your line in the Paradise Valley or on Flathead Lake, only two of many prized locations for anglers in Big Sky Country. The Madison River also starts within Yellowstone National Park, at the confluence of the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers. These challenges deter many anglers, which lends to the trout biting at anything that drops in the water. This section of the river primarily flows through public National Forest land. Montana may well be the very best state for the fly angler. The best time to target them is during the annual salmonfly hatch. You will also probably hook some large mountain whitefish if you choose to fish nymphs. We book fly fishing trips throughout Montana for all ages and skill levels. While the explorers didn’t find the hoped for water route to the Pacific, they did discover one of the best trout streams in the country. There are plenty of access points to launch a boat on Hebgen. Once outside the wilderness complex, the river flows through the imposing Sun River Canyon. The Bitterroot River offers some of the earliest season fishing with a spring Skwala hatch. What also makes fishing harder is that uniquely in the state, permits are required to float between public access points on the Smith River. With no float fishing allowed, this section of the Gallatin offers excellent wade fishing. Plan to fish several days and make a trip of it. Several designated campgrounds line the waterway. All inclusive trips with professional and knowledgeable fly fishing guides. Big Sky Country. Hebgen Lake is a special trout fishery. Here in Kootenai Country we can honestly offer a different experience. However, if you want to target those cruising gulpers, then a four weight might be best. Evening caddis and mayfly spinner falls in the summer are worth staying out late for. It’s almost a societal sin in Montana to not fish the state’s abundant waterways.