Trout On The Fly

Montana Rivers we Fish

The Madison River

Madison River Montana The Madison River in southwest Montana is one of Montana’s premier fly fishing destinations and for good reason. This consistent fishery averages 2000 trout per mile with sizes ranging from 8 to 30 inches, and averaging 15 inches! The Madison is great for walk-n-wade or drift boat fishing, and the river’s diversity can suit any angler’s needs, whether you are new to the sport or a seasoned veteran. Nymph, dry fly or streamer fishing are all successful techniques to use on this river. The Madison River, with all its beauty, offers excellent opportunities for wild browns and rainbows, and we can find them for you year round!

The Gallatin River

Gallatin River Montana The Gallatin River was named after Albert Gallatin, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in 1805 by Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The river made a name for itself after the famed movie A River Runs Through It was filmed here. This fertile, quintessential freestone river is ideal for the walk-n-wade approach. Fed by high altitude snow runoff, freestone rivers become extremely cold in the winters to the point of freeze over in some sections. In the summer the Gallatin has a consistent cubic feet per second (CFS), though water temperatures can fluctuate greatly from the morning to afternoon. The scenic Gallatin is plentiful with smaller fish, mostly rainbows, averaging 8 to 12 inches with the occasional 16 to 20 inch brown.

The Yellowstone River

Yellowstone River Montana The Yellowstone River is the longest free flowing river in the lower 48, not once impeded by a dam. This untamed river starts in Yellowstone National Park and carves its way through some of Montana’s most diverse and breath taking country. Because of its sheer magnitude, using a drift boat or raft is the ideal way to fish this river effectively. This river offers indigenous Yellowstone cutthroats, wild rainbows, large browns and mountain whitefish. Every angler should make it a point to wet a line on the Yellowstone at least once in their lifetime.

The Missouri River

The Mighty Mo The Missouri River, also known as the "Mighty-Mo," originates a short drive west of Bozeman, next to the town of Three Forks, Montana. Here, three rivers merge together- the Madison, the Gallatin, and the Jefferson- bringing the Missouri River to life. Along its journey the Missouri has several dams, making most of the river a tailwater fishery (flowing from a reservoir out through a dam), also known as a "spring creek on steroids." Because of its rich aquatic life it allows rainbows and browns to become very large in size!

The Bighorn River

The Horn! The Bighorn River is another tailwater fishery, like the Might-Mo, producing large wild trout on small flies! The Bighorn is located east of Billings near the town of Fort Smith, Montana. While the fishing on some rivers gets a late spring start due to muddy runoff, the Bighorn can be fished year round. Using the drift boat allows us to jump from spot to spot, not only fishing from the boat but allowing us to stop and wade some of the runs holding numerous rainbows and browns.

The Jefferson River

The Jeff The Jefferson River has a lower fish count per mile so this is not a river you are likely to hear about when planning a trip to Montana. But if you want a river with low fishing pressure, scenic views and a chance at a large Brown, consider a float on the Jefferson.