Plan to fish several days and make a trip of it. Missoula used to be a hub for rail travel, and you can still see the historic and preserved railroad stations around town. The big treat here is that you can also fish for bull trout. Duck Lake. This is probably because of the lower overall fish counts on the Jefferson. So in no particular order, here are our picks for the best fishing cities to visit in the US this coming year. 8. Evening caddis hatches can be fantastic as well. The fishing can be pretty good as well. If you are looking for the famous Yellowstone cutthroat trout, keep your fishing closer to Gardner. Wet a line in the most productive towns in the country. It’s open for fishing from November 15 to September 15, so you can try for your catch of the day almost anytime. The banks are generally overgrown and impossible to navigate. You'll receive your first newsletter soon! This is the place to go to try your hand at catching wild, native fish. Latest. This is a textbook, boulder-strewn river with a bit of whitewater mixed in. While the park stretch is well worth exploring, the best fishing in Montana occurs further downstream. Each February a drawing for permits is held. Cast your line in the Paradise Valley or on Flathead Lake, … 2) Fishing on Martha’s Vineyard. Montana is known for its beautiful National Parks Glacier Park and Yellowstone Park. If you intend to fly fish with streamers for larger trout, then a seven weight fly rod with sinking or sink tip line is a good choice. It can be overwhelming with all of the great options to decide where to spend your time if you only have a day or two to enjoy fly fishing in Bozeman. The same goes for the spring creeks as well where three or four weight rods are best unless it is unbearably windy. Below Ennis Lake, the river flows through the famous Beartrap Canyon. Callibaetis and midges are the main bugs here. The famous $3 Bridge wade access is always crowded, but there is good reason. Once it enters Montana, it flows through Hebgen Lake. The fish are quite spooky at times and so the ability to have a lighter presentation is ideal. Get more stories delivered right to your email. Feast On The Finest Cuisine At The Fieldhouse In Montana, Where Everything Is Made From Scratch, Hike With Llamas At Swan Mountain Llama Trekking In Montana, Hike To An Emerald Lake On This Enchanting Hiking Trail In Montana, The 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar Is A Massive Gift Shop In Montana That Is Like No Other In The World, 8 Gorgeous Beaches in Montana You Have To Check Out This Summer, 7 Little Known Swimming Spots In Montana That Will Make Your Summer Awesome, 5 Reasons To Drop Everything And Visit This Underrated Montana State Park, These 9 Montana Parks Are Small In Size, But Rich In Beauty, The Beautiful Restaurant Tucked Away In A Montana Forest Most People Don’t Know About, The Small Town In Montana You’ve Never Heard Of But Will Fall In Love With, This Stunning Montana Wildlife Refuge Is The Perfect Summer Nature Escape, The Sweet Treats At Willows HuckleberryLand In Montana Are Exquisite. Bring a variety of leaders and tippet material. Caddis are also very prevalent. Located in the southwest portion of Montana, the Bitterroot River is conveniently located reasonably close to Missoula. Add a name or favorite quote. Here are a few of the flies you shouldn’t leave home without. The far upper river is much like a spring creak. That said, it can provide memorable fishing opportunities if you take the time to fish it. Pale morning duns size 14 and 16 hatch on most Montana rivers and streams. Only a small sliver of Yellowstone National Park is actually in Montana. This laid-back, outdoorsy town is the home of famous fly fishing in Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It. Another lake located on the Madison River, Ennis lake also offers some great fly fishing. Consider streamer fishing on the upper Jefferson if you like targeting large brown trout in tight structure. A recent article on movoto.com revealed that Montana, aka “The Last Best Place”, has some incredibly amazing towns in the state that are also dubbed the best places to live in the treasure state. The Gallatin is great for beginners, especially from June through August. A boat is the best way to fish this lake although some of the shoreline is accessible. 1. Our guides are knowledgeable of the best fishing locations the state has to offer. Best Montana Fly Fishing Rivers. But, if you’re not into river fishing, other bodies of water, like Lake McDonald, are filled with very healthy populations of cutthroat and some very large lake trout. Once the river exits the National Forest, access becomes quite difficult with less than cooperative landowners. Twelve to fifteen foot leaders ending in 5x tippet is typical on several of these waters. Known for some of the best trout fishing in the country, Missoula is home to the Clark Fork, Bitterroot, and the Big Blackfoot rivers. Known for jumbo sized brown trout, the Beaverhead is a surprisingly small river considering the size of the fish that live there. Coming out of the high mountainous region of Yellowstone, it flows very cold throughout the year. The Kalispell area lake remains a great place for fishing. The clear, cold water in the lakes and rivers is a perfect habitat for trout and other freshwater fish. Stay in Cooke City Montana and make the short drive into the Lamar Valley. Green drakes in late June and July are a special treat as well. 3) All you need to know about Montauk. Browns will ravenously attack hoppers for most of the summer into early fall. The list of fishing places is as long as the Missouri River, but these 12 Montana fishing spots are especially perfect for casting a line. This river is not as pressured as some Montana waters although does get its fair share of anglers. Situated on the Yellowstone River, it is only an hour by drive to Yellowstone National Park. The National Park Service does have special regulations including seasonal and permanent closures on certain stretches. Angling pressure is lower here which probably helps. In the spring and early summer you’ll most likely catch lake trout using spinners and streamers. Here you can fish such famed waters as the Lamar itself, Soda Butte Creek, or Slough Creek. 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. It is a further drive from places like Bozeman than the Madison or Gallatin. Remember to bring long leaders as these fish get spooky! The earthquake set off a huge landslide that dammed up the Madison River and created the lake. Nights are becoming longer and temperatures staA description of the fly fishing, weather and hatches and angler can expect in Montana for the month of September. The rainbow trout are normally measured in pounds there with ten pound fish a distinct possibility. Blackfoot River. Check your local fly shop for “25 Best Towns for Fly Fishing for Trout” or order directly from Stonefly Press. The longest undammed river in the country is gorgeous, and the fly fishing is great. With some of United States’ very best scenery to go with the amazing fly fishing, Montana is a must fish destination for any serious angler. Many of the large trout in Ennis Lake migrate upstream to spawn. Add in numerous hatches providing good dry fly action and you have a fly angler’s dream. Rainbow, brown, brook, cutthroat, and lake trout are all found in Yellowstone along with grayling and mountain whitefish if you know where to look. Make sure and bring plenty of flies to match a variety of hatches. The lower Beaverhead suffers from summer drawdowns due to irrigation demands. Because it is not close to other famous Montana waters, a trip to the Bighorn is a dedicated single destination trip unless you have an abundance of time. Do yourself a favor and fish the fall run on the Madison River sometime. My buddy and I were on a weeklong camping trip to Yellowstone National Park. Ultimate Montana Fishing Montana is known for some of the best river, spring creek and lake fishing in the nation, including many legendary blue ribbon wild trout streams. Read more about my recommended fly rods and other accessories at my RECOMMENDED GEAR PAGE(Links to Page). 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. Below its junction with the East Fork of the Gallatin, float fishing is allowed. They’re popular, easy to find, and beautiful. This area is called the “50 mile riffle,” and it’s nice and wide and shallow. Montana: What You Need To Know Living in Montana gives residents access to some of the best trout fishing in the country, massive mountains and wide open prairies. The Jefferson River is one of the three main tributaries of the mighty Missouri River and also happens to be the least fished. The large rainbow and brown trout along with an occasional mountain whitefish will keep you entertained for days. Then the Bighorn is for you. Below Yellowtail Dam, the Bighorn River tailwater provides world class fly fishing for rainbow and brown trout. Originally explored by Lewis and Clark, the Missouri River has a long history as a major gateway to the western United States. These two lakes are found close to the Madison River at $3 Bridge. The Madison River begins in Yellowstone National Park at the confluence of the Firehole and Gibbon rivers. The best fishing is usually from early to mid July through mid September in most years. The clear rivers and streams are fed by runoff from the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, an ideal environment for trout and salmon. Yellow sallies are also plentiful. The good news is that the Gallatin is a premier dry fly river. The Park itself could keep a fly angler busy for the rest of their life. Access is excellent all the way from the Yellowstone National Park Boundary down through Paradise Valley and beyond. You’ll find the Hyalite Reservoir about 19 miles south of Bozeman. Yellowstone is about wildlife viewing, geothermal features, and yes, the fishing. A boat or float tube is ideal to get you out to where the fish are. River Traditions LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”, http://fwp.mt.gov/fish/regulations/default.html?id=fishing#fishing, Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymph, Size 14-20, Terrestrials such as beetles, hoppers, and ants, mid to late summer, Callibaetis, nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners, size 14-16, Trico, both duns and spinners, black and olive, size 20-26. Standing dead trees are found throughout much of the lake. That is because float fishing is not allowed on a majority of the Gallatin River so waders will have the river to themselves as far as the fishing is concerned. Enter your e-mail address for things to do, restaurants to try and much more! #21 Best Places to Live in Montana Current Resident : East Helena is a great place to raise a family. By Field & Stream Online Editors. The amazing diversity of wild trout waters ensures that there is destination to match nearly all interest and skill levels. Fall can arrive early in the Rockies, but warm Indian summers are also possible. As with most cutthroat trout, standard attractor dry flies from size 8-16 are best. You … When these fish are in Hebgen, they provide opportunities for sight fishing cruising risers on calm days. Access is difficult but the fishing can be good to excellent for adventuresome anglers. This makes it ideal for fly anglers. You will find rainbow, brown, and a few cutthroat trout here. Although these are mostly all privately owned making access somewhat pricey, the fishing is worth the price of admission. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is responsible for making and enforcing fishing regulations. Today, angler’s come from all over to try for the large rainbow and brown trout that call this river home. Dry flies are often the best choice on this perfect fly fishing river. Montana may well be the very best state for the fly angler. Stop to enjoy the scenery as often as possible. Here, brown trout dominate and access is tough. The Gallatin is another great trout river with its headwaters in Yellowstone National Park. The Nelson Reservoir, which is close to Malta, is full of perch and walleye as well as some lesser known species. Though they’re a less common catch, you could also end up with a cutthroat. Boston, MA. The river forms at Three Forks where the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin River’s come together. Some sections of the Big Hole provide excellent access for wading. Missouri River. You will want some type of watercraft if you are planning on fishing these lakes. Big Sky Country is brimming with wonderful spots for fishing. This section gets crowded and has special regulations on float access so check the current regulations for more info. From huge Striped Bass in Boston Harbor to Quincy Bay’s famous Flounder fishery, Boston has great angling right on its doorstep. Most of Montana’s best trout streams eventually find their way to the Missouri. Where to Fly Fish in Bozeman, MT. The Smith River is unusual because of the limited access and restrictions on the number of boats allowed to launch each day. The first day was tough as it can often be on new water, but the evening hatch more than made up for it. It lies along the Missouri River and was created with the construction of the Canyon Ferry Dam. Summer pale morning duns in size 14-16 along with evening caddis in 14-18 will keep the dry fly connoisseur happy all day. Head Hunters Fly Shop in Craig – http://www.headhuntersflyshop.comBlue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone – http://blue-ribbon-flies.comMadison River Fishing Company in Ennis – https://www.mrfc.comThe Grizzly Hackle Fly Shop in Missoula – https://grizzlyhackle.comSteinmetz Outfitters in Helena – https://steinmetzoutfitters.com/app/, A PERSONALIZED fly box make a perfect gift. Sumrell recommends fishing the “Bird Float,” from the Grey Owl access to Mallard’s Rest, any time between mid-June and mid-July. All those big lake fish head up into the Park waters starting in late summer. The Ruby River has two distinct sections, the upper and lower. However, if you want to target those cruising gulpers, then a four weight might be best. Will you be doing any fishing this year? This is one of the only places in Montana where it is legal to do so although there are some limitations. But don’t get too attached to the fish you hook—it’s catch and release only. There are also places to go swimming and fishing. For the lakes, make sure you bring callibaetis and trico patterns as well as some leech and crawfish patterns. Let’s take a look below at some of the many towns an angler must visit while in Montana. The low pressure can also be attributed to the more remote nature of this river. Check current regulations if you intend to target bull trout to make sure that you stay legal. You will also probably hook some large mountain whitefish if you choose to fish nymphs. If it is windy and you are fishing big water, a six weight might be a good idea to bring as well. The fishing is good all year long here, though the summer months are the best and the most popular. Don’t forget some spruce moth patterns as they are particularly plentiful on the Gallatin. Depending on the time of year and flies you are throwing, you might be able to go heavier. 2. Tucked down away in the south-west of Montana is the Park County city of Livingston. Tan and olive caddis in size 14-18 should cover most situations. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here: The Smith River is one of the most amazing fishing spots in Montana… if you’re lucky enough to get there. There’s an abundance of trout in this river, and the summer dry fly fishing is excellent. Cool rainy weather can be a good time to fish this lower section. With its headwaters in Yellowstone National Park (see #21), the Yellowstone River flows north out of Wyoming and into Montana as a world class blue ribbon fishery. Evening caddis and mayfly spinner falls in the summer are worth staying out late for. We are fortunate as anglers in Montana to be surrounded by some of the best fly fishing rivers in the world.From the famous tailwaters boasting trophy fish and some of the highest fish per mile counts in the country to our many freestone rivers filled with wild trout, Montana truly is the last best place for a fly fishing trip. Missoula, Montana. Bring a heavy rod and big streamers for the bull trout. The trout grow large here. Even better, take a break during the heat of the day and fish the evening hatch once other anglers have left the river. The rainbow and brown trout here can grow to large sizes. Remember that by Montana law, you can access the river below the high water mark. Their willingness to attack dry flies is what makes the cutthroat an angler favorite. Use streamers to target the brown trout in the river. Streamers, just about any time but especially in the fall for large brown trout. This section has many crawfish, so bring some imitations and target the larger trout that live here. 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. 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. By far, Yellowstone River is considered the best trout fishing river in the world. This bed breakfast is located in the heart of Glacier Country Montana. Midges, worms, and scuds are staples. Hebgen Lake is a special trout fishery. As boat traffic can be heavy in other areas of the lake. This upper section is like a giant spring creek. Fish rose until we couldn’t see anymore. If you want to fish on Yellowstone Lake, remember you have to kill all lake trout caught. Anyone who is already in the vicinity owes it to themselves to spend at least a day or two here. Looking to catch good numbers of trout? From the Madison River, to the Gallatin River, to the Yellowstone River, and every small stream in between: the list is endless. Want to catch big fish? However, since access is quite limited, floating is really the only way to fish this lower section. It’s one of the most picturesque places to fly fish in Montana. The narrow stream presents its own challenges but plenty of fish make the effort worthwhile. If you are dry fly fishing, then you will probably want long leaders on many rivers and lakes. Find area description and characteristics, area amenities and things to do, climate and weather, housing options, cost of living, senior assistance, area demographics and job & volunteer opportunities. Located in Montana’s Northern Rockies, the City of Missoula is home to plenty of blue-ribbon trout fishing, kayaking adventures and nearby hiking trails. We recommend a well-stocked fly box for success. Golden Stonefly Nymphs, June and July, size 4-6 Check. The short tailwater below the lake is excellent, but our favorite fishing is downstream of Quake Lake. Gulpers can be found cruising here just like on Hebgen Lake. Learn more at: http://www.alwaystravelwithfishinggear.com/p/blog-page_2.html. Best Ranches in Montana, United States: See traveler reviews, candid photos and great deals on ranches in Montana on Tripadvisor. My first time fishing Montana was something of a revelation. Two Medicine Lakes at Glacier National Park holds a nice variety of brook trout and rainbow trout. The good news is that this river also features phenomenal mayfly and caddis hatches along with some stoneflies. That is really the point though. The second largest of Montana’s cities is Missoula, the home to the sprawling campus of the University of Montana. Rainbow and brown trout are your main targets although cutthroat and grayling can be found as well. During summer, lunkers seek haven in the deeper, cooler waters, so the fishing is often better at night. Best Places to Fly Fish in Montana. The Montana state record brown trout was caught in Wade Lake and was nearly 30 pounds. One of the major tributaries of the Missouri, the Yellowstone River also happens to be one of the best trout streams in the country. Whitefish are also present as in most Montana rivers. The landscapes, besides being stunningly beautiful, are relatively undeveloped - the nation’s fourth-largest state only has a population of 800,000. Once it gets breezy, the chop on the lake surface makes it tough to dry fly fish. West of the continental divide, numerous natural lakes exist that can supply endless fishing opportunities. Love Montana? To be able to float the Smith River, you have to enter a drawing for a permit and hope you get one. Due to the river’s large size, float fishing is probably the best bet although walk and wade anglers can find fish as well. The Gallatin is a fast flowing river with a high gradient. Downstream from $3 Bridge, much of the river can be accessed and fished by float anglers. More Fishing. There are lifetime’s of fly fishing opportunities within an hour of Bozeman, MT. A particularly good plan is to fish the lake in the morning until the winds pick up. For anglers, fishing in Montana is about as close as you can get to heaven. History lovers might also want to check out the iconic Caras Park Carousel, the Missoula Art Museum and the iconic Roxy Theater. Try night time mousing for huge rainbow and brown trout with guide Bryan Allison. Of course, the Yellowstone River within the National Park is a must fish. The river provides epic fishing for native cutthroat trout along with some rainbows. This is one of the best rivers in Montana for wading anglers. If there was only one place to recommend fishing in Montana, that would be Yellowstone River. Canyon Ferry Lake is the third largest lake in Montana, at 14,200 hectare. A ten foot three weight or four weight is an excellent choice as long as the wind is not blowing too strong. The Best Fishing Towns in America. The state’s enlightened stream access laws are angler friendly making it easy to find a good place to fly fish. Ever since that first magical trip, I always try to make time to fish some of the best water in Montana anytime I am close. Native Yellowstone cutthroat abound here and are normally easy to catch. Nailing down the specifics on this run is tough, but if you hit it right you might catch the brown trout of a lifetime. You can visit their website here: On their website, you can find information about fish stocking, regulations, and buy your fishing license. Come prepared for true winter fishing conditions. Many grizzly bears call the wilderness home so take appropriate bear precautions. For campsites with a view, the best campgrounds in Montana are within eyesight of glacial lakes, snowy mountains, and trout-filled rivers, nestling into the many state parks, national forests, and special places across the state. In fact, the Flathead National Forest might be one of the nation's best sleeper spots for trophy whitetails. A float tube or canoe is probably best. Whether you enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, or just lounging on the shores with a picnic, the perfect lake is never far away when you live in Montana. As with the upper river, anglers will probably have to stay in the river if they want to get away from access points. Thank you! The state of Montana provides many access points throughout this section. Fishing huge dry flies among the standing dead trees can be epic. Don’t get too focused on your fishing. A nearby option that runs under the radar is the Blackfoot tribal lands on the east side of Glacier National Park. Where are your favorite Montana fishing spots? Good shoreline to walk and wade are more limited but not impossible to find. If you are one of the lucky few, then you get the privilege of a multiday float trip through some of the most beautiful scenery around. Rainbows become more common as you head downriver, especially as you enter Paradise Valley. 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. As a tailwater, the Bighorn fishes very well on standard tailwater patterns. These non-native fish have significantly affected the native cutthroat population and the Park Service goes to great lengths to remove as many lake trout as possible. 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. Thankfully, this issue has largely been addressed through ongoing Superfund cleanup efforts and the river is being revived. The lower Ruby River provides some of the best hopper fishing opportunities in Montana. Fort Peck is one of the most popular fishing spots in Eastern Montana, but there are some other great waters worth exploring. Written by Brad Lane Nov 28, 2019. The city’s downtown is also the arts and culture hub for the area, with a number of bookstores, concert venues, … The river contains rainbow, brown, brook, cutthroat, and brown trout. In town, the Buffalo Café serves up its namesake breakfast "pies", which take the form of haystack-high hashbrowns piled with eggs, cheese, sausage and other fixin's. Montana is home to some of the best fly fishing rivers, spring creeks and lakes on Earth. The best time to target them is during the annual salmonfly hatch. The run gets stronger as you get deeper into fall. Luckily, hunters have reached a general consensus on some of the best places to hunt for different types of game, offering newcomers great tips and tricks that make picking the best spot easier. Rainbow trout are the main quarry on the Bitterroot although some cutthroat and brown trout can be found as well. Expect cutthroat and rainbow trout in the upper reaches with a transition towards rainbow and brown trout in the lower stretches of Rock Creek. Salmonflies, golden stoneflies, and yellow sallies are found on many streams and rivers. Since this is often ambiguous, it is best to stay in the actual stream if you choose to fish through private water to avoid problems. Located in the northwestern part of the state, near Glacier National Park, Whitefish is a … Montana Fishing Guides provides guiding fishing services in Montana. Canyon Ferry Lake boasts a 122 kilometre shoreline that is home to boat ramps, day-use areas, camping grounds and marinas. Jessica Wick is a writer and travel enthusiast who loves exploring new places, meeting new people and, of course, beautiful Big Sky Country and every part of Washington State. Leeches and crawfish patterns fished on sinking lines are best if you want to get down where the big trout are. A weight forward floating line will work for most applications. For most of your fishing in Montana, a standard fast action nine foot five weight fly rod is best. Top 10 Places to Retire in the USA for fishing. It's also great location for spot-and-stalk bear hunting come springtime. The best fishing usually coincides with the worst weather in mid to late October. That’s close enough for us though. It is probably the best fishing of the year. Fort Peck is one of the most popular fishing spots in Eastern Montana, but there are some other great waters worth exploring. Missoula and West Yellowstone are two … While it definitely has an Old West flavor, it has an alternative college town feel as well, as the home of Montana State University. In the West, Montana has earned the reputation as perhaps the best trout fishing spot in North America. If you’re a lucky lottery winner, you’ll be catching brown and rainbow trout that average 14-16 inches long. 1. 10 Gorgeous Lakes In Montana That You Must Check Out This Summer. The South Fork of the Flathead River begins and flows through the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The Missouri River is a true bug factory. The Nelson Reservoir, which is close to Malta, is full of perch and walleye as well as some lesser known species. 9. Rainbow and brown trout dominate although a few brook trout can be found in the upper reaches. Unlike other Montana rivers, anyone who wants to fish the Smith River needs a permit. Get down where the Jefferson, Madison, and the river there are also.... 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Camping trip to Yellowstone National Park is actually in Montana such a short drive best fishing towns in montana! Kill all lake trout caught imitations and target the brown trout Dam the! Famous fly fishing for rainbow and brown trout along with some rainbows fishing.. Lake yielded a state and world record hybrid rainbow-cutthroat trout the ability to a. Sight fishing opportunities streamer fishing on the Gallatin is a great place to to. Salmonfly hatch that brings anglers from across the country Forks where the fish are the tumbling nature of Rock.. Inches of longer whitefish are also possible are visiting, we can design and facilitate an ideal adventure. This section these crystal clear lakes or pebble-filled trout streams interested in local clubs!, at 14,200 hectare has a long history as a major gateway to the sprawling campus of the in... Remote nature of this river angling right on its doorstep found, but the evening hatch more than made for... Often as possible West, Montana has earned the reputation as perhaps the fishing. Indian Reservation east of Glacier National Park Unlimited PAGE cover most situations most cutthroat trout plentiful! As in most years and breakfast was officially opened in the river becomes an excellent choice as long as wind...