Montana Fly Fishing Guides

Guided Fly Fishing on 5 Incredible Rivers

Alfa slab one

Montana Fly Fishing Guides

Guided Fly Fishing on 5 Incredible Rivers

Suez One

Montana Fly Fishing Guides

Guided Fly Fishing on 5 Incredible Rivers

Patua One

Montana Fly Fishing Guides

Guided Fly Fishing on 5 Incredible Rivers

Cinzel

World Famous Rivers – Wild Trout

Missoula is home to four exceptional freestone rivers as well as countless small streams. There are over 350 miles of fish-able water within an hour of town. Whether you come for a few days or a couple weeks you will never run out of fly fishing options to explore.

Our main streams include the Blackfoot River, highlighted in Robert Redford’s movie “A River Runs Through It”. We also have the Bitterroot River to the south, the Clark Fork River, with it’s amazing diversity to the east and west, and the world renowned Rock Creek with its prolific hatches to the east.

Add to that, the Missouri River, a bit further out, but well worth the effort at certain times of the year. The Missoula area is truly a fly fishing paradise.

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Fish the Bitterroot River with Montana Trout Outfitters

The Bitterroot River is everything you could ask for in a trout stream and then some. This is the most diverse river in our area and also the most consistent producer. Depending on the time of year you could find yourself throwing a size 6 stonefly in pocket water, or casting a size 20 trico to risers in a slick.

As the river nears Missoula it gets wider and slows somewhat. The lower river really shines during mayfly hatches where anglers test their skills against pods of rainbows and cuttbows actively rising to the surface.

And there is always the distinct possibility of an outsized brown trout smashing your hopper along one of the many cutbanks.

The upper river south of Hamilton is governed by faster flows and eager cutthroat looking to pounce on hapless dry flies.

A more even mix of rainbows, cutthroat, and browns can be found mid-river which is characterized by numerous side channels, logjams, and classic fishy structure where trout feed by ambush.

When you add the East and West Fork of the Bitterroot you gain an additional 50 miles of water that offers extraordinary float fishing during the Salmonfly madness of June

…and remarkable wade fishing the balance of the year. Montana fly fishing guides love this river and so will you!

Montana Fly Fishing – Nothing Better

Fish the Blackfoot River with Montana Trout Outfitters

Glaciers worked over this landscape to create a river with towering canyon walls, boulder strewn pocket water, and deep emerald green pools. Made famous by Norman Macleans’ A River Runs Through It, the Blackfoot has benefited from intense conservation and rehabilitation efforts that have returned this stream to its former glory.

The mid and lower river has a high population of rainbows with good numbers of cutthroat and a few browns as well.

A float trip through the spectacular Box Canyon is an experience not to be missed. 

This is great attractor pattern water, and there is nothing quite like watching a big cutthroat come off the bottom to drill a gaudy dry fly.

The upper river is home to more cutthroats and a larger average size trout. True giants lurk here, where rainbows and browns to 25” are not unheard of, and anywhere on the Blackfoot the chance to tangle with a 30+” bull trout is always possible.

You will find the Blackfoot one of the most beautiful trout fishing rivers anywhere – Montana fly fishing guides.

Montana Trout Outfitters – Book Your Blackfoot River Trip Today!

Fish the Clark Fork River with Montana Trout Outfitters

The Clark Fork is our largest river as everything in Western Montana eventually drains into it on the way to the Columbia. Characterized by long riffles and calm slicks this is the most underrated river in the state.

The river is populated mostly with rainbows and cuttbows that average 16” with many pushing the 20” mark.

Many of our customers return each year to specifically target the rising trout on the Clark Fork.

While it is overlooked by many, those who know it well consider the Clark Fork an astonishing fishery.

These fish typically congregate in pods to feed on the daily mayfly and evening caddis emergences. This is match the hatch fishing at its finest, and once these trout feel cold steel their reel screaming runs and stunning jumps will leave you begging for more.

You will find the Clark Fork River one with many surprising finds of trout pods just waiting for you – Montana fly fishing guides.

Five Amazing Fly Fishing Rivers

Fish the Rock Creek with Montana Trout Outfitters

Rock Creek is simply the perfect trout stream. Unparalleled scenery, classic water, and the highest trout populations in the area all add up to a blue-ribbon fishery worthy of distinction.

Solid hatches keep the fish looking up all season and offer anglers the best chance at a Grand Slam, a cutthroat, brown, rainbow, brook, and bull trout all in one day.

 

We guide on the upper 16 miles of Rock Creek outside the Forest Service boundary.  During the hatches Rock Creek is just plain fun.

Rock Creek is perhaps most famous for its Salmonfly hatch where literal clouds of migrating insects can darken the sky at times. After the short float season in June Rock Creek becomes the premiere wade fishing destination in the area.

Public fishing access is plentiful and sightings of bighorn sheep, moose, and eagles are common occurrences.

Many anglers chose to wade fish Rock Creek on their own for a day or two during their trip.

Fly Fishing the Big Mo

Fish the Missouri River with Montana Trout Outfitters

The Missouri is a tailwater fishery that offers clear and consistent flows with trout populations over 7,000 fish per mile and intense mayfly, midge and caddis hatches.

Anglers are greeted by grand Big Sky vistas that haven’t changed much from when Lewis and Clark first explored the drainage.

 

We primarily fish the Missouri from April through June and again in the late Fall.

This tremendous river is a great alternative when our local rivers are high and off-color due to spring snowmelt.

The main target is rainbow trout from 16-22”, but the chance at a trophy brown trout is always a reality.

 

Deep nymph fishing is most effective near Holter dam with excellent dry fly opportunities further down the river.

Montana Trout Outfitters – Book Your Trip Today!

Tony Reinhardt tells us about another day on the river…

…Run-off has finally arrived in Missoula, and our Missouri river guide season has started.  We always look forward to spending the month of May on the Missouri.  This big tailwater rarely disappoints with consistent nymphing, exciting streamer action, and some of the finest dry fly fishing of the year.

With a bigger than average snowpack we are expecting higher water on the Missouri this year than the last couple of seasons.  That is not ideal for our dry fly plans, but just like in Missoula, higher water equals more big brown trout and everyone loves big browns!

The big browns are always a special treat, but it is a steady diet of 16-20+ inch rainbows that keep our anglers coming back year after year to the Missouri in May.  The spawn seems to be nearly over for the season and those big rainbows return to the main river ready to eat anything that moves.

While the higher flows aren’t the best for midge and blue-wing olive hatches, the trout won’t be able to resist big March Browns and the hordes of caddis that are coming.  The March Browns should show up any day, and size 12-14 mayflies covering the river will get some big snouts breaking the surface.  The caddis will come next and we will get explosive takes in fast water.

We had an unbelievable spring dry fly season in Missoula with some of the most consistent conditions ever on our local rivers.  Now it is time to switch gears as our Missouri river guide season has already started.  We will be on the big river for the next month with heavy nets and smiles as wide as the big sky.  We look forward to seeing a lot of familiar anglers and introducing a few new ones to the Mighty Mo.

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