View Full Version : Montana questions

07-14-2007, 09:40 PM
I am planning to book a trip to montana for a little fly fishing maybe this time next year and was wondering if anyone would be willing to give me some info on outfitters and places to stay and places to fish. I am looking for something for probably 3 or 4 days at least.

07-14-2007, 10:42 PM
ONE WORD--> BIGHORN. If I had only couple days, I'd concentrate there.

A FEW WARNINGS- 1) In the west, distances between locales are so far apart you can easily spend more time traveling than fishing. This can happen even within Yellowstone Park. My recommendation is to limit yourself to one or two locales and get to know them. 2)Also some of the best fishing I've had there has been on less well known rivers make contacts with local flyshops.Find out where the guys behind the counters fish! 3) A number of rivers- Madison, Firehole, Lamar, Slough, Soda Butte in Yellowstone are heating up up to 70's by afternoon and voluntary closures have started to take place from noon till 6:00pm, these will probably become manditory. This has been an almost YEARLY occurence. Be flexible if planning on fishing a snow fed river. The Bighorn is a tailwater. I have never caught so many big trout (average 15-16 inches) in my life. I had the son of a former high school friend who lived in the area, who took off a couple days to "guide" us. I actually got tired of fishing. We camped and stayed at the Cottonwood Campground. They also have cabins, guides, or will provide a drift boat. Fantastic people to work with and cater to fishermen. There was a flyshop- motel there also in Ft. Smith that burned- so I am not sure of facilities. If you go there, I would suggest bring ample gear, extra rod and reel as there isn't much else there.

Randall Sale

07-15-2007, 01:25 PM
If interested in a location close to a lot of water, West Yellowstone is good. Lodging, 4 or 5 fly shop willing to give information, and lots of guides. I have been the last four years in September always with good success. Most of the vacationers have left by mid September.
Good luck.

07-15-2007, 07:35 PM
Hey DD7676,
I'm with Kytroutbum on this one. If you decide to go to the Bighorn, try it sometime along the very last of July or the first week in August. Most of the days that I've spent on the river have been then. The caddis hatch is probably the most consistent hatch in the summertime there. Also, hoppers are getting rev'd up. In years when the yellow sallies are numerous, you can find fish looking up all day. A side trip to the Bighorn Mtns. is a special treat here. Ft Smith is very limited with services so plan ahead. I will be driving out there the last two weeks of October for some Cast n Blast. Good luck if you go.


07-16-2007, 07:38 AM
Yellowstone.. West Yellowstone for great fly shops.. Blue Ribbon is the best of the best. NE Yellowstone for great fishing and few tourist. I've been in the Lamar Valley the last 3 summers around the first of Aug and have never had a problem with water temps. I was in Twim Bridges last summer (never again) before heading to Yellowstone and it was hot, dry and windy. Several of the rivers around there were closed noon to 6 because of temps.

07-16-2007, 03:44 PM
Yellowstone.. West Yellowstone for great fly shops.. Blue Ribbon is the best of the best. NE Yellowstone for great fishing and few tourist. I've been in the Lamar Valley the last 3 summers around the first of Aug and have never had a problem with water temps. I was in Twim Bridges last summer (never again) before heading to Yellowstone and it was hot, dry and windy. Several of the rivers around there were closed noon to 6 because of temps.

What was your problems with Twin Bridges? That is one of the areas I was thinking of going.

07-17-2007, 08:31 AM
Twin Bridges.. if you want to fish the area stay over in Dillion! temps close to 100 everyday and endless wind), no lodging with a/c (beware of internet pictures) limited food options (but both places I must say were good) limited drinking options. one fly shop (if you could get the guys off the computer in the back room). in the dead of summer the higher altitude of the park area was much more to my liking. your mileage may vary.

07-21-2007, 05:44 PM
Hey all,

Heading to Bozeman/West Yellowstone next Saturday and it looks like the fishing is going to be early only inside the park. Which fly shop is the most likely to openly give some good advice on some spots not in all the guide books? It sounds like the Gallatin is still fishable in the canyon, but I wanted a few other places to try, just in case.



07-21-2007, 09:17 PM
Check the Yellowstone Park Web site for a map of steam closers. Tight line 3 weeks and counting for me.

07-23-2007, 07:41 PM
I am currently interning here in Bozeman MT and I have been here since early May. Water temps are extremely high right now. Check the Montana FWP government site for all of the details. No matter where you go out here now, you have to get on the water before 8am because there is really no action after 1 or 2pm. Upper Maddison is great right now pretty much all day and the Beaver Head is also pretty decent right now. Also, carp fishing is pretty good on the Missouri River. I work at the Gallatin River Lodge and we have great guides and upscale lodging. Im only here for about another week though and Im looking forward to hitting the smokies again.

07-23-2007, 10:20 PM
I'm bringing my son out with me next week. Neither one of us have been to Yellowstone before, and are really looking forwrd to our trip. I heard a lot of the smaller streams are still fishable during the day. What would you recommend we try during the afternoons.... besides a nap ;-)


07-24-2007, 01:25 PM
Just Fishing,
We were out last summer in record heat and the last week of June this year.

There must have been more water out this time last year. If you're like me, you don't get there too often so fish all day long if you want. You could fish the Madison (I think) around three dollar bridge all day. I would recommend you call Blue Ribbon Flies in West and call the Slide Inn (Kelly Galloup's camp) down by three dollar bridge, both will give you solid advice. You all may want to fish early and late and sightsee during the day. The Gallatin up toward Spanish Creek is a good area; size 8 or 10 stimulators should do the trich this tiime of year.
Blueribbonflies.com (I think)
Have fun!

07-24-2007, 01:32 PM
Consider looking into Craig or Wolf Creek. There are some places to stay where you can spend as much or as little as you want to. You can find guides or you can rent a boat for around 90 bucks a day. A shuttle will cost you around 25 bucks. There are some really good lodges around there also. Missouri River Lodge can hook you up with a guide, or if they have room and you want to, you can stay there too. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

07-24-2007, 06:17 PM
Just fishing, I dont know if you are talking about fishing in the park or not. Anyway, check this site http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/guide/waterclosure.aspx and look at the closure map on that page. I dont know all of the smaller streams, but if I were you I would just fish the areas with no closures closest to where you are staying. Obviously. I agree with John, I would drive along the Gallatin towards the park and get way up into the canyon during the day. There are plenty of little creeks running into the river up there also that you can fish. Those fish will be pretty small, but you would get some good hiking in and have something to do during the middle of the day.

07-25-2007, 02:18 PM
Phish, John,

Thanks for the info. You're right about wanting to get in as much fishing as possible. My son will be a senior this Fall, and I don't know how many more trips I'll get with him for a while. We've been planning this one for almost two years, so I want it to be one he'll remember. He's never been further West than Arkansas, so the expansiveness itself should be overwhelming enough, but I want him to catch some fish. I got a report yesterday from Bud Lilly's that said there was a forest fire east of 191, so I don't know how much that will effect things. Looks like there will be a lot of rain in the area in the next few days and very mild days, so hopefully the fishing will be good. If you think of anything else, let me know. I'll make sure to post a report and some pictures.

Thanks again.


07-25-2007, 02:46 PM
just fishing, A friend of mine, "Grampus" on the board, just got back from yellowstone this past weekend and he told me several rivers in the park including the Madison are very warm. 70+ deg. temps and as you may know, voluntary stream closures on many streams. He did fish the Gallatin around mile 39 and caught alot of rainbows with several 18"ers. The water temps were cold and easy accessable water. Try some of those smaller creeks that feed it also.
If your son likes WW rafting, The "mad mile" on the Gallatin over by the Big Sky exit, is a blast. Its a good mid-day trip when the fishins slow.
Have fun, We expect a report afterwards!

07-25-2007, 02:49 PM
Hey Troutman,

Thanks alot. That's a great tip on the rafting trip. We will definitely need some heat of the day activities. Hadn't even thought about that!!!


07-28-2007, 09:16 PM
When I went to Montana as a kid to visit my Uncle who lived in Big Sky, we would fish the Gallatin mainly because it was across the street from his home.
Yah, I know, How nice is that!! He lives just inside the park boundaries and I remember there was a small bridge that crossed the river just inside the park that allowed great camping and parking spots to fish on the Gallatin, plus you could drive less than a mile up that same road to a great small creek that feeds the Gallatin. This is the same location that they filmed the movie " A river runs through it"
I was there right after they finished filming the movie that I could see the areas where the grass was laying down from the fish holding tanks.
The mornings and evenings fish the best due to the heat of the mid-day.
Be careful if you go too late in August because it is right at the start of the snow season.
You will not be dissapointed being in Montana, standing in a river in some of the most beautiful area that God has created.
Enjoy your trip.

07-30-2007, 12:09 PM
I recently got back from Troy, Montana where i fished the Kootenai River last friday and saturday (20th and 21st) and it was great. I caught about 13 nice rainbows both days of fishing!!! We drifted the second half of the river below the Kootenai River Falls the first day and then we fished the upper half above the falls which is in Libby where we stayed at and we put in bout 4 miles below the Libby Dam and floated the 13 miles stretch of river back to the motel. This was a guided trip to and im gonna suggest Kootenai River Outfitters (KRO) which is in the Troy area. The people there are nice and they know where all the fish are.