Have you ever really sat down and studied a map of Montana? Montana is HUGE and has thousands of miles of rivers that offer world-class trout fishing. With mile upon mile of Blue Ribbon rivers, streams, and creeks at our disposal, we consider ourselves pretty lucky; but having such an abundance of choices can actually make things a bit difficult; some days deciding where to go fishing is more difficult than actually catching them. In order to help narrow the search, we have compiled a descriptive list of the rivers that we consider to be superior to the rest, quite literally "the best of the best." Let us customize an itinerary for you, and experience the best Montana has to offer.
Undoubtedly the crown jewel of Montana fly fishing. Powerful, wild, and moody-the Yellowstone is the consummate freestone river. It has long been our contention that every other river aspires to become the Yellowstone River some day. Iconic and proud, the Yellowstone is the type of river that can only be appreciated from the seat of a drift boat. Regardless of whether you spend the day drifting foamy, attractor dries to rising cutthroat, or fishing the big stuff underneath- looking for that "lifetime" brown; whether you catch two or catch twenty, a day of fly fishing on the Yellowstone River rarely disappoints.
Fishing the Jefferson River is like stepping back in time; there is nothing quite like floating in the shadow of the Tobacco Roots, casting hoppers towards the bank without another angler in sight. Prolific populations of both browns and rainbows, abundant wildlife, unparalleled solitude; what else could you hope for? The Jefferson River is sure to exceed your expectations: it is time to fish the best river you have never heard of.
The classic- even those unfamiliar with fly fishing in Montana seem to know about the Madison, and for good reason. Simply put, Madison River brown trout are addictive, and a 20 incher from this river seems to mean more than the same fish from anywhere else, and catching one against the stunning back drop of the Madison Range, will surely provide memories that will last a lifetime. The Madison delivers big fish, big scenery, and big fun, what we get to call "just another day at the office". There is only one Madison, and fortunately for us, it is right here in the heart of SW Montana fly fishing.
Just as photos rarely do justice to the actual event they are attempting to capture, words cannot accurately describe the Missouri River. This large tailwater fishery is undoubtedly the best dry fly fishery in Montana and therefore, on the planet. Thick, prolific hatches mean pods of big, wild trout feeding with abandon, but bring your A-game, because they are not easily fooled- one bad cast and it is time to move on. Humbling at times, rewarding at others, there is no river quite like the Missouri. In short-big fish, small flies, and unforgettable Montana fly fishing-all within a short drive from Bozeman.
Flowing right through our back yard here in Bozeman, the Gallatin River is a classic, Rocky Mountain freestone river. With its intimate size, and ample public access, the Gallatin River is sure to please all anglers; novices and veterans alike will find this river to be very "user friendly." Ample numbers of both rainbows and browns call this wonderful piece of water their home and will eagerly take a well-presented fly. The authentic Montana fly fishing experience: drifting a size 16 Elk Hair Caddis at twilight on the Gallatin River, hoping and anxiously anticipating the rise-pretty hard to beat.
Freestone Fly Fishing Outfitters also has several "private water" options available. From the legendary Spring Creeks of Montana's Paradise Valley, to rivers and creeks that you have never heard of, but will never forget. Please contact us for details.