Fly Fishing Montana  by Brian & Jenny Grossenbacher

Fly Fishing Montana Guide Book

by Brian & Jenny Grossenbacher (No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks)
Fly Fishing Montana  by Brian & Jenny Grossenbacher
This guide gives you a quick, clear understanding of the essential information you'll need to fly fish in Montana's most outstanding waters. You will not waste time. In a few moments, you will know where to go and how to fly fish. Take this guide along for ready reference, or use it to plan your Montana fly fishing trip. Either way, you'll have enough information and your fly fishing experience will be new, fresh, and fun. Come along with the Grossenbachers as they guide you through beautiful Montana- a fly angler's mecca.

© 2007 Brian and Jenny Grossenbacher/No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Fly Fishing Montana" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 28.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 28.

If you believe that good things come in small packages, then you will certainly find a gem in the Beaverhead River. The Beaverhead originates below the Clark Canyon reservoir and twists and turns for more than 80 miles until it merges with the Ruby and then the Big Hole River to form the Jefferson. Although small in stature, the Beaverhead is not lacking for large trout, and in fact has built a reputation as a trophy brown trout fishery. The Beaverhead has good dry fly fishing, but it is primarily a small nymph river. Types of Fish: Brown and Rainbow Trout, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Dillon, MT - Fly-Fishing
Lewis and Clark referred to it as the “Wisdom,” but the name “Big Hole,” coined by early trappers and settlers in reference to the high elevation valley through which the river flows, stuck, and that is how we have come to know one of the most beautiful trout streams in the state of Montana. The Big Hole flows freely without dams for 115 miles to its confluence with the Beaverhead, and eventually the Ruby, to form the Jefferson around mile 153. The Big Hole begins its serpentine course across western Montana high in the Beaverhead Mountains at Skinner Lake. The upper section of the Big Hole is easily wadeable with several access points at county road crossings and federal and state maintained fishing access sites. Types of Fish: Rainbow, Brown, Brook and Cutthroat Trout, Arctic Grayling, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Glen, MT - Fly-Fishing
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Considered to be one of the few significant trout streams in Central Montana, Big Spring Creek is the third largest freshwater spring in the world and bubbles to the earth’s surface in the foothills between the Judith and Big Snowy Mountains. The cold water is quickly absorbed back into the porous strata and reemerges again at Big Spring flowing at over 50,000 gallons per minute. Once a sacred site to Native Americans, and later a valuable resource to early settlers, Big Spring Creek is still a prized water source. According to the EPA, Big Spring has been rated one of the purest springs in the U.S., and it is pumped directly into the homes of Lewistown residents without any purification. Big Spring water is also bottled and shipped across the country under a variety of labels. Types of Fish: Rainbow and Brown Trout, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Lewistown, MT - Fly-Fishing
The Bighorn River is 112 miles in length; however, most anglers find interest in the 13-mile stretch below the Afterbay Dam (just a few miles downstream from the Yellowtail Dam) at the town of Fort Smith. Prior to 1965, the Bighorn River was warm, silty, and of little interest to trout fishermen. The completion of the Yellowtail dam, and subsequently the Afterbay dam in 1967, changed the character of the Bighorn virtually overnight by allowing the silt to settle and the water to cool in the deep water of the newly-constructed Bighorn reservoir. The portion of the river that flows through Crow Indian territory was closed to the general public in 1975. It was re-opened following a heated Supreme Court ruling that declared the river public in 1981. Public access is now available at three points on the upper 13 miles of river: Afterbay, 3 Mile (Lind Ranch) and 13 Mile (Big Horn Access). Types of Fish: Brown and Rainbow Trout, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Saint Xavier, MT - Fly-Fishing
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The Bitterroot comes to life at the convergence of the East and West forks of the Bitterroot respectively, just north of Conner, and continues north for 97 miles to its confluence with the Clark Fork just outside of Missoula. The Bitterroot is not large by western river standards, but its generous flow provides excellent access for the wade and float fishermen alike. The classic riffle, run and pool characteristics of the Bitterroot and abundant insect life make this river a dry fly fisherman’s dream. Types of Fish: Rainbow, Brown, Cutthroat, Bull, and Brook Trout, Northern Pike, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Hamilton, MT - Fly-Fishing
A beautiful river by anyone’s standards, the Blackfoot has more than just good looks. It has sheer pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstrap guts, and a remarkable comeback story. If you are looking for the epitome of Western trout streams you’ll find it right here, nestled in the Blackfoot River Valley between the Swan and Garnet mountain ranges just east of the Continental Divide, and the thriving university town of Missoula on Highway 200. Types of Fish: Brown, Rainbow, Cutthroat, Brook, and Bull Trout, Northern Pike, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Ovando, MT - Fly-Fishing
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Next to the definition of “Trout Stream” in the dictionary, there is a picture of the Boulder River. Gin clear water tumbles over perfectly rounded rocks, surrounded by stands of lodgepole pine and aspen groves, gracefully dividing the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains. When fishing the Boulder River, anglers can truly feel as if they have stepped back in time—no subdivisions, no traffic, just healthy trout, dirt roads, remarkable vistas, and solitude. Types of Fish: Rainbow, Brown, Cutthroat, and Brook Trout, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
McLeod, MT - Fly-Fishing
Despite the environmental atrocities upstream, the Clark Fork from Missoula to the Idaho border is a recreationalist's dream. Pleasure floaters, whitewater enthusiasts and fishermen alike find sanctity in the clear water, scenic landscape and ready access. Due to the large volume of water compared to its relatively low fish count, most anglers prefer to float this section of the Clark Fork. Although the numbers are low, the fish tend to pod up in the Clark Fork, and once you begin to recognize their holding water, you will find ample numbers. Do not be afraid to keep the boat moving until you spot likely water or feeding fish. Pods are often separated by several hundred yards of dead water. Look for any seams, current breaks and incoming tributaries. Clark Fork trout are not shy to take dry flies, and pods can often be spotted by their dimpling surface takes. Types of Fish: Rainbow, Brown, Brook, and Westslope Cutthroat, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Frenchtown, MT - Fly-Fishing
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The Clark Fork River is a living paradox. In spite of its origin at the base of the largest superfund site in the United States, it still maintains a rich population of aquatic life throughout much of its length. The upper section generally resembles a spring creek with clear water, easy wading, nutrientrich water, and a healthy population of wily brown trout. As the Clark Fork heads west it continues to absorb tributaries such as the Little Blackfoot, Flint Creek, Rock Creek and shortly before the Milltown Dam the Blackfoot River. Not only do these tributaries breathe new life into the Clark Fork, but each radically enhances its flow and character eventually forming the largest river in the state. Types of Fish: Rainbow, Brown, Brook, and Westslope Cutthroat, Whitefish, Northern Pike. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Drummond, MT - Fly-Fishing
The main stem of the Flathead begins at Blankenship Bridge where the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead come together. The South Fork of the Flathead joins shortly downstream to complete the triad. The massive river drains most of Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and the Flathead National Forest. The Flathead River flows for nearly 160 miles and eventually dumps into the Clark Fork River near Paradise. The river is distinctly divided into two sections separated by Flathead Lake—the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi. Types of Fish: Rainbow, Westslope Cutthroat, Bull, Brown and Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Whitefish.
Polson, MT - Fly-Fishing
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The Middle Fork of the Flathead enjoys the title of Montana’s “Wildest River,” due to its careening whitewater path through the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Great Bear Wilderness and along the southwest border of Glacier National Park to its confluence with the North Fork of the Flathead. The 73-mile course of the Middle Fork plays host to 27 miles of ‘Wild and Scenic’ designated water with a healthy population of westslope cutthroat and a burgeoning population of rainbow trout. Types of Fish: Rainbow, Bull, and Westslope Cutthroat Trout.
Essex, MT - Fly-Fishing
The North Fork of the Flathead originates in British Columbia and flows south for 57 miles in Montana to the confluence of the Middle Fork just outside of West Glacier. The upper 42 miles in Montana is designated “Wild and Scenic,” according to the National Wildlife and Scenic Rivers Act. The North Fork forms the western boundary of Glacier National Park, and provides anglers easy access, excellent scenery, and an unspoiled westslope cutthroat fishery. The cold clear waters of the North Fork are not high in nutrients and do not sustain a tremendous trout population by Montana standards, however there are certainly enough migrating westslope cutthroat, and occasional rainbow trout, to make the fishing entertaining, while taking in the overall experience of this spectacular riparian corridor. Types of Fish: Westslope Cutthroat, Rainbow and Bull Trout.
Martin City, MT - Fly-Fishing
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As one of the last truly wild rivers in the lower 48, the South Fork of the Flathead offers anglers a unique backcountry fly-fishing experience. The South Fork begins in the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness at the confluence of Youngs and Danaher creeks and flows north for just over 100 miles to its confluence with the main fork of the Flathead at the town of Hungry Horse. Access to the South Fork is difficult from any direction. Whether by foot or by horse, the South Fork demands a considerable investment in time and energy before you wet a line. Types of Fish: Bull & Westslope Cutthroat Trout, Arctic Grayling, Whitefish.
Martin City, MT - Fly-Fishing
Unbeknownst to most anglers, the Gallatin River served as the stunt double for the Big Blackfoot River during the filming of Norman MacLean’s, A River Runs Through It. One of the three forks of the Missouri, the Gallatin was named after Albert Gallatin, the Secretary of the Treasury during the Lewis and Clark expedition. The Gallatin exits the northwestern corner of Yellowstone Park as a modest meadow stream and quickly gains steam as it heads towards Big Sky and the gradient and flow increases. Enhanced by tributaries such as Fan Creek, Specimen, and notably the Taylor’s Fork, the Gallatin adopts a personality from each of its tributaries. Taylor’s Fork plays the most colorful role as the villainous sediment-rich enemy of the Gallatin during run-off and after each summer rainstorm. The bentonite-rich soil of the Taylor drainage turns the Gallatin off color at the first sign of rain, and can keep the river unfishable for days afterward. Types of Fish: Brown, Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Belgrade, MT - Fly-Fishing
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The three forks of the Missouri were named after members of Thomas Jefferson’s cabinet during the Lewis and Clark expedition. Ironically, it is the president’s namesake river that has fallen the greatest distance from grace since that time. The prolific practice of irrigation and diversion has all but sucked the life out of the Jefferson for most of its length. The Jefferson enjoys a Blue Ribbon pedigree as the offspring of the Big Hole, Beaverhead and Ruby rivers. This rich heritage however, cannot overcome the deficit water management practices that put the “Jeff ” on the ropes every summer. As a result the river suffers from high temps, low oxygen, low water, and siltation. Types of Fish: Brown and Rainbow Trout, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Cardwell, MT - Fly-Fishing
The Kootenai is perhaps Montana’s best Blue Ribbon secret, and due to its distant location in the extreme northwest corner of the state, it is likely to stay that way. Even by western standards, the Kootenai is a large river. Low flows on the Kootenai regularly exceed the Madison River at peak runoff. The river takes it name from the Kootenai Indians who fished and hunted this region 3,000 years before the first white settlers arrived. The Kootenai flows through the shadows of the Cabinet Mountains to the south and the majestic Purcell Mountain Range to the north. The limited fishing pressure, exceptional dry fly fishing and spectacular scenery, make a trip to the “Koot,” worthy of venturing off the beaten path. Types of Fish: Rainbow, Westslope Cutthroat, Bull, and Columbia Redband Trout, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Libby, MT - Fly-Fishing
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The Madison River originates at the junction of the Firehole and Gibbon rivers in the northwestern corner of Yellowstone Park. Its modest beginnings as a meandering meadow stream underscore the fact that its 130-mile path to the Three Forks of the Missouri is a marathon, not a sprint. The upper reaches of the Madison in the park are best fished spring, early summer, and fall as the high temperatures of midsummer are compounded by the multiple thermal features of the Firehole. Types of Fish: Brown and Rainbow Trout, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
West Yellowstone, MT - Fly-Fishing
Exiting the shallow Ennis Reservoir, the Madison pours into the Bear Trap canyon with enough energy to earn its Class IV whitewater status year-round. Hiking trails parallel the river throughout this 7-mile canyon. Access is available at the dam or via the Warm Springs fishing access at the bottom of the canyon where Highway 84 joins the river. Keep your eyes to the ground throughout this region as rattlesnakes are prevalent. Types of Fish: Brown and Rainbow Trout, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
McAllister, MT - Fly-Fishing
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Upon exiting the park, the Madison River enters the 13-mile Hebgen Lake which offers anglers a shot at the infamous gulpers—large cruising trout that readily feed on dry flies with a gluttonous, audible gulp. The Madison then thunders out of Hebgen Lake in a two-mile dash before it flows into Quake Lake. As its name implies, Quake Lake was formed during a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in 1959. A mountain collapsed dropping 80 million tons of rubble on the Madison River and adjacent campground, tragically killing 26 people. Types of Fish: Brown and Rainbow Trout, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
McAllister, MT - Fly-Fishing
The Missouri River from Canyon Ferry damn to Hauser lake although short, enjoys productive popular spawning runs in the spring and fall for rainbows and browns. Be prepared to share this busy stretch with fellow anglers also in search of trophy trout. Scuds, San Juan Worms, and bring egg patterns are the most productive patterns. Please wade carefully to avoid spawning redds. Always land fish as quickly as possible, and handle them carefully to promote the health of the future trout classes. Types of Fish: Brown and Rainbow Trout, Carp, Walleye, Northern Pike, Small-Mouth Bass, Whitefish. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Wolf Creek, MT - Fly-Fishing
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