“Stillwater” is a misnomer. One suspects that the early explorer who named this river either looked only at a short section or had a wry sense of humor. The Stillwater has less quiet water proportionally than any river in the state. Intrepid kayakers love this roly-poly stream. Boulders, many the size of large chest freezers, stud almost the entire length of the river. The melt water from Montana’s loftiest mountains courses its way through these boulder fields with plenty of foam and froth.
Long after it enters the prairie land of eastern Montana, the Stillwater still looks like a mountain stream. Surrounded by fabled trout waters such as the Bighorn, Yellowstone, and Madison Rivers, the Stillwater receives little national or state attention. Instead, it makes a popular destination for local anglers who know its beauty and excellent fishing. Trout fanciers in any state would love to have the Stillwater nearby. Key species: Yellowstone cutthroat, rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and whitefish.
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