Jefferson River

Cardwell, Montana 59721

Jefferson River

Jefferson River Professional Review and Guide

"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."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Several options
Trail Type
May through July
Season & Limits
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Local Contacts