Fly-fishing for wild trout in a mountain river among beautiful scenery is the dream of many anglers. In Montana, that fly-fishing dream can become a reality. Montana offers superb fly-fishing for wild trout in dozens of beautiful rivers and countless alpine lakes. The scenery is spectacular, and while some waters are quite popular, fishing pressure on most of the rivers and lakes in Montana can be surprisingly low.
Unique among other western trout waters, Montana manages most of its rivers for wild trout; meaning hatchery-born fish are not introduced into these rivers. Instead, protection of habitat along with catch and release restrictions are used to enhance fishing.
The result is that an angler who seeks to fly fish for wild trout cannot choose a better place to fish than Montana. Excellent fly-fishing, beautiful scenery, along with many other outdoor recreational activities, makes a fishing trip to Montana like no other.
The Blackfoot River is located in Southwest Montana and was the setting for the award-winning film, ‘A River Runs Through It’ that featured fly-fishing central to the plotline. Access to fishing spots is relatively easy to come by, and the scenery is absolutely spectacular. Most of the fish you will see on the Blackfoot will be brown trout.
South Montana is home to one of fly-fishing’s most popular destinations: The Yellowstone River. This is the longest river in Montana beginning at Yellowstone National Park. This river is nationally known as one of the premier trout rivers in the entire United States. In the upper half of the river, you will find brown and rainbow trout as well as large whitefish. In the lower half of the river, you can find prize catfish, walleye, and sturgeon.
The Bighorn River is also in southern Montana and is also one of the best trout fishing waters in the United States. This is a very popular Montana river for fly-fishing, so during the busy months (July through September), expect to see many other anglers out there vying for fish alongside you. Brown trout can measure up to 15 inches on the Bighorn with rainbow trout measuring 16 inches.
Fly fishing in Montana is an experience like no other. Not only will you find some of the best fishing waters in the country, but you will also see some great wildlife right on the shoreline along with some spectacular scenery. It’s an experience like no other!