Montana is famous for its rivers full of fish and people come from all over the world to fish them. Southwest Montana is known for its natural trout streams and superior fly fishing. There are plenty of campgrounds nearby for a week or two of glorious fly fishing.
The Ruby River
Near Ennis in the Ruby Valley, the Ruby River has densely vegetated and meandering river banks to give the anglers a sense of adventure and solitude. Rainbows, cutthroats and graylings in the section above the reservoir will routinely be in the 8-12 inch range, but this area also has a healthy larger population of brown trout below Ruby Dam. You might even catch a beauty in the 14-16”, 17-19” or 20” range.
The Big Hole River
This river tumbles from high mountains, braids through lush hay land, riffles through a narrow canyon, then meanders, winds and rushes its way to the confluence with the Beaverhead to form the Jefferson River. It’s a great river to fish or float and the scenery is breathtaking. Every portion offers a chance to fish for trophy rainbow, brook, and brown trout
The Blackfoot River
Featured in the movie A River Runs Through It, the Blackfoot begins near the Continental Divide, a few miles northeast of Lincoln. In this less densely populated area of Montana, there are elk, moose, bighorn sheep, osprey, and more. Fewer people fish this river, but you can easily pull in a 20” trout.
The Beaverhead River
If you’re looking to reel in large brown trout, this is the place to go. The river twists and turns through amazing scenery. This may be one of the more difficult rivers to fish due to heavy use, large fussy brown trout, many areas flowing through private land, and frequent difficult water levels from irrigation, but one of the many outfitters in the area will know the best spots to find the experience you are looking for.