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Fly Fishing in Montana: A Paradise for Anglers


Montana is a dream destination for fly fishing enthusiasts, offering some of the best trout fishing spots in the United States, if not the entire planet. From the iconic Clark Fork River to the picturesque Blackfoot River and the lesser-known gems like Rock Creek and Ruby River, there is no shortage of options for anglers looking to experience the thrill of fly fishing in Montana.

Clark Fork River: Dry Fly Fanatics’ Paradise

The Clark Fork River is a must-fish destination for all dry fly fanatics. With its abundance of hatches throughout the year, including PMDs, hoppers, and mahoganies, this river guarantees a day full of rising fish. Imagine pods of 30 or more fish rising in a back eddy, a sight that every angler dreams of. Make sure to check the Clark Fork River fishing report for the most current information before you embark on your adventure.

Blackfoot River: An Homage to Norman Maclean

The Blackfoot River, made famous by Norman Maclean’s book “A River Runs Through It,” is a magical place teeming with native cutthroat trout, rainbows, and browns. This boulder-strewn river offers spectacular scenery and is best known for its attractor dry fly fishing. If you’re looking for a lazy day of casting attractor dries to willing fish, the Blackfoot River is a top choice. Don’t forget to stop by the Missoula fly fishing shop for gear and up-to-date fishing reports.

Bitterroot River: Spring Fishing at its Best

The Bitterroot River boasts some of the best spring fishing in Montana, thanks to the skwala stonefly hatch in late March and early April. This is the time when the river comes alive with big foam dry flies and the biggest trout in the Bitterroot are eager to strike. But don’t be fooled, the Bitterroot is not just a spring fishery. Major stonefly, mayfly, and caddis hatches happen all summer and fall, ensuring great fly fishing opportunities year-round. Before you hit the water, check out the up-to-date bitterroot fly fishing report for the latest information.

Rock Creek: The Perfect Trout Stream

If a perfect trout stream were to exist, it would be Rock Creek. This tributary to the Clark Fork River has everything a fish could want – riffles, runs, pools, cutbanks, boulders, and strainers. This smaller river is full of browns, rainbows, and cutthroat, and is particularly famous for its salmonfly hatch in late May and early June. However, fly fishing in Rock Creek is a delight all year round, as trout are always willing to take a well-presented dry fly, nymph, or streamer. Don’t forget to check the Rock Creek fishing reports before you head out.

Missouri River: Giant Spring Creek Bounty

The Missouri River, affectionately known as the Mo by locals, is a giant spring creek that is home to an impressive number of trout. With its tailwater status, the river boasts approximately 5,000-6,000 trout per mile, making it a haven for anglers fishing small dries or nymphs. It is a year-round fishery, and even in the winter, you can find a few fish willing to bite. While it can get busy at times, the Missouri River is definitely worth the effort, offering plenty of opportunities for a successful day of fly fishing. Be sure to check out the Missoula fly fishing shop or the Missouri River fishing report for insider tips.

Gallatin River: Proximity and Productivity

With its close proximity to Bozeman, the Gallatin River is a great choice for anglers looking to explore the area. From fishing pocket water and riffles to its braids and undercut banks, this river offers a variety of fishing experiences. The cookie-cutter rainbows and browns in the Gallatin make it a perfect spot for catching fish in the 13-16 inch range using dries or nymphs.


Montana truly lives up to its reputation as a fly fishing paradise. The state’s rivers and streams offer a range of experiences, from famous destinations like the Madison and Yellowstone Rivers to lesser-known gems like the Ruby and Jefferson Rivers. Whether you’re a dry fly fanatic or prefer nymphs and streamers, Montana has something to offer every angler. So grab your gear, check the fishing reports, and embark on your own fly fishing adventure in the breathtaking landscapes of Montana. Remember, some of the best spots are the secret ones, so keep exploring and who knows what hidden treasures you may find on your journey. Happy fishing!

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