Day rate includes: Gourmet lunch, All tackle and flies – including rods.
You bring: fishing license, rain gear/waders, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, your favorite rod (if you want) and a new 3x leader is always appreciated by your guide.
This is a shorter option designed for someone with time constraints -lunch isn’t provided and these days do not start until mid-day so we do not undercut the folks paying for a full day.
The prices above are only for the Missoula Area, Missouri River spring prices coincide with summertime prices below.
Deposit policy is 50% deposit due at time of booking to hold dates and balance must be paid within 60 days prior to the trip date. Deposit returned in full with notification of cancellation 60 days prior to trip, after that deposit can be moved to future dates that year or is forfeited. All money is forfeited with short notice cancellation inside of 30 days of trip
The Bitterroot River flows 90 miles north to its confluence with the Clark Fork River in Missoula, MT. This beautiful stream holds great numbers of Cutthroats, Rainbows, Cutbows and Brown Trout. The “Root” has excellent aquatic bug hatches, of both Stone flies and May flies, which begin in Early March and run till mid-summer. Then grasshopper fishing begins and runs well into Late Sept. By early September the May flies come out again and hatch well into late October. This is truly a classic western stream flowing and meandering through the Cottonwoods, Aspens and Ponderosa Pines surrounded by snow-capped mountains in the distance.
The Blackfoot is our mountain stream. It is a fast flowing river that continuously drops for 70+ miles through boulder gardens and scenic canyons to its confluence with the Clark Fork River in Missoula. The “Foot” was made famous in the 90’s because it is the river Norman Mclean wrote his famous book, “A River Runs Through It” about. This gem has wonderful summertime bug hatches and is exciting to fish because of the constantly changing gradient of the river. As a norm big foam flies rules this river and these fish like to chase the fly down and inhale it. The river begins to fish in Early June with the start of the famous Salmon Fly Hatch but really gets going in July and August when the hopper and Spruce Moth fishing is at its peak. If you love to streamer fish, late September and October is when the big ones come out to feed heavy before winter.
The Clark Fork is one of Montana’s longest rivers and almost every section holds fantastic trout fishing from Mid March into early November. It is broken up into two the sections the “Upper Clark” and the “Lower Clark”. These two sections are distinctly different while the “Upper Clark” is smaller and more intimate with good numbers of Browns and Rainbows. The “Lower Clark” is a sprawling big river with lots of big trout, long banks, and great hatches most of the year. All though generally fished from one of our beautiful wood driftboats there are times of year if you want to only cast dry flies to targeted rising fish that a small Jet boat is the way to go because it allows anglers to move quickly between the riser spots. Since the removal of the Milltown dam east of Missoula the Clark Fork has only gotten better each and every year!
While the other three big rivers of Western Montana are freestone rivers, we just happen to have one of the finest tailwaters in the West right out our back door. We fish the Missouri River April through Oct. and with over 4,000 big, possibly giant Rainbows and Browns per mile you can see why. It is an excellent dry fly river with great may fly and caddis hatches and some unreal summertime hopper fishing. The really great thing about the Missouri being so close to Missoula is that if rain or snow drives the rivers of Western Montana off color we can still hop over the “Mighty Mo” where the river is clear no matter the level. The best times to fish the Missouri is the last week of April through June 10 and Oct. 10 through 31st. Karl is a Coast Guard licensed Captain offer Jet boat accessed trips to the Missouri’s “Land of the Giants”.
We have an amazing amount of water in Western Montana and beginning the third Saturday in May every year our smaller streams open for fishing. From Mid-May thru early June is the time to go float streams and small rivers that only with spring runoff become floatable and to cast flies to fish that may have never seen either a boat or a fly or both simultaneously. We don’t name or talk to people who don’t already know about these places so if you want an adventure think about no people, dumb fish, and new possibilities.
There are numerous lakes in Western Montana that have great trout fishing, Georgetown Lake is the most famous and offers great opportunities for Rainbow trout from late May through August. We generally fish these lakes with Dry Flies and Streamers and the action can be really good!
Months We Fish
The point should be made that we have great fishing opportunities for the entire length of our season which runs from
Early March through October and no one time is greater than any other – just different.
March is the beginning of our season. Every year we have one of the earliest dry fly fisheries in the West on the Bitterroot. The Skwala Stonefly hatch: this stonefly is a dark (olive or black) size 8 or 10 bug which translates into some of the finest dry fly fishing of the season. We are talking large fish and lots of them when the bite is on! Fish are just out of winter and ready to eat. Although the weather can be cool (waders and coats) the fishing usually makes up for it. Take a chance and come Mid-March – you will not regret it!
Is a continuation of March, but the Clark Fork also begins to fish well and you also begin to see great March Brown and Grey Drake Hatches along with Skwalas. The great thing about April is the amount of different water available with two rivers fishing great! One of the top months of the year!
May is an interesting month because historically people thought spring runoff ruined the fishing, while some areas are indeed too high for fly fishing, high water opens up a multitude of opportunities not found the rest of the year. Depending on the year you might find yourself on the Missouri River fishing the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch or floating some tiny tributary no one else has ever floated looking for a fish no one else has ever hooked. May and Early June are my personal favorites, it is a time of change and evolution and it is awesome to be out there experiencing it. As the water begins to rise on the Missouri every year in Late May the big fish come out to play. If you want to catch giant fish after giant fish and don’t mind an indicator come fish with us in the last week of May or the first three weeks of June, the fishing will blow your mind!
June is the beginning of summer. Although early June can sometimes still have high water conditions, the Missouri is always fishing great and the Stoneflies are beginning to move and we usually have Salmon Fly fishing somewhere that is going strong, generally The Blackfoot, West Fork of the Bitterroot or Rock Creek. The bug hatches in June are incredible – starting with Salmon Flies, then Golden Stones, Green Drakes, Tan Drakes, Caddis, PMD’s, Yellow Sally’s and so on, by late June the water is on the drop and summertime fishing is here. By mid-June generally daytime temps are warm and the sun is shining.
Is a continuation of June but the water is starting to level out and things are more consistent day to day. We have excellent Golden Stone fishing mixed with May flies all the way until the end of July and then Grasshopper fishing is in full swing and we are into August. Daytime temps are generally in the high seventies to low eighties and wet wading feels good. This is the safest month to fish when taking weather and water conditions into account. It is just all around good fishing!
Is our sleeper month – there are not nearly the crowds of fishermen July brings. But August can actually be one of the best months. Our Trico hatches and hopper fishing is outstanding in early and mid-August and some years toward the end of August we start to see our fall May fly hatches. The weather is nice, but since the days are once again getting shorter daytime highs in August are many years significantly less than the highs of July. Come catch big ones on big foam flies – it is a ton of fun!
September is known for its world class May fly fishing. Where many great fly fishing areas are slowing down in September, Missoula is just getting warmed up for a second bonanza of fish gluttony. You will find Mahogany’s, Hecuba’s, and Blue Wing Olives by the droves. Most days all through September you can expect reasonably excellent dry fly fishing to start in early afternoon like clockwork.
Is trophy trout month, although we still have excellent dry fly fishing, if you like to pull streamers and chase giant fish, October is the time. The Missouri river offers up some of finest Blue Wing Olive and Caddis fishing of the year but you can also step cast runs in the same day for staging giant Brown Trout getting ready for their fall spawn in November.
There are some excellent options for wintertime fishing but it is totally weather dependent so give me a call and we can discuss it. Cheers.