Learn to Fly Fishing in Montana
Montana is filled with pristine rivers, lakes and streams that offer world-class fly fishing opportunities. Whether you are an experienced fly fisher, or a beginner there is a river or stream that will be the ideal place for you to spend a few days or a week fishing. Montana has excellent access to the rivers and streams and the trout fisheries are well maintained, making it an ideal state to enjoy a fly fishing vacate.
Fly fishers planning a trip to Montana first need to determine if they want the convenience of a guide to help you find the best spots in the region you are visiting, or if you would prefer to have a do it yourself fishing experience. Local Montana guides are familiar with the rivers, streams and lakes in their region and they know the fisheries well. A guide can help make sure you find the best spots, as well as have all of the appropriate equipment. Guides also understand the laws and unspoken rules of fishing in Montana and can help make sure you have a great experience without disturbing the trout fisheries or disturbing another fishers experience.
If you prefer to have an independent fishing trip you will need to do some research about the streams and rivers in the region you would like to visit. A little advanced planning will help you have the best fly fishing experience possible. You need to determine which rivers and streams are good during the season you plan on visiting. Montana has year round fishing opportunities, but some areas are limited due to seasonal concerns. Alpine lakes can only be fished during the summer due to the ice. Some rivers are too fast and powerful during the spring to fish. Often the best time for fly fishing in Montana is late summer through early fall.
You will also need to be prepared with the proper equipment. If you have fished before it is likely you have everything you need already and are set. Beginning fishers will need to be sure to have the appropriate equipment, which you may not already have on hand. Local Montana outfitters can help make sure you have all of the gear necessary for the spot you wish to visit.
Montana allows access to all of the streams, rivers and lakes below the regular high water mark. However, this access does not continue onto the shoreline of privately owned property. Fishers can travel on the shoreline of property that is not marked with a no trespassing sign, or with permission of the owner. Otherwise, traveling on the shoreline without permission is considered trespassing. In addition, fishers should be sure they are aware of any specific rules or guidelines for the fishery they are fishing. These guidelines include whether or not using live bait is acceptable, notifying the Fish, Wildlife & Parks office of any tagged fish you may catch. Other guidelines include being respectful of other people fishing on the river, including not crowding and moving out of the way for float fishers.
The beautiful state of Montana has some amazing fishing opportunities, so deciding where to fish will probably the most difficult part of planning a trip. Throughout the state their are small streams and lakes open for fishing, which can provide an amazing experience. However, the state is best know for some of the larger rivers with fantastic fisheries. Some of Montana's fishing hot spots include the Bighorn River, the Flathead River, the Madison River, the Missouri River, the Yellowstone River, the Gallatin River and more. Each of these rivers offers a different experience, perhaps you are looking for trophy sized fish, or for a more quite experience.
One of the most highly prized fly fishing locations in Montana is the Gallatin River. The Gallatin starts at Gallatin Lake, which is located in the Gallatin Mountain Range, in Yellowstone National Park. The river flows for 115 miles and it comes to an end at the Missouri River. Twenty-five miles of the river are located within Yellowstone National Park, when it leaves the Park, the river mostly flows through public land for the next 40 miles. The majority of the river is closed to float fishing, so it is great for wade anglers. Throughout the length of the river there is good access and offers a variety of water and amazing scenery.
The Yellowstone River is known for the size of the rainbow trout that fly fishers can bring home. The entire length of the Yellowstone River is undamed, which provides excellent trout habitat along the stretch of almost 200 miles. Most of the fishing on this river is done by boat, unlike the Gallatin River. The most productive part of the river runs through Paradise Valley. Fishers may expect to find Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout and even Rocky Mountain Whitefish.
No matter what your experience level or what type of experience you are looking for, Montana will have something for every fly fisher. The wild beauty of the lakes are rivers, combined with the quite and solitude found throughout the state makes Montana an ideal state for a relaxing fly fishing experience. With some advanced planning about fishing locations and possible guides, you are sure to have a wonderful experience when fly fishing on one of Montana's legendary rivers, lakes or streams.