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Missoula Montana offers a slew of incredible blue-ribbon rivers within a short distance from downtown. Mike and his guides know the Bitterroot, the Blackfoot, and the Clarks Fork rivers like the back of their hands and fish them all based on what river is fishing best. Generally, the hatches on each of the rivers rotate and trade-off perfectly so there is always action to chase in the vicinity. Mike's outfit and his slew of incredible guides are committed to offering you the highest quality Montana fly fishing experience available. He and his experienced guides will row the extra mile to ensure this fishing trip is one you’ll remember for a lifetime. They will provide all the terminal tackle (flies, tippet, floatant, etc). They've got you covered on rods and reels if you need them and will provide a gourmet on the river lunch for you as well....Read More
Rivers in the Area:
The Bitterroot River in southwest Montana is a dry fly fishery. Not many rivers in the west can claim such a statement, but the “Root” is a unique stream. The fact that the infamous Purple Haze dry fly pattern was developed/invented by a long-time Bitterroot guide tells you that it’s a special place. A float trip down the Bitterroot River never disappoints and the scenery and caliber of fishing are hard to beat.
Although the Root can fish well in the winter months the real start to the season here is March and April with the world-famous Skwala stonefly hatch. This event is one of the few places in the west that offers the angler a chance at catching nice-sized trout on size 10 or bigger dry flies in early spring. March Browns and Blue Winged Olive Mayflies also make a daily appearance and can offer outstanding topwater action. The river is characterized by cobblestone runs, deep pools, and woody debris that hold large Rainbow, Cutthroats, and Brown trout. Summer See’s the usual hatches of PMD’s, Sallies, and Tricos with Grasshoppers keeping trout looking up well into October. The fall is also a special time on the Root, with cooler weather and Mahogany dun mayflies and Hecuba drake’s offering the last substantial meal for trout before winter sets in.
The Blackfoot is on every fly fisherman’s bucket list, and deservedly so. Blackfoot River Fly Fishing is an angler’s dream come true. A true classic western freestone river and its hatches are impressive: the Giant Salmon Fly, Golden Stones, PMDs, terrestrials, are just some of the hatches you’ll find on the Blackfoot. Come fish the Blackfoot River with Fishtales Outfitting and you’ll want to come back every year!
The Blackfoot River or as it’s sometimes called the Big Blackfoot as to distinguish it from the Little Blackfoot in western Montana near Missoula is a truly special place. The Nez Perce of Idaho found this route as the way to the Upper Missouri Basin to hunt buffalo. The Nez Perce name for the Blackfoot is Cokahahalishkit which means river of the road to buffalo. A diverse and dynamic fishery fed by snowpack and springs with all of the main trout species present. Depending on the time of year, you have a shot at a Blackfoot “Grand Slam” catching a rainbow, cutthroat, brown, brook, cut-bow.
The Blackfoot is characterized by large boulders and pocket water that’s stuffed with wild trout and offers an exciting float trip with outstanding hopper/dropper fishing throughout the summer. Many reaches of the Blackfoot River offer a beautiful wilderness setting with little development on its banks, plenty of wildlife, great trout fishing, and gorgeous scenery to add to the experience!
The Clark Fork River is one of Montana’s best-kept secrets, hidden in plain sight. Many anglers drive by it on their way to fish other famous Montana rivers like the Bitterroot or Blackfoot. We at Fishtales Outfitting love elbow room and great trout fishing, we think you’ll agree!
The largest river in Montana by volume it begins its 310-mile journey near the town of Butte MT, and as it meanders its way towards its terminus at Lake Pend Oreille it offers hundreds of miles of floatable water. The upper river is a smaller stream with many diverse types of water that mostly holds Brown trout and the occasional Westslope Cutthroat. This is fantastic streamer water with a legitimate shot at a trophy Brown. As the river heads west along I-90 towards Missoula it gains volume from many tributaries and becomes a large freestone river in a heavily forested corridor. This lower zone is a dry fly fishery that can rival the best hatches on the Missouri River. Large Rainbow, Cutthroats, and hybrid Cut-bows dominate the water here and eagerly come to the surface to devour the many species of mayflies that hatch here.
The lower river also offers the added bonus of being a trophy Northern Pike fishery with some research showing fish of 45″ or better, which can be an exciting change of pace from trout fishing. The Clark Fork is typically pretty low on the visiting anglers’ list of rivers to float fish which makes it one of the lesser crowded in all of western Montana.
Owner/operator Michael and his teams of expert fly fishing guides bring an incredible number of combined years of guiding experience to the legendary trout waters of western and southwestern Montana. This is the home of the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Madison, Jefferson, Yellowstone, and Ruby Rivers, the headwaters of the Missouri River. To the north near Missoula are the Blackfoot, Bitterroot, and Clark Fork, the man tributaries of the Clark For drainage. Both areas we guide on are readily accessible by the commercial hubs of Bozeman, Billings, Butte in the southwest. To The north is Missoula, and Great Falls, making us perfectly situated to head in any and all directions in pursuit of world-class fly fishing in Montana....Read More
Mike and his guides specialize in creating personalized experiences on our world-renowned wild trout rivers and fee-access private waters. The rivers of western and southwestern Montana is without question offer some of the most diverse fly fishing anywhere in North America, naturally lends itself to accommodating anglers of all experience levels.
Whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned hand, Mike and his expert guides will customize a day on the water that’s well suited to your interests and skill levels. Our expert guides have nurtured a soft touch for those eager to learn the basics, all while possessing a mastery of their craft and comprehensive knowledge of the region’s individual nuances. Rest assured, Mike and his guys will teach you everything you need to know for a fun, successful, and memorable day on the water.
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
All rods, reels, and tackle are included.
Feel free to enjoy responsibly, but please no glass.
This trip has multiple pickup locations.
You will get a refund if the trip is canceled due to weather.
No cleaning service provided.
No, this boat does not have a bathroom on board.
No live bait provided.
All Gear and Terminal Tackle, Rods, Reels, Tippet, Flies, Floatant
At an Additional Rate
private water =$125/rod
Rods and reels care provided if needed. Sunglasses, Wide-brimmed Hat, Sunscreen, bug dope, raincoat
Montana Fishing License, Sunglasses. Rain coat, (polarized ideal)
Payment & Tipping
After paying the deposit, a QR Code will be emailed to you. On the day of the trip, your guide will scan your QR code to automatically transfer the remaining balance. The only cash needed is for a customary tip (we recommend 20%).
The deposit for this trip is non-refundable.
Where to Buy a Fishing LicenseFind out more about licenses here.
FishTales Outfitting, Wilson Lane, Sheridan, MT, USA | Bodies of water fished: Blackfoot River