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gjcordray 01-09-2010 02:28 PM

Montana Trip Advice
 
A friend and I are considering making a Montana trip in mid July. We are considering Bozeman, but are open to suggestions. We will be driving from Colorado and plan to fish for three to four full days. We would like to hire a guide for one day and then explore on our own the other days. We are both seasoned fishermen, but do not fish outside of Colorado very often.

Any suggestions for guide services that are good to work with or places to stay that are close to rivers and relatively inexpensive? We don't need fancy lodges, but would like to be in good proximity to rivers so we don't spend hours driving.

Thanks in advance.

Gary

bighorn flies 01-09-2010 02:50 PM

Re: Montana Trip Advice
 
Gary,

I would definitely consider the Bighorn River on your trip. You could camp out at Cottonwood Camp which is about a 1/2 mile from the 3 mile access. The fishing should be unbelievable in July. You can walk the river all the way up to the Dam. You can also rent boats there go site seeing up into the Canyon up top at the Dam. There is also a campground on the Afterbay Dam right on the little Lake before it dumps into the Bighorn. You can also hire guides up there, I would recommend David Palmer through the Bighorn Trout Shop.

If you have anymore questions about it just let me know.

Eric

the oatkan 01-09-2010 03:33 PM

Re: Montana Trip Advice
 
Go stay @ Kelly Galloups www.slideinn.com. Thats my plan for summer montana trip

fish_gypsy 01-09-2010 05:36 PM

Re: Montana Trip Advice
 
It all depends on where your interests lie, and what sort of fishing you like to do.

For sheer variety, I'd do either Livingston, Bozeman, or West Yellowstone. All close to YNP, all have a variety of fishing situations (Big water, little water, freestones, spring creeks). Lots of big name water nearby- Yellowstone, Gallatin, Beaverhead, Jefferson, Madison.

Another good option would be Missoula, Butte, or Deer Lodge- lots of freestones, and some big water, too. Some of the major rivers are the Clark Fork, Rock Creek (THE Rock Creek), and Bitterroot- and Butte is fairly close to the Big Hole, too.

I'd suggest picking up John Holt's books on fly fishing in Montana. He covers both sides of the Divide in pretty good detail, and gives you a good idea of a number of rivers, creeks, and lakes, feasibility of access, species present, patterns, nearby towns- basically all the options which would be available to you. IMO opinion some of the best money you'll spend if you're trying to plan a trip up there.


Tom.

futuramille 01-09-2010 08:56 PM

Re: Montana Trip Advice
 
"For sheer variety, I'd do either Livingston, Bozeman, or West Yellowstone. All close to YNP, all have a variety of fishing situations (Big water, little water, freestones, spring creeks). Lots of big name water nearby- Yellowstone, Gallatin, Beaverhead, Jefferson, Madison." - fishgypsy

This area will not disapoint you. Livingston is a great fishing town, few miles from Boseman.

bjweller 01-10-2010 06:50 PM

Re: Montana Trip Advice
 
By the way, I'm "the friend," who's going with. I fished once in MT, about ten years ago. Spent most of my three days on the Madison and caught some extremely large trout. I don't remember where on the Madison I was. I remember that we left Bozeman and drove throught Yellowstone, going West I think (if I don't have my directions all fouled up), about two hours. Would love to find that stretch again.

Bret

slabster 01-13-2010 08:56 PM

Re: Montana Trip Advice
 
I grew up in Colorado and spent all my summers as a kid at our place in Livingston growing up. When college came around I decided the U of Montana was the place for me.

3-4 days is short, if you guys can squeeze in extra time it would be well worth it. My ideal July Montana trip would be

Drive from Denver all night, crash at cottonwood camp on the horn. fish the horn the next day (caddis and insane hopper fishing if it pops like last year)

That evening pack up, drive to Twin Bridges and fish with Greg Smith who runs Four Rivers Fishing. Fish a day or two with him on the beaverhead/big hole/ madison/ etc (all fish amazingly, plus he has access to killer spring creeks and big big trout)

Drive to Missoula and fish the upper stretches of the Clark Fork. The Bitterroot and Rock Creek are amazing fisheries as well and should be added in. Contact me for guides in this area, know who to use and who will put you into whiteys all day lol.

If time permits slide over to the Missouri for some plain out retarded dry fly fishing for pigs. You can rent boats from the trout shop in craig and camp on the banks. Be sure to head to Izacks for a buger and some beer, in July Craig is a pretty happening spot full of guys with nothing but huge huge fish ion their mind.

tonysav 01-17-2010 08:55 AM

Re: Montana Trip Advice
 
Thanks for the info.

carlbrooke 01-17-2010 10:06 AM

Re: Montana Trip Advice
 
Gary,

If you coming to Montana to fish you will have to drive some distances. We have four or five of, arguably the best trout streams in the country. They are spread out over a area of some 150 miles~ east to west, and most of these rivers run from 50-150~ miles in length.

Your plans seem to say that you want a guide to show you some hot spots and then you will be hitting the area again but sans guide.

I assume you are thinking that you will limit your fishing to one river or area. If that is the case, then I would suggest fishing the Yellowstone area.

My reasoning is that there are some "Must Do's" when coming to Montana for the "Big Fishing Trip".

The first must do is to fish the spring creeks like Depuy and/or Nelson on the Yellowstone. You have been reading about Montana and so you must know that these are iconic on the Montana fly fishing genre.

Since you will be on the Yellowstone to fish the spring creeks, then spend a day with a guide floating and wading the areas north of Emigrant and south of Livingston. Then spend a day floating the lower Madison (A 2 hour drive from Livingston). Then for something completely different, I would hit some of the high mountain lakes. That would make for an awesome adventure and give you the full spectrum of fly fishing in Montana.

gjcordray 01-20-2010 04:40 PM

Re: Montana Trip Advice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fish_gypsy (Post 77630)

I'd suggest picking up John Holt's books on fly fishing in Montana. He covers both sides of the Divide in pretty good detail, and gives you a good idea of a number of rivers, creeks, and lakes, feasibility of access, species present, patterns, nearby towns- basically all the options which would be available to you. IMO opinion some of the best money you'll spend if you're trying to plan a trip up there.


Tom.

Tom,

I just purchased Holt's book on Eastern Montana. Thanks for the tip. Got it for $12 used on Amazon. We figure we might up the bet and spend 4 or even 5 full days in Bozeman. Madison, Gallatin, Yellowstone, a spring or feeder creek or something like that. I'd rather fish than drive and it looks like there is tons of great fishing within 90 minutes drive.

Questions for all: I was thinking 6 weight for streamers and a 5 weight for dries and hoppers. Keep them both rigged up. Does this sound about right?

Any killer patterns anyone can suggest? Especially hoppers or streamers.

A Bozeman fly shop you might recommend for just flies and info? Good places to get a burger and beer (yes we do stop to eat and match the barley hatch now and again) :)

Also, am I correct? The laws in Montana state that the river bottom up to the high water mark is public? As long as I access the river at a public spot, I can wade and walk its banks as much as I want? Does this apply to all moving water?

Gary


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