My father and i just booked a trip for two weeks fly fishing on the ruby river in montana. I was wondering what weight rods and what flies i should buy to better prepare myself and make the most of my time there. we'll be there in september.
Cristian, can you elaborate on "booked a trip" - do you mean you have scheduled a two week trip to fish in the area or that you booked some sort of guided fishing trip on the Ruby. I ask because the Ruby is mighty small little stream with limited access, but it is a mighty fine stream to fish as well. I just can't imagine fishing it for two weeks, unless you are staying in a lodge with access, then I could see it I guess.
It is an awesome little stream, it is damned and the water below fishes like a small tailwater through flat meadow. It can be tough, it is a series of tight S bends with deep holes on every corner. Great Brown trout water. Since you'll be there for two weeks you'll have to go hit the Big Hole among other great rivers in that valley. September can go either way, end of summer hot or perfect autumn. Could still fish hoppers, BWO hatches, Caddis on the Ruby, streamers. It is one of my favorite places anywhere. I'd check in with a shop in Twin Bridges, these guys seem cool: http://www.4riversmontana.com/
As for rods...you could get away with fishing everything down there with a 9' 5 WT (or 4 wt, my pref). If you have something smaller, say 8' 3 wt would be sweet on the Ruby.
That's a decent little article, Fred, but like so many of those on generic websites it isn't the best source. I won't pretend to know the Ruby well, but I have explored it a handful of times. The first time I, maybe 10 years ago, it was still on the un-hospitable side, meaning barbed wire stretched tight to the bridges and probably across the water, too. The access battles where being fought on that stream. Since then the MT FWP has negotiated access sites at a few bridges and there are actually parking lots (and pit toilets) now.
Montana's "high water" law doesn't help the wade fisherman on the Ruby because there is no high water mark, it's a deep stream that snakes it course across flat valley and meadow, when you get to a deep hole at an S and can't cross even though its only 15 feet wide, you can't - by law - get out up on the high ground.
My experience was to fish a section methodically and carefully because you'd have to eventually turn around and go back the way you came - hopefully casting to the fish you missed. That's why I said I can't imagine fishing it for two weeks.
As for floating the lower river - I don't see how you could float and fish.
Am I wrong, bmcgeehan? Maybe my memory is clouded.
I do love the river, there is great fishing to be had.
Christian, I'm a Montana fishing guide out of Bozeman but manage to get over to the Ruby several days a year both guiding at for personal fishing. The Ruby is a great little river. I am guessing if you booked several days on the Ruby that you are fishing out of a lodge like Ruby Springs that has private access (access can be an issue, but there are several FAS access sites below the dam). I like 4 and 5 wts for the Ruby but a 6 is an all around good Montana rod if you will also be doing some floats on the Madison. Four weights are fun unless the wind kicks up, then they are underpowered. A 5 wt. is probably the all around best rod for the Ruby.
Mr. McGeehan is spot on and an extremely knowledgable indiviual. I personally fish the Ruby a ton with a six and sometime a seven you have good sized Browns that are extremely agressive i usually toss streamers in there.