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Old 07-23-2012, 08:23 PM
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Default Montana Dream Trip Help

Ok, so you have a boat and 5 full days to fish any section of any river west of Livingston. What sections of what river?

Friend of mine is flying into Kalispell in mid September. Wife's parents fly in same day. I got a hall pass and 6 days to fish...plus a budget!!!

So, if you had a credit card for gas, a 14ft nrs raft, and a half dozen fly rods, what would you fish?

Last edited by mtboiler; 07-23-2012 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Montana Dream Trip Help

Madison, yellostone, and big hole.

Maybe the Jefferson or gallatin but I think I could spend most of the days on the Madison and Yellowstone.

Or all the days on the mo...
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: Montana Dream Trip Help

Rivers to look at for floating, and an example fly shop for that river/section to contact
  1. Beaverhead (Frontier Anglers)
  2. Big Hole (Frontier Anglers)
  3. Madison, Upper (Madison River FC, Blue Ribbon, Beartooth)
  4. Madison, Lower (Troutfitters, Rivers Edge)
  5. Missouri (Headhunters)
  6. Jefferson (Frontier Anglers)
  7. Lower Gallatin (Troutfitters, Rivers Edge)
  8. Yellowstone (Yellowstone Angler)

Part, you need to decide how much driving you want to do each day.
Where are you going to base yourself out of?
A lot depends on the kind of river and fishing you like.


This year it could come down to water temps. When it gets closer you'll have a better bet of narrowing this down. And what the dams will do with water flows. Big Hole and Jefferson could be out.. unless it cools well and we get some early rain, Beaverhead it depends on exactly when you'd be here.. they may lower the river in that time frame.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Montana Dream Trip Help

We plan to camp...so our base is going to be where ever we pick to fish. Driving wise, I was hoping to keep it to 50 or 75 miles a day, which gives us lots of room to hit different rivers. As far as type of fishing, I could care less because I will probably be rowing most of the time. But I think putting him on some easier stretches early on would be good. Big fish are not a requirement, but fun and scenery are.

Thanks,
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Montana Dream Trip Help

I didn't notice Whitefish before - sorry - that was probably too basic for you

Trying to think of an easy way to limit to those distances. This is a loop.. and driving a decent amount... not the best scenario

I'd definitely do the Beaverhead if you make the cutoff before the dam flows drop.. and you're an experienced rower (I have a drift boat, and a rookie - I'm too chicken to do the Beaverhead myself)

1 & 2

Probably do the Big Hole one day the Beaverhead next.. easy camping spots at both. Beaverhead has been on-fire this year.. lots of nice strong rainbows, on dries or nymphs

Beaverhead - Buffalo bridge to Henneberry - very common - but great fishing.. when it gets close check in with FA

Big Hole - the drift would depend on water level and temp - again - check with FA

3

Madison would be about the right distance from Dillon... Upper or Lower.. watch the water temps and decide. Lower has the dam, might be cooler

Lower is so close for me.. I've yet to go to float the upper on my own (only had the boat a year) Warm Springs to Blacks Ford is the most common.. but it's short unless you stop a lot... Grey Cliff would give another 4.5 miles of float. Hopefully the 'bikini' hatch will be limited after Labor Day

4

Yellowstone should be well into Hopper time then.. the floats are pretty easy, and I like the scenery.. a little dry.. but lots of trees around to pull over and have lunch at. You could probably do an overnighter.. start high.. do 10 miles camp, etc and the Yellowstone shouldn't be affected as much by the lack of rain.

The floats there don't seem to be much different.. pick it by mileage? The winds can be brutal, my last float there for a while, I had to row downstream to make progress.. otherwise I would float upstream. If wind is expected.. I'd check with YA for a suggestion

5 or 6

Maybe start back from Livingston and fish the Missouri.. Holter to Craig? - it would shorten the drive home
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Montana Dream Trip Help

Thanks Dave...this is what I need to get me started.

Hey, if you got time....we might be able to use you. I am thinking a friend of mine from Whitefish wants to do the upper clarks, probably day 1 or 5, but after that we could use a second rower.

Great info...this is what I need...and any other info anyone else has is welcome. Thinking about starting in bozeman and heading to missoula...or visa versa.

So any good info like this is welcome. Got a month for him to research and figure out what he wants to do. But we definitely have a third seat most of the journey.
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