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thrownflies 04-07-2009 09:40 AM

Need MT trip advise!
What's up all. Spring is starting to show here in MN and we're getting all the fishing gear ready to go. A couple of fly fishing buddies and I are talking about an early fall MT trip. I have fly fished many, many days in NY and SE MN. We are all outdoorsmen with great respect for the wild and the resources God has provided us. We'd like to fish 3 days. None of us have fished in MT and would truely appreciate some suggestions for a good tent camping site on a fishable river, stream or crik. We like solitude and are not scared of technical fishing. One of us is fairly inexperienced with a fly rod so I'd hate to get him into ultra technical fishing that may turn him off. We'll be wading all 3 days.

I'd be happy to provide any info I can on SE MN and W NY trout water in exchange for some MT guidance. We are not looking for honey holes, just want to have an enjoyable experience on our first MT fly fishing trip.

If you prefer to email you can, thrownflies at hotmail.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


Coloradokid 04-07-2009 02:29 PM

Re: Need MT trip advise!
Thrownflies, for one thing i think, is you picked a good time of year to go. No need to worry about runoff and muddy water. As where to go, i have no idea. But, i think there has been lots of questions regrading Mt latley on this forum. Try using the search function at the top, and read some old posts and questions aked.
I too would like to know of a nice spot to camp on the river and fish for 3 days.
Good Luck!!!

buckwheat 04-07-2009 04:34 PM

Re: Need MT trip advise!
i would suggest the Bighorn. there is camping in fort smith and lots of access for wade fishermen. the only thing is i heard they are going to be doing some work to the dam this summer, dont know when they are going to start or how long its going to take or what that is going to do to the flows.

Biggie 04-07-2009 10:41 PM

Re: Need MT trip advise!
You have tons of different options for Montana. The Bighorn will be one of your nearest locations to Minnesota and it does offer some great fishing, however it does not offer a lot of solitude and the wade fishing opportunities are limited in comparison to many other areas in Montana. If you know how to row a boat at all you can rent boats on the Bighorn and it will open up many more opportunities for fishing. There is public camping on the river and most likely you will be fine pitching a tent at either the Bighorn access or the camp sites at the Afterbay dam. Keep in mind though that the river is on the Crow Indian Reservation, if you want a camp site that is patroled and looked after 24/7 you may want to look into Cottonwood Camp which has nice campsites as well as bathrooms and shower facilities for about the same price as the public camping areas.

If you want more solitude or options for fishing more than one river on your three day trip you may want to keep driving West. The Stillwater area near Redlodge/Absorkee is a nice area that offers a couple of smaller creeks as well as access to some nice hiking to creeks and lakes on the Beartooth Plateau, which also is home to the Beartooth Highway that Charles Kuralt calls the best drive in America. Red Lodge is a very fun town and there is camping in the National Forest above town.

Further west you will come to Livingston which is a great fishing town and it is on the banks of the Yellowstone River. There are lots of great camping sites along the Yellowstone, with some of the most scenic ones being South of Livingston in the Paradise Valley. Mallard's Rest, Loch Leven and Paradise fishing access sites all have very nice established campsites right along the river. Many people float the Yellowstone but for a large river it does have some good wade fishing opportunities as well. If you choose the Livingston area let me know and I can give you some hints on where and how to fish the Yellowstone on foot. Using one of these sites as your base camp you can venture to several tribs of the Yellowstone as well as test your skills on one of the famous spring creeks in the valley if you want to pony up the extra bucks. You are also within a short drive to the north entrance to Yellowstone which has lots of options for fishing. From Mallards Rest you are about an hour and 15 to one and half hours drive to Slough Creek, Soda Butte and the Lamar inside the park. Early Fall is a great time to fish these famous park waters and it can be easily done from your central camping area. Livingston offers some great night life, restaurants and plenty of fly shops to get advice. Chico Hot Springs is also in the Valley and a soak in the pool with a cocktail in hand and live music in the bar make for an end to a great day. You can also make a day trip to either the Madison (60 miles to the lower river, 90 to the upper river), the Gallatin (45 miles) as well as many smaller creeks and lakes. Of course this is my home waters so I may be a bit biased to this area of the state since I choose to live smack dab in the middle of all this fishing.

You can keep traveling south, west or north from Livingston and have many other options. North of the area you have the Missouri which is a great tailwater fishery that is pretty friendly to wade even though it is a large river. West of Livingston you can choose the Dillion area which will give you the Bighole, Beaverhead and Ruby rivers. Further west is Missoula which offers up some great rivers as well. Rock Creek, Clark's Fork, Black Foot and the Bitteroot are all fishable in the Missoula area. Missoula would be the furthest away but they do have some of the best dry fly fishing opportunities in the fall.

There are lots of choices and many places to go for a great vacation. With your time constraints of only three days as well as my assumption that you will be driving from MN you may want to look at the Bighorn, Red Lodge area or Livingston. Dillion is another two hours from Livingston and Missoula is about 3 1/2 more hours of driving.

If you narrow down a specific area you want to try send me and IM and I will give you some more specific details to areas to camp and wade fish. Good luck with your trip planning and I am sure you will have a great time where ever you choose to fish.

thrownflies 04-08-2009 11:59 AM

Re: Need MT trip advise!
Thanks for the info fellas.

Biggie, I would definately like to pick your brain some more. Thank you for offering up all the info that you did. It will definately help me decide when to focus on.

I like your ideas of Redlodge and Livingston. I would like to do some research on fishing in the area, river maps, camp ground descriptions, aver seasonal flow rates, fishing reports and such. I would definately like to use you as a resource as we progress with plans. Is there a printed or online resource you can suggest?

mcnerney 04-08-2009 03:40 PM

Re: Need MT trip advise!
thrownflies: For books you might try Fishing Montana Fishing Montana: An Angler's Guide to the Big Sky's Best Streams and Lakes: Michael Sample: Books

or Fishing the Beartooths if you decide on Red Lodge Fishing the Beartooths: Pat Marcuson: Books

but I would tend to think your going to get the best advise from Biggie.....he lives and fishes there, you can't get better up to date information than that!


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