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5 Best Fly Fishing Locations in Montana

Last Updated: 12.07.24

If you are an avid fisherman that is looking for inspiration for the best fly fishing in Montana, we have decided to lend you a helping hand. And, because we are aware of just how difficult finding a cool location for fishing enthusiasts can sometimes be, we have decided to put together a list of suggestions and ideas that you should consider.


The Selway River (in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness)

According to the specialists, all those that are scouring the net trying to discover a place for whitefish Montana fly fishing should definitely check out the Selway river. As you probably know, this river is located in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, a vast protected area that stretches between Montana and Idaho. This area is known for its sublime beauty and rich waters that are filled with cutthroat trout.

If you want to try this location out, you should know that you can organize a fishing expedition in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness only during the summer (from May the 15th to July the 31st), when the domain is opened for what is now called the summer permit session.

What is more, it is worth pointing to the fact that although this river’s waters are rich in fish (you can even catch 30 fish a day), there are strict regulations that legislate how one should behave while fishing on this domain.

Moreover, because this is a wild area, you’ll have to face the difficulties of reaching the river (on a tire consuming road). Nonetheless, the view is priceless, and the whole experience is bound to be memorable.


Slough Creek Drainage

Slough Creek Drainage is another destination that can easily be included at the top of any best Montana fly fishing places. According to most fly fishing Montana guides, creeks are usually the most challenging places where one can fish in. However, the creeks are also quite abundant in fish, reason why so many prefer them.

However, the Slough Creek is renowned for being a location where cutthroat fishing is very much accessible and abundant, the reason why the novice fishermen are likely to enjoy it. As a plus, the main advantage of this place is the fact that it is easy to access. Thus, if you are not the adventurous type, you don’t have to worry about the difficulties of finding it.

According to the latest news, in 2024, some anglers were able to catch rainbow trout while fishing in this creek. In the event that you happen to catch one too, the authorities advise that you kill this type of fish, as they are prone to destroy the natural equilibrium of the river.


South Fork Flathead River

If you are interested in fly fishing Montana rivers, be sure that you check out the South Fork Flathead River. This river starts in the Bob Marshall Wilderness area, and it spreads over 98 miles. To get near the river, the angler has to hike by following already made tracks.

Still, this adventure is not without risks as the angler has to fight cold temperatures during the night, the wildlife and the challenges of the track. As a plus, the area is quite secluded, and one is not likely to run into people while traveling to the river.

When it comes to fishing, it should be said that the most common catch is the native westslope cutthroat. As previous anglers point out, this place is beyond beautiful due to its seclusion and the experience of fishing in the South Fork Flathead is unforgettable. What is more, this place is also frequented by huntsmen, especially in fall when hunting is permitted.


Yellowstone National Park

If you are a fan of Montana fly fishing vacations, our recommendation to you is that you give the Yellowstone National Park a good look. This national park allows you access to not dozens but hundreds of rivers that are easy to reach and prosperous in trout population. Each year, 50,000 fishing permits are issued to visitors, enabling them to fish brook, rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and lake trout.

Still, we feel like it is crucial to point out that the park contains around 45 fishable lakes as well as additional rivers where one can fish with the license. If you are a nature lover, it is worth knowing that the area is ideal for explorations and that it has some of the most eye-catching, serene sceneries that you are going to find engaging.

When fishing in this location, be sure to bring an 8 to 9-foot rod. At each gated community that you will reach, you’ll be able to purchase flies and get indications. If the area is unknown to you, it is best that you spend a day employing the help of a guide, so that you don’t get lost. Moreover, the chances of running into other people when fishing here are very unlikely. Thus, if you enjoy solitude, this might be just the place for you.

Glacier National Park

Although by comparison to the Yellowstone National Park, the Glacier National Park is not seen as a haven for fly fishermen, this place has beautiful views and sufficient fishing opportunities that one might like to try out.

For instance, if you hike your way to the Avalanche lake, you’ll be able to catch Westslope Cutthroat Trout (small), while a trip to the Belly river promises the chance of fishing cutthroat and rainbow trout.

Even more so, although this park is nothing like the famous Montana fly fishing resorts, one can still consider it, especially when on a family vacation. Besides, this location contains a lot of rivers and lakes where you can try your luck at fishing in when you want a break from scenery gazing.


Additional considerations

Before we end this list, we feel like it is very important that we point out the fact that, before you go to a fishing location you do your research on the topic. For instance, you should see whether or not you need a license to fish in that area and whether or not there are certain restrictions that you have to obey by.

Moreover, make sure that you schedule your visit during the period of the year when fishing is allowed, this way you can avoid having to come home empty-handed.

Last but not least, because these types of trips involve going out into the wild, we recommend that one takes the necessary percussion measurements to protect himself/herself against unforeseen dangers.

For example, some areas are known to be very cold during the night, even in summer. So, if this is the case, make sure to bring warm clothes and an additional blanket with you. Additionally, don’t forget that these isolated areas are filled with wild animals that are better not to mess with. However, in case of an attack, you should know how to defend yourself.  

To feel more secure, we suggest that you don’t venture into a place like this by yourself. Instead, go fishing with a group of people that you know to be responsible and level-headed. This way, you can be assured knowing that your trip will be fun and ultimately a success! So, don’t waste any more time and start packing!



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