Montana has more good places for flyfishing than a person can get to in a lifetime of trying, let alone in a week-long vacation. Many of our best flyfishing waters have achieved national fame, and for good reason. However, a few secrets remain (I wish I could claim they were all mine but nowadays that is just too much to ask). Not that these lesser-known waters are necessarily better than the more famous rivers, just different, and for the most part smaller and thus a bit more vulnerable to fishing pressure so we feel it is appropriate to keep their names out of the spotlight.
Every guide has a few favorites. Often these places will be smaller streams where wade fishing is the only approach. Some are smaller rivers that are floatable but might require an occasional portage around a log jam. Others are ponds and private waters, and some are just plain out of the way. If this kind of adventure appeals to you either as an entire vacation or as a side trip from some better known fishing, please let us know.
Montana is home to many fine springcreek trout fisheries. Some of their names are legendary: DePuys, Armstrongs, O’Hairs, Nelsons, the MZ ranch. Many are within a forty-five minute drive of Bozeman. The fantastic but often challenging flyfishing available on these streams is a result of their steady year-round temperatures. The creeks stay relatively warm in the winter and always cool in the summer. This increases their productivity and makes for consistent and heavy insect hatches. The trout can feed and grow all year.
The numerous fish in these creeks are sometimes easy and sometimes maddeningly difficult to catch but are usually feeding on top. Many intermediate fisherman feel they learn more in a day on these creeks than anywhere else. A stealthy approach and accurate yet fairly delicate casting are usually required. Most but not all of these springcreeks are on private land and an access fee is required to get to the best water.