There is a very good reason why Angling Destinations is headquartered in Wyoming just a stone's throw from Montana's Bighorn River Valley. For after all the bonefish trips to the Bahamas and after pursuing salmon in Alaska, trevally in the Seychelles, tarpon in Belize and permit in Mexico, we still love to see the subtle rise of a large rainbow to a small mayfly or the slashing gulp of a big brown to a grasshopper in the halcyon days of late summer. We never grow tired of trout fishing and understand well the passion that troutophiles have for their sport. And we can easily understand why most anglers consider the American West and especially the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho to be on a par with the world's best trout fishing destinations including Chile, New Zealand and Alaska.
But when planning a trip to our Rocky Mountain West, it can be a difficult and confusing process to sort through all the lodges each claiming to have the best water, the best guides and the best meals and lodging. We can help you sift through this maze of opportunities and eliminate your confusion. Based on our years of experience, we are confident we can get you to the right spot at the right time. We'll help you to make the best decision based on your specific fishing, travel, time and budget objectives.
All of the lodges we have selected are located in magnificent settings and provide comfortable, clean accommodations. Each lodge serves delicious meals and strives to enhance the enjoyment of your visit by carefully attending to your every detail. Each lodge only employs top-notch guides who are proud of their professions and know well the essential fly fishing skills from terminal tackle to fly-casting and entomology to stream hydrology. Each lodge caters to experts and beginners alike and puts an emphasis on patient, willing instruction. And perhaps most importantly, each lodge we represent is centered in the heart of a blue-ribbon trout fishery with good variety both in terms of waters fished and species pursued. For without great fishing, delicious meals and comfortable accommodations mean little or nothing to the dedicated angler. We want you to not only catch fish and enjoy being with your guide, but also enjoy delicious meals and the comforts of fine lodging all in a beautiful setting...and then return home a more competent fly fisherman.
Five Rivers Lodge
In the southwestern corner of Montana, lies a valley surrounded by the high peaks of the Beaverhead National Forest and the Ruby Mountains. Within minutes driving time of this valley, flow many of the top blue ribbon trout streams in America including the Ruby, the Upper and Lower Beaverhead, the Big Hole, the Jefferson, as well as numerous spring creeks and private ponds.
Montana's Five Rivers Lodge is nestled among the rolling hills of this gorgeous valley and is situated for best access to these superb trout streams. The Five Rivers Lodge has all the amenities you would expect from a first class operation. The expansive lodge comes complete with extra large bedrooms, roomy outdoor decks, a hot tub, an extensive library, a complete tackle shop, a cozy living room and 2 private ponds. Your superb meals will be taken, at your convenience, in a spacious dining room that boasts a magnificent view of the "Big Sky" country. All the guides are very experienced, friendly, and quite skilled at finding fish and helping their clients catch them. Along with wonderful accommodations, the Five Rivers Lodge has everything in place to comfortably and successfully fish a wide variety of Montana's least crowded waters. Week packages in 2008 run $3495.00; shorter packages are available.
Ruby Springs Lodge
In the southwestern corner of Montana, the Ruby River meanders under the watchful gaze of the Tobacco Root and Ruby Ranges. Along the Ruby's graceful banks, near the small town of Alder, Montana, the Ruby Springs Lodge is well-situated to access many of the top blue ribbon trout streams in America. This area includes the Upper and Lower Beaverhead, the Big Hole, the Jefferson, as well as numerous spring creeks, private ponds and, of course, the Ruby River, one of the premier dry fly fisheries in the Rockies.
Ruby Springs is situated on 500 acres overlooking a private spring fed pond and five magnificent miles of private access to the Ruby River. The main lodge has a lovely view from either the spacious salon, the fly-tying room, the library or the dining room. Six cabins accommodate twelve anglers and are spaced along the river's bank with privacy and comfort in mind. After your day of angling, you will savor meals guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning palate.
But make no mistake, this is a lodge designed for fly fishermen by fly fishermen and the guides and technical fishing know-how are top notch. For the adventurous, Ruby Springs Lodge also offers horseback and trail rides into the high mountain lakes of the Tobacco Root Range.
Ruby Springs Lodge offers a classic combination of personalized service, simple elegance, gourmet dining and great fishing...all at your own pace. One week packages run $5250.00 to $5950.00 double occupancy depending on cabin booked; shorter stays are available.
Madison Valley Ranch
After the Madison River rushes to exit Yellowstone Park, it meanders out into the beautiful ranch lands of southwestern Montana. It is here that its true character is revealed and its reputation as a world class fishery is secured. The Madison rolls majestically through cottonwood lined banks and over riffles and quiet runs that harbor large rainbows and trophy browns. The truly intrepid angler can headquarter himself in this lovely valley and easily access numerous other blue ribbon waters such as the Gallatin, Beaverhead, Ruby, Big Hole and Yellowstone Rivers. In addition, Yellowstone Park is still close enough and many additional small streams and spring creeks are easily reached.
Sitting within a stone's throw of the Madison River "channel" section and three miles north of Ennis, Montana (smack in the middle of this flyfishing mecca) is the Madison Valley Ranch. Its handsome ranch-style log lodge and cozy cabins are at the end of a dirt road that meanders over the trout-rich waters of Jack Creek and ends at the lodge next to a two acre pond stocked with trophy rainbows. The ranch employs only experienced and licensed professional guides to explore the many rivers, spring creeks and streams that lie within an hour's drive of the ranch.
The ranch can lodge 12-14 guests and the accommodations are comfortable and well-appointed. Each room has a private bath, an outside entrance and a front porch offering a magnificent mountain view. Two duplex rooms also have wet bars, living rooms and separate bedrooms. Meals are wholesome, healthy and plentiful. One of our clients wrote of his recent visit...
"The Madison Valley Ranch took wonderful care of us and fed us like kings the whole week. All of our guides were very friendly and extremely capable on the river. The new guys especially appreciated the patient instruction they received the first couple of days. We were treated to the best fishing and accommodations possible. I look forward to coming back very soon and will highly recommend your operation to anyone coming to Montana."
What more needs to be said! If you are planning to come to Montana this summer, the Madison Valley Ranch has earned our recommendation and this lodge should warrant your close inspection. For 2008 a 6 night/5day fishing package runs $3150.00. Shorter or longer stays are available.
The Bighorn River
The Bighorn River quite simply offers some of the finest trout fishing in the lower 48. In terms of numbers of trout and average size, The Bighorn's remakable record is unmatched in the West! With consistent stream flows and prolific insect life, this river holds more trout per mile than any other river in Montana. While it is possible to catch twenty plus inch trout on dry flies almost any month of the year, it is the sensational nymph fishing that is the bread and butter of beginning and intermediate fly fishermen. Twenty seems to be the magical number on the Bighorn for both beginners and experts. A novice armed with a good guide can often catch twenty fish in a day and it is possible for expert fishermen to catch a twenty inch trout on #20 dry fly.
Let Angling Destinations arrange a Bighorn River trip for you. We customize all Bighorn River itineraries and make our selections based on our over twenty years of experience on this fabulous river. We know the best guides and the best lodges. We'll pick the best times for nymphing or streamers. And we know the best months for dry fly fishing from baetis to pale morning duns and black caddis to tricos. In July, August and September, we can combine a Bighorn River trip with fishing on our private ranch waters or on streams in the Bighorn Mountains. You can spend 2-3 days on the Bighorn and 2-3 days in absolute solitude on our private ranches. In October, November and December, we'll help you combine a great Bighorn trout trip with upland birdhunting or waterfowl hunting. Northeastern Wyoming into southeastern Montana is a sportsman's mecca and we're proud to show off our home waters. Let us help arrange an itinerary specifically designed for you. Prices vary, please call for details.
Three Rivers Ranch
In eastern Idaho, about an hour's drive northeast of Idaho Falls, the family-owned and operated Three Rivers Ranch is perfect for anglers seeking warm Western hospitality, productive and dependable fishing close to home, delicious meals and experienced expert guides. The Three Rivers Ranch fishes many of the most famous rivers in America, including the Henry's Fork and the South Fork of the Snake River, the Madison, the Fall River, the Teton River and all of the many rivers in Yellowstone National Park. In fact, Three Rivers Ranch is liscesed to guide on 16 legendary trout streams. Because of this wide variety of fishable water, the ranch has an angling season extending from late May to mid-October. The guides at Three Rivers are all experienced, veteran anglers. The are able to satisfy the angling desires of each fisherman whether he be a seasoned troutophile or a complete beginner.
Ranch guests stay either in one of the rustic cabins along Robinson Creek or at the Creek House; a separate facility accommodating 6-8 that is perfect for the exclusive use of families or intact groups. Dining times are flexible and arranged according to your fishing schedule. Meals are taken in a handsome log lodge where genuine hospitality and service are as abundant as the delicious family-style fare.
The diversity of water available to Three Rivers Lodge means you could basically fish hard every day, all summer long, and still not cover it all. This, in combination with the comfortable lodging, delicious food, scenic surroundings and, warm Western hospitality makes Three Rivers Lodge our top pick in this "West Yellowstone" area; an area we firmly believe has the best fishing you will find in the West and some of the best available in the world today. Please call for 2009 prices.
Private Ranch Waters
Angling Destinations fishes three private ranches and numerous alpine streams each different in character. You may choose to start high in the mountains fishing small streams. These creeks are loaded with brookies, browns and rainbows and are wonderful, not so much for the size of the fish, but for the environs in which they are caught. Gin-clear water and rich, alpine pine forests are framed by the high peaks of the Big Horn Mountains making for a classic angling experience.
Your second choice is to fish the waters of Big Goose Creek where it exits the high hills and tumbles out onto the prairie. The ranch we fish is one of the most beautiful in the west; cottonwood and ponderosa line the river's banks and its bed is studded with granite boulders which pinch its waters into pools and falls. This is fabulous dry fly fishing and it is not uncommon to have 15 - 40 fish days. It's all catch and release and the browns and rainbows are all wild, usually 10-17" in length. Rises to your fly are not subtle on Big Goose and wild trout fight for all their worth.
If the wading is a bit too athletic for you on Big Goose or if you simply want to try another great stream, then we'll travel to Wyoming's Hole-In-The-Wall country to fish the wonderful waters of the North Fork of the Powder River. The North Fork slows down after it hits the prairie's rolling hills making it an easy stream to wade. The dry fly action with hoppers and attractor patterns can be spectacular and occasionally someone connects with a real monster.
Our third ranch is a prairie creek that fishes much like a spring creek. The fish are big, mostly browns and rainbows and an 18' fish is not uncommon. Long slicks run into shallow riffles and the fish stack up along cut banks feeding contentedly under the gaze of the Bighorn Mountains. The dry fly fishing can be spectacular in July and August even into late September.
So come visit our "home waters". You can fish a couple days on the fabled Bighorn River, then fish our private ranches for a few days, perhaps finish with a day in the high country fishing for cutthroats. We will arrange it as you wish. Our guides are friendly and professional - our many repeat clients can attest to their expertise. When you book our private ranches, you and your party will be the only anglers allowed access that day. No crowds and more water available to you than you could fish in a day. We can arrange lodging with local motels, bed and breakfasts, or you can choose to overnight on dude ranches close to town. The price is $350.00 per day for two anglers. Private ranch landowner fees of $25.00-$75.00 per person per day are not included.
Rocking 7 C Outfitters
The Beartooth Mountains are the highest range in Montana. These spectacular mountains are cut by deep river valleys and are strewn with hundreds of beautiful alpine lakes and streams. The Rockin' 7C Outfitters will lead you into this fantastic area where you will have the opportunity to catch cutthroat, brown, rainbow, brook and golden trout. These fish populations are strong and healthy due to prolific aquatic insect life that matures in these exceptionally clear and clean waters. You'll be casting over some of the best fishing water that exists in the western U.S. Float tubes are available for all lakes and allow anglers to fish areas not reachable from shore. In addition to several venues in the central Beartooth Mountains, our outfitters are licensed to lead trips to Frenchy's Meadow on Slough Creek just outside Yellowstone National Park. Frenchy's Meadow is a special place with great fishing, incredible scenery and lots of history. It is accessible only by foot or by horseback via 12 miles of rugged wilderness trail. Frenchy's is bordered to the south by Yellowstone Park and to the north, east, and west by the Absoroka-Beartooth Wilderness. The view from the meadow is incredible. Slough Creek is a great fishery with cutthroats up to 18 inches. The meadow is open and casting is easy.
The Beartooth Mountain are home to elk, bear, deer, mountain goat, bighorn sheep and moose. After fishing, guests will enjoy searching for these legendary residents on the surrounding slopes from the comfort of camp. The Rockin' 7C Outfitters use teepee tents for sleeping and wall tents in which to cook and eat. Camps are moved every 2 - 3 days to provide new fishing opportunities and to lessen the impact on these beautiful, yet fragile, alpine lands. Denny Chatlain, the owner/operator, invites you to enjoy with him this wild and beautiful high country of Montana. You may come to fish, but you'll leave having experienced much more than simply that. Five day trips run $1495.00.
Angling Destinations' backyard in the Bighorn Mountains provides the stage for these spectacular pack trips. Paintrock Outfitters will pack you through rugged canyons to secluded alpine lakes and streams brimming with native trout. The pristine pine forests and towering granite peaks of the Cloud Peak Wilderness frame lakes loaded with brook, golden, cutthroat, mackinaw and grayling. Camps are comfortably equipped with teepee style tents and sleeping cots. The food is plentiful and delicious. For many people, the highlight of their trips is the opportunity to catch the famous and rare golden trout. Few fishermen ever get a chance to see, let alone catch a golden trout, but on these trips you'll be able to "go for the gold". Paintrock Outfitters recently took ESPN's "Fly Fishing The World", to this secret spot. Don't worry, the lakes weren't named and the golden trout are still there. Paintrock Outfitters are a hard working, honest outfit that takes pride in the reputation it has built. Paintrock Outfitters is run by two true cowboys, Todd Jones and Lon Timberman, each with experience ranging from cattle ranch management to competing on the pro rodeo circuit. They are now doing what they love best, horsepacking and fishing in the mountains of Wyoming. This great experience is perfectly suited for families with children or groups. Five day trips run Monday to Friday, the cost is $1495.00 per person
Angling Destinations' backyard in the majestic Bighorn Mountains provides a stunning backdrop for this rustic high summer camp. Flatiron Troutfitters are liscensed to fish on over two meandering miles of prolific Piney Creek. In addition, they fish and explore six alpine lakes including three within the Bighorn Wilderness area and three immediately outside the wilderness boundary. The rainbows, cutthroat and brook trout average 12-17" with some fish consistently going over 20". The camp sits at 9600' and is reached only by an 11 mile horsepack trip that takes between three and four hours. Anglers are lodged in comfortable wall tents equipped with cots, lanterns and heaters. Hot showers are available. The camp's excellent ranch-style meals are taken in a central dining tent. Float tubes are available for all of the lakes. This camp is run by one of our true cowboy friends, Rusty Bogers. Rusty has a great sense of humor and is an excellent host and cowboy. He runs a very well-organized operation that strives to enhance the enjoyment of your experience by combining genuine Western hospitality with a practised eye to detail. Trips run Monday morning thru Friday afternoon and are a bargain at $1395.00 per person.
Lewis and Clark Expeditions
Lewis and Clark Expeditions offers a variety of trips ranging from five day float trips on the Smith River to guided day trips on the Missouri and Blackfoot Rivers. The latter two rivers can be laced together with some fantastic private water for a superb week long fishing vacation. Here's a short rundown of the waters offered by Lewis and Clark Expeditions:
The Missouri River has 5,000 trout per river mile below Holter Dam with the average fish being 18". The Missouri is why anglers have backing on their fly reels. Prolific hatches matched with tiny dry flies produce screaming runs by large rainbows. Lewis and Clark Expeditions employs quality guides who not only decipher these hatches, but interpret water, tie knots, supply flies and then gently release your piscine catch. We can arrange overnight accommodations at the Trout Shop Lodge, an elegant home on a hill, or at a variety of other properties we represent. The Blackfoot River starts in the mountains and whistles down to join the Clark Fork on its long flow to the Pacific. The Blackfoot runs aloof and wild, shying away from asphalt, telephone poles and cellular phones. . . all perfect habitat for the many rainbow, brown, cutthroat and bull trout that inhabit this majestic river. Anglers stay at the Whitetail Guest Ranch nestled up againt the Rocky Mountains or at the Sander's House in Helena, Montana. The Whitetail Guest Ranch offers family style meals, horses and cabins. The Sander's House is the most elegant place to stay in Helena.
And finally, Lewis and Clark Expeditions has access to an extensive private stretch of river where you can walk out on a small knoll, gaze below at the creek and get the feeling that you're the only angler that's ever been there. It is a hidden spot where lucky anglers fish by day and enjoy the comforts of a deluxe tent camp by night. We host only four anglers at any one time on this small private stream that is loaded with trout. And the best part may be that you won't see anyone but those in your party. Prices vary, please call for details.
With over 900 miles of fishable water within a 75 mile radius of town, the Bozeman area is truly an angler's Mecca. The legendary waters of the Madison, Yellowstone, Gallatin and Missouri Rivers are within easy reach, but in addition, anglers can find solitude and eager trout waiting in many of the areas smaller streams and spring creeks. When it comes to fishing variety, Bozeman provides some of the most versatile angling opportunities in the West. Please ask for our separate insert explaining this exceptional program.