Montana Guiding Company

We fish the following rivers:

Click a river to jump to the section on the page, or simply scroll down to learn about all of them.

Bitterroot River
Best Fishing: March - October
The Bitterroot River starts high in the south end of the Bitterroot valley where the East and West Forks converge and then flow over 60 miles north to Missoula. The Bitterroot is truly a dry fly fisherman’s river. It is one of the rare rivers in the west where you can almost surely fish a single dry fly seven plus months out of the year. The Skwala Stonefly hatch of March and April is one of the best times of year where you have shots at large quantities of fish on the dry fly, and also the biggest fish of the year here. Salmonflies, Green Drakes, Golden Stones, Hoppers and more round out phenomenal summer and fall dry fly fishing on the Bitterroot.

The Bitterroot River has three different ecosystems. The upper, middle and lower river in which each provides different styles of fishing, hatches, and size of fish. This makes it one of the most exciting rivers we fish and always gives us something to look forward to on the this river.
Blackfoot River
Best Fishing: June - September
The Blackfoot River, immortalized by Norman Maclean in "A River Runs Through It," meanders from its pristine origins in the Scapegoat Wilderness, flowing gracefully southward until it reaches the charming city of Missoula. We float about 50 miles of the Blackfoot. The upper river is characterized by the scenic “Box Canyon” section, which is some of the prettiest water you’ll float anywhere in Montana. A lot of the biggest trout live here as well, as large browns, rainbows, cutthroats, and the occasional giant Bull Trout will smash oversized stoneflies. The Salmon fly hatch on the Blackfoot brings out the biggest fish in the river, giving anglers a realistic shot at catching fish over 21” on dry flies.
Clark Fork River
Best Fishing: April - October
The Clark Fork is simply the most underrated trout river in the western United States, or maybe even the country. It’s two different rivers: the upper river east of Missoula and the lower river west of Missoula. The upper river is similar to the Bitterroot, where logjams, cutbanks, and grass edges create great trout habitat and fantastic fly fishing water. Browns, Rainbows and Cutthroats lurk in this habitat and rise to the well presented fly. The lower river is one of our absolute favorites anywhere in Montana. This is a big river. It’s the sum of most of the drainages in western Montana, so it is mostly comprised of wide open runs, banks, riffles and seams. Big, hard-fighting rainbows and cuttbows that average 15-19” with fish over 20” being seen regularly populate the lower river, and during the various stonefly and mayfly hatches, this can truly be insanely good fishing. The lower Clark fork is probably the most condition-specific river in western Montana, so your Montana fly fishing guide knowing the hatches, water conditions and weather for success here is vital.
Rock Creek
Best Fishing: June
Rock Creek is an unbelievable Blue Ribbon trout stream that flows from the Pintlar mountains north to the Clark Fork near Missoula. Rock Creek is really only floatable during the month of June, but what a time this is on this river. June presents an all out hatch explosion of Salmonflies, Goldenstones, Yellow Sallies, Green Drakes and more. We float the upper section of the creek, which is arguably the most scenic and best fishing. 100 fish days in mid to late june are legitimately possible here. There are few fly fishing experiences that can beat an early summer day on the Creek.
Missouri River
Best Fishing: May, June, July, October
The Missouri river is simply the best tailwater trout river in the United States. The fish are big and plentiful here, with 7000 fish per mile, and fish averaging 16”-21”. Hard fighting rainbows are the norm, but the Missouri also holds big Brown Trout that can reach 24”. In terms of catching fish and lots of them, the Missouri is a hard river to beat. Fishing with nymph rigs under an indicator is the norm here, but good dry fly windows exist. We typically bring clients to the Missouri during the month of May when our local rivers around Missoula are blown out with mountain runoff. The Missouri is a world class fishery that we are fortunate to have access to, with a short 2 hour drive from Missoula. Day trips out and back are possible from Missoula when necessary, but we prefer to book 2-4 day trips here.