Two of Montana’s fly fishing hotspots
There is a magic to angling. That perfect spot on the lake or the river can be a place that feels as good as home. In the heat of August, what sounds cooler than wading into a rushing river and dipping a line into the water in the hopes of pulling out a trophy-sized trout?
You can do just that on the Gallatin River at the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch, just one hour out of Yellowstone. Similarly, at Montana’s Triple Creek Ranch the sport of fly-fishing is more than just a hobby–it’s a passion. And here’s a newsflash: Coming this fall to Triple Creek—the first Steelhead Fly Fishing Celebration–something worth planning ahead for! At both ranches, a Montana Fishing License is required but not to worry—staff at each ranch will be happy to assist you in getting one.
At the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch, they offer guided angling trips that satisfy both the hardcore flyfisher and the rest of the family. They have a diverse program, moderate size (65 guests, maximum) and personal attention. Try your hand at trout fly fishing in this part of the Gallatin River drainage and you’ll find true blue ribbon waters and once-in-a-lifetime angling thrills.
“We have a fly-fishing guide on the ranch, at no extra cost, to help with your fishing needs and instruction,” says the Nine Quarter Circle. “We also have licenses and flies for sale right at the ranch. Loaner equipment is available. Weekly fly-casting lessons at the trout pond will entice you to fish our local waters.” And for the non-anglers in the family? Not to worry; there’s everything from hiking, horseback riding, rafting, and games (plus that noted national park—Yellowstone—to explore). There’s a Kiddie Wrangler and Babysitter here so that the parents can take off for a day of fishing with no worries.
Details: Rates from $1,666 weekly (per person, double occupancy). What anglers go for: brook, brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout. When to go: guided fishing trips are available now; or plan ahead for fall—prime time for both water conditions and weather.
Triple Creek Ranch
If its trout adventure you’re after, don’t miss the Triple Creek Ranch and its access to 98 miles of the scenic Bitterroot River, West Fork or East Fork of the Bitterroot River. When you’re here at Triple Creek Ranch, complimentary Orvis fishing gear is available and your guide will furnish the rods, reels, flies and his or her expertise.
If you’re new to fly fishing, you can begin with fly-casting lessons right there on the ranch; when you’re ready, you move to wade fishing in the nearby West Fork of the Bitterroot River. The Bitterroot also offers blue ribbon-quality fishing for trout (Rainbow, Brown and West Slope Cutthroat).
The ranch practices ‘Catch and Release’ fishing (they say there have not been any fish introduced into the Bitterroot since the 1940’s and all fish caught are wild). The peak of your adventure might be an all-day guided float fly-fishing excursion with an experienced guide on hand.
And for the non-anglers in the group, there’s horseback riding, hiking, nature and birding tours, swimming (outdoor heated pool), tennis, and use of a fitness center.
Coming this fall to Triple Creek: The first Steelhead Fly Fishing Celebration will be held November 8-12 on the Salmon River (the famed ‘River of No Return’). Led by owner Craig Barrett, this fishing trip is open to all experience levels and includes two days of guided fly fishing on the Salmon River, a daytrip to the Hamilton Trap Club, for trap shooting, and an Idaho fishing license.
Details: Triple Creek Ranch rates start at $950 per night per couple. Rates include:
accommodations in an elegant private cabin with a wood-burning fireplace, private or nearby hot tub, king log post bed and more. Breakfast, lunch, snacks and gourmet dinners, house wines and spirits.