The Trip of All Trout Fishing Trips


Every year we pile in to our trucks and take off across Montana for a week of absolute trout fishing chaos.  This year seemed to be more chaotic than any other, and it all added up to a great experience.

Trailer bearings were blown, huge rainbows were landed on size 22 nymphs, big browns were eating crane flies and mice, multiple whiskey bottles were emptied, and fun was had by all.

For all of you who are looking for a weekend of fishing outside of Missoula, here is a quick report from some of the most famous trout fisheries in the world.

The Mighty Mo’

We are absolutely certain that the Missouri has the best fishing in Montana right now.  There are lots of boats out there, but plenty of fish to go around.

Just don’t give your opinions on drift boats in Joe’s Bar in Craig because some dude might actually challenge you to a bar fight over it (this actually happened to us).  Look for huge heads coming up to caddis pretty much all day. CDC caddis seemed to be the best, and scuds will catch fish as well.

The Madison

The hopper fishing has yet to begin, but the river is at a great level now.  The dry fly fishing is great if you get out early.  Spruce moths, black magics, and the turks turantula caught fish on top.  Your best shot at a lot of big fish is the biggest blackest streamer you can find (so throw a sex dungeon).  There are big fish eating streamers all over the river.

The Beaverhead

The fishing on the Beav’ can be a little tough until you find the right fly.  Size 18-20 micro mayfly nymphs worked ok.  The evening is when things get wild on the Beav’ right now.  Skating crane flies made us giggle like we were 12 years old again, and I had 5 fish eat a mouse on one bank.  Ya for real…I was skating a mouse pattern before dark and they were all over it.

The Bighole

If you are on the Bighole on a cloudy day, throw bright yellow streamers and get ready for high action.  The problem is that when the sun comes out the streamer fishing will turn off immediately.  When this happens, throw size 12-16 purple hazes, a small stimulator, or a size 14 caddis.  Get your dry flies an inch off of the bank.  It’s definitely a bank pounding game.

Overall, the fishing across Montana is pretty similar to what it always is…TOTALLY AWESOME!

Enjoy this blog? Please leave comments in the Facebook commenting box below and be sure to click the +1 button.   Be sure to visit our Make it Missoula fishing page.  And Check out Matt and Bryce’s other blogs: The Great Tube HatchMissouri River Fishing–Trout Mecca of Montana and  Fly Fishing Season is When?

If you enjoy western Montana lakes and rivers, you might also enjoy our page on Missoula kayaking and rafting.


Photos of Missoula Fly Fishing Experts Matt Devlin and Bryce McLeanBryce McLean:  (Right) I was born and raised in Montana, and have been fly fishing here for almost 20 years.  I first learned to fish on the Missouri River, but when I was 10 my family moved to the Bitterroot Valley. I have been fishing the Bitterroot River ever since.  This will be my second season guiding the Missoula area rivers, which I consider to be some of the best trout fisheries on planet earth. Matt Devlin:  (Left) Matt is originally from Annapolis, Maryland and learned to fool trout on the technical waters of the Gunpowder River.  He has fished in Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Main,e, Michigan, Indiana, North and South Carolina, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, Idaho and Montana.  He thinks about flies and fishing a whole lot.