Fishing Trip Advise Request

Next year a friend and I turn 40, and as a celebration we are planning a week long fly fishing trip. We are thinking about a road trip going from river to river, and right now we are looking into the Montana/Idaho/Wyoming area, around September timeframe. This will be my first fly fishing road trip, so i am extremely exited about it, and hope it will be memorable (for all the good reasons). I am hoping to get some advice/opinions from you guys on what area we should concentrate on, rivers that we must hit, fly shops/guides we should hit up, and even not to miss eateries. I am not asking for your secret location (I wouldn't dare), but any help in this initial stage of planning would greatly appreciated.
Thanks guys!
I have limited experience out west so others will have better answers than I, but I've always loved the town of livingston, mt. Great town, good fly shop, and the yellowstone flows through town. Yellowstone NP is about an hour away (good streams in the NP about 2 hours). If you go to livingston, stay at the Murray Hotel and have drink (or a few) at the bar.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
No matter where you go in Montana, you will catch fish in the Skinny water. I haven't found any sterile water yet. And most of the lakes are loaded with Cutthroat.

I wouldn't limit myself to the Livingston area. In the Dillon area you are close to the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Madison, Ruby. The Gallatin is just a hop, skip, and a step away from here. Not to mention several large Reservoir's that hold big trout.


Well-Known Member

If this is your first ever fishing road trip, I will also recommend the Yellowstone area. The combination of scenery, wildlife, and fishing are hard to beat. There is also excellent fishing outside the park in the surrounding area. It is hard to go wrong with a western Montana fishing destination.

Sg, the Yellowstone sounds appealing, as I haven't been there before.
MDK, thanks for the suggestion on searching the trip forum, I will do that.
I think we will concentrate on the rivers, rather then lakes, as I probably won't be bringing my pontoon or float tube. Although I am sure there are some great lakes out there
Again, thanks for the suggestions... keep them coming


Active Member
West Yellowstone or the area around Ennis Montana will put you in the heart of some awesome FF waters. No shortage of fly shops in either location. Much to see, much to do and many waters to fish.
If you'll be driving from western WA, it's efficient to do a sort of twisted loop. You might stop at Hayspur Hatchery (free campground) in so. Idaho to fish Silver Creek; on to Yellowstone: spring for a guided float trip on the Madison, then several rivers in the Park. Choose from the Firehole, the Gibbon, the Yellowstone below Yel. Lake, the Lamar and/or Soda Butte Creek. Catch a few good rivers in s.w. MT, with perhaps another day with a guide and his boat. Then home on I-90, or over Lolo Pass and down the Lochsa. It's equally valid to do this in reverse direction. September is usually a wonderful month weatherwise, and with the crowds reduced. The only problem with this plan is that a week isn't nearly enough time. But driving home, your minds will be full of the rivers you fished, and many other good ones to go back to in the future.:cool:
Thanks, this is a timely thread for me. I'm currently also planning a road trip through Montana for next Sep with a group of five friends. Unfortunately, not all the parties on the road trip are fishermen/fisherwomen (Yet). I haven't been to that area, at all; Is wet wading a possibility that time of year or is it normally too cold by then? I'm trying to limit the amount of gear we need to take?
A week is going to be almost too short to do it justice, especially if you go as far as Yellowstone, which is lo-o-o-ong day drive to get there. If you only have a week and want to optimize for fishing, I'd recommend going no farther than the Missoula area. There are plenty of great streams in northern Idaho and western Montana, and you won't spend all your fishing time driving.
Yeah, that is a long drive to Yellowstone, and would take up two whole fishing days. Since my buddy is coming from Ohio, I am thinking I'll fly into Idaho Falls or Jakson, and then rent a car. That way I get more fishing time.
Livingston and the Yellowstone area is sweet man. Whether chasing gnarly big browns in the 'Stone below town or casting to 16-18" Cutties in the Park water you will have a good time. I would also recommend spending several days fishing the Missouri around Craig. Rivers don't get better or have more dry fly opportunities that the Mighty Mo (my opinion of course). It isn't an easy river, but oh so rewarding. Missoula is hard to beat to. You have so many great rivers so close to town. If you've never fished in Montana before, a good primer would be Rock Creek. Not alot of huge fish but mega fun stream. Although I would recommend going a month later in October rather then September for any waters statewide.