WTK...9 days, pontoons, leave WA. for MT. Where would you go?

Want To Know...

Wife and I plan to blast east from Snoqualmie to MT. and chase trout starting June 26th. We have 2 pontoon rigs. Total of 9 days to burn.

Where would you go?

It's been a while but we've been to Dillion, Ennis and did the golden triangle years ago. Had a great time on the Madison back then.

We're open to rivers and lakes. Traveling in a VW camper van with a small footprint, self contained.

What's a route to take and waters to hit? All suggestions welcome and appreciated.



Derek Young

Emerging Rivers Guide Services
I just fished Rock Creek, about 20 miles East of Missoula. Was very nice. Linehan Outfitting Co. just did a presentation at the Bellevue Orvis and they have nice water up in Troy, MT too.
Thanks ER... is there camping to be had as well?

Prefer wiggling our rig into seclusion or at least avoid a campground scene.

I'll look at my maps... I appreciate the ping... thanks!



Active Member
Hit the Missouri for a couple of mid week days. Do some hiking in Yellowstone also. Be flexible and check water conditions and fishing reports.
Couple days in Ennis (Upper Madison, Yellowstone Park), couple days in Dillon (Big Hole, Beaverhead), couple days in Craig (Big Mo, maybe the Dearborn), and you're set. This is MT, just park your VW where you like and call it good.
clearwater (north fork kelly creek) then over the pass into montana, hit up the clark fork and rock creek on the way home.

no idea when the pass opens though.
Man you guys are awesome and all of these are great suggestions. Thanks so much.

Sounds like the perfect blast eastbound for us. I'm sitting down with maps and checking it all out. Eager to start summer with a road trip, trout and bluegrass!

I'll keep you posted with what we do. We're loose and happy to let the wind lead the way. But having a breeze set us in the right direction is what we needed!

Thanks all!



The Dude Abides
clearwater (north fork kelly creek) then over the pass into montana, hit up the clark fork and rock creek on the way home.

no idea when the pass opens though.
Dustin's idea is great, but USUALLY.....that's the last of the three main cutty streams to come into shape as it's the highest in elevation

The lower joe could be really nice then
We've done the St. Joe numerous times and found it always quite resaonable. The guide books somewhat dismiss it as a spot to consider, but we've always done consistently well there. Seems like a sleeper to us. Good access for a van and pull outs to sleep/setup shop. A bit busy with traffic at times so timing can be the thing. Over the years, it does seem to have become more popular.

We've done a bunch in Idaho and are eager to bump east a bit.

Why do I think the NF Kelly can be a 4WD adventure?

Is a Eurovan Camper pushing it for clearance?


Rick Todd

Active Member
Kelly Creek could well be in runnoff until July. To be on the safe side, tailwaters are always good, and for something off the beaten path, the Kootenai (Tim Linehan's a great resource for that area) near Libby is good and there are some really nice campgrounds up near the dam. Missouri is always awesome and there are several campgrounds downriver from Craig. Dillon is worth a look as well, both for Clark Canyon Reservoir and the Beaverhead. Lots of choices! Enjoy, Rick
One of my favorite spots that time of year is the West Fork of the Bitterroot below Painted Rock. Flows should be good, not a ton of pressure, and there's decent access and camping. Then you can backtrack a bit, cross the divide at Lost Trail Pass, and drop into gorgeous country, the town of Wisdom and the upper Big Hole. Have fun. Steve
Missouri River @ Craig MT.

There is a great place in Craig called the Craig Trout Camp. It's ran by the guys who own Head Hunters fly shop. I will be staying there for a week this July.
You guys have loaded me with tons... thanks!

Being a school teacher... I think you've talked me into staying on the road and getting a o/w ticket for my wife to fly back after our adventure!

You are all bad dawgs!

Thanks for the ongoing suggestions... I'm having fun pouring over the Gaz and checking it out.

Like the kids... my clock is eager to start summer as well! Thanks again!