There’s still plenty of time to get some good fishing trips before the season officially closes. You might be looking to visit a new spot, or maybe you’re new to the sport and need some ideas. Frankly, the best fishing spots can be found all across our giant state, and each one offers a unique experience with stunning views you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Bretz RV & Marine has offered some of our favorite fishing spots for you to check out for yourself. Let us know what you think, or add to our list by telling us some of your favorites. We’re in Missoula, Montana, serving all those from Kalispell
Clark Fork River
Not far from us, you’ll find the Clark Fork River, one of the longest rivers in Montana, originating near the Idaho border from the Rockies. The river itself is a stunning waterway that will make floating along relaxing and memorable, but there are also a few man-made lakes that collect fish. Head to the point of origin to see age-old mining areas, or simply enjoy the mountainous and forested landscapes, speckled with arid plains.
You’ll find some great fly fishing opportunities there, with brown and rainbow trout abundant in these areas, not to mention big in size. It’s also one of the lesser-trafficked rivers, so you might find you have your fishing spot all to yourself when you get there.
Big Hole River
Traveling south, you’ll find the Big Hole River, which flows through a slightly flatter part of the state, so you’ll see more open fields and grasslands while going through the Big Hole River Valley. It’s more isolated than other waterways, and really, the only disadvantage to this choice is that mosquitoes can sometimes be a big nuisance. Other than that, you’ll be able to nab excellent catches, including brook trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and native grayling (which must be released). The brook trout there in particular grow quite large, often exceeding 16 inches in length.
Just a little ways east, you’ll find the Gallatin River in Yellowstone country. You should know, there are strict rules and regulations for if and when you can fish in a national park, especially Yellowstone, but once the river enters Montana, the regulations become more lax. The Gallatin winds through the mountains and offers excellent spots to float and fish for large rainbow and brown trout. The river itself is closely followed by a highway, so there are numerous access points, although depending on your boat and skills, you’ll want to be careful of whitewater stretches.
If you’re looking for something in the eastern part of the state, consider Bighorn River. This starts in Boysen Reservoir in Wyoming and doesn’t reach Montana for over 150 miles. It starts by hitting the Bighorn Lake before continuing north. It’s popular among the anglers as you’ll find excellent fly-fishing opportunities throughout the year, such as the classic brown and rainbow trout of the region. Granted, if you go fishing in the winter, be prepared for sudden weather changes.
You’ll also enjoy floating through Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area and into the Crow Indian Reservation (you won’t need a special tribal fishing license to fish here). It’s ideal for a range of fishing enthusiasts, because there are no whitewater rapids to avoid and the general skills needed to navigate the waters are fairly limited.
There are lots of great places to go fishing here in Montana, but first you’ll need the right fishing boat to get you there. Stop by Bretz RV & Marine in Missoula, serving Kalispell, and we’ll give you the complete tour of available options. We’d also love to hear about some of your favorite fishing spots, so visit us today!