Missouri River Region
The area of central Montana where the Missouri River and it's tributaries run is a different kind of place. Generally located between the hop-scotch of cities from Bozeman to Helena to Great Falls, this region is largely undeveloped compared to most major river valleys in the state.
You won't find a lot of glitzy tourist attractions, billboards for fast food restaurants - or even gas stations for that matter. What you will find is a lot of wide open spaces, amazing vistas, abundant wildlife and productive waters with the Missouri River running from Holter Dam to the town of Cascade topping the list. This rainbow and brown trout filled tailwater has been on fire in recent years, growing big numbers of big fish, and has become the premiere destination fishery Montana has to offer. With over 5,500 mature trout per mile in our Blue Ribbon section, there are few other places on the planet where you can find such production and health in a trout fishery.
Lewis and Clark journeyed right up this waterway over two hundred years ago, so there's a lot of history to be discovered while you're here. Since these explorers passed through we've built a few dams and reservoirs that have become awesome fisheries in their own right. Holter and Canyon Ferry reservoirs are both top-shelf trout and walleye fisheries that lake anglers flock to.
The upper Missouri is where we find some of our best carp fishing, which is the closest thing to saltwater flats fishing that we get to do here in Montana. Carp like to tail in shallow water just like a bonefish, except they are on average much larger - usually 10-20 pounds! In the fall when the weather cooperates you can also find some true trophy brown trout and rainbow trout in this section of the river, with true 2 footers possible for the dedicated angler.
You will also find our Land of Giants section in this region, which is well worth investigating. Only accessible by foot or jetboat, this stunning river section has some of the consistently biggest trout found anywhere in Montana. We have yet to meet an angler who didn't find this trip to be fantastic, and we'll bet you will too.
The Missouri River Valley lies just to the east of the Continental Divide as it runs north-south from Glacier National Park down to Yellowstone National Park. Because of this geographical layout, the area is fairly arid and sees a lot of sunny, beautiful big sky country days.
The Dearborn River, Smith River and Sun Rivers are all tributaries to the Missouri River that enter in the lower reaches and are excellent fisheries in themselves. The Smith River in particular is superb, with a 60 mile float through one of the most stunning canyons we've ever seen being the main attraction. Access to the Smith is difficult, but we can help get you there.
The Missouri River region offers a wide sampling of places to explore and certainly choice places to wet a line.