Where’s the best place in America to enjoy fly fishing for trout? Ask a hundred sportsmen, and you may get a hundred different answers. But the one state that’s mentioned most often, the state in which fly fishing is an obsession, is Montana.
If you’ve read A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean, or seen the movie, you know about Montana’s snow- and spring-fed Blackfoot River. Stay in nearby Missoula, and enjoy the rugged scenery while angling for brown and rainbow trout. The Blackfoot became more popular following the movie, but passing time has again made it enjoyable and less crowded.
In the far western part of Montana, paralleling the border with Idaho, runs the challenging Bitterroot River. Missoula is also a good place to start the trek down this beautiful waterway. Head down Highway 93 to find excellent campgrounds and seldom-visited creeks teeming with trout.
On the western boundary of Glacier National Park, from the Canadian border southward, runs the North Fork of the Flathead River. Here you can find bull trout, cutthroat, lake trout, rainbow trout, and whitefish. And while there are few entry points for wade fishers, and the river parallels a road high up the mountainside in some places, the rugged and difficult conditions are compensated for by the spectacular scenery.
Obviously, a post like this can only hit the high points. And certainly, there’s excellent fly fishing in Michigan, Florida, New York, and most of the Rocky Mountain states. But there’s something special about the experience of pulling in a rainbow trout in America’s Big Sky Country…