Discover the abundant and fantastic fisheries near and around Southwest Montana with Westwind Guides. Our region of Montana has some of the highest quality natural trout streams in the US. There are a large variety of local rivers and creeks that allow us to match the expectations and needs of our clients. The amount fishable water is immense and our home waters include the headwaters of the Missouri River, which feed many world famous blue ribbon trout fishing rivers and creeks. Plus, we have the amazing Montana valley and mountain scenery to float through. Most of the rivers are floatable by raft or drift boat and give us so many options. The Yellowstone is the main focus of our home waters and a prime river for drift boat fishing.
Learn more about home waters below:
Yellowstone River Rainbow
Yellowstone RiverThe Yellowstone is a river of legend. As a guided angler with Westwind Guides you can walk-wade and cast to rising native cutthroat trout amid the splendor of the world’s first national park, or ride in a drift boat and cast to wild rainbows and browns through Montana’s majestic Paradise Valley. Most of the river is ideal for floating and fishing from a drift boat or raft. It is the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states. What we like most is there is excellent trout water from its tributaries high inside Yellowstone Park to well below Big Timber; a diverse stretch of nearly two hundred river miles! The town of Livingston perfectly intersects the river in the middle, so there are plenty of options to go upriver or down on any given day.
Zach Pleshar with Boulder River rainbow trout
Boulder RiverThe Boulder River is one of the most beautiful and exciting rivers to fish in Montana. The river begins in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness just north of Yellowstone National Park, and swiftly flows due north towards its confluence with the Yellowstone River in the town of Big Timber. When the spring flows drop and are fishable, we float the lower sections of the river via raft and it’s non-stop action of mild whitewater and quick casting. The clear water holds high numbers of browns and rainbows, with an occasional cutthroat in the mix. It’s a treat to float this amazing fishery and it always takes a guide skilled on the oars to take you down safely and put you into fish.
Yellowstone park fishing
Madison River fishing
Madison RiverThe Madison River is perhaps the most famous of all the fly fishing rivers in Montana. It begins its journey to the Missouri River in Yellowstone National Park at the confluence of the Gibbon River and Firehole River and flows mostly north for more than 150 miles. The upper stretches are suitable for wade fishing and the middle and lower stretches are best accessed by drift boat. The Madison River holds great numbers of rainbow and brown trout. With its beautiful valleys, remarkable scenery and world-class fishing, a trip to Southwest Montana should include time on this river.
Stillwater RiverThe Stillwater River is truly a beautiful and wild river. Like the Boulder River but slightly larger, the Stillwater begins high in the mountains of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area. Its name is misleading; the Stillwater has lots of whitewater, significant rapids, large rocks and a very swift current. Really, it’s anything but still. When we float the river by raft we have to look for holding water and find the calm stretches of this river. Fishing pressure is still moderate and there are plenty of rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. Dry fly fishing is excellent when the time is right.
Montana Spring Creek
Spring CreeksThe Livingston area has some of the most famous and productive spring creeks in the world. They offer challenging and rewarding fishing for wild trout through out the year. The cold clear water that originates form springs coming out of the earth requires technically savvy fishing techniques. The bug life and general biomass of the creeks is incredible and wade fishing for the large trout that haunt these waters is considered more of a stealthy chess match, rather then blind casting. Often we are sight casting to wary trout and it is one of the ultimate challenges of our sport. That being said, there is still much to learned from fishing with a Westwind Guide on a spring creek and beginners can often hook into fish depending on the day. It’s well worth a day of spring creek fishing to round out a trip. The most common spring creeks we fish are; Depuys, Armstrong and Nelson Spring Creeks.
Missouri River guided fishing
Missouri RiverThe Missouri or the ‘Mo’ as it can be called, is a true Montana classic. It is one of the best tailwater fisheries in the world. The Missouri river produces consistent hatches, which offers up premier dry fly fishing. It also has excellent nymphing and streamer opportunities. The name of the game is large trout – both rainbows and browns. The river begins near Three Forks and flows north towards Great Falls. We like to fish it below Holter Dam near Craig, Montana. This is a great place to fish in May and June when other rivers are high from seasonal runnoff.
Gallatin River
Gallatin RiverThe Gallatin River, near Bozeman Montana is one of the top fly fishing destinations in all of the west. It is truly a bucket-list river to fish. It originates in Yellowstone Park and flows north past Big Sky into the beautiful Gallatin Valley in south-central Montana. It is a free stone river that is over 100 miles long. Most of the river is accessible from nearby roads and bridges. The upper reaches of the river can be floated by raft, but cannot be fished from a boat – requiring pulling over to wade fish. The lower reaches are floatable by driftboat and are especially good in the spring and fall. Ask for details.
Story Lake trout
Private Waters & LakesAnother unique fishing experience with spacious beautiful settings and limited access with no crowds; try any one of our private water options. Fly fishing our private access streams, creeks or lakes can provide for the opportunity for a peaceful and spectacular day. We have access to numerous ranches in and around Southwest Montana. Many of our private lake fishing options offer an angler the chance to land a truly large trophy trout. Most private access locations require a rod fee – please inquire about the options.
Other waters - Big Hole Brown
Other WatersAt Westwind Guides we are always looking for the best water to fish depending on the season, weather, flows, hatches and many other variables. Montana is home to some of the most spectacular fishing on Earth. The variety of spring creeks, lakes and blue ribbon trout streams all within a day trip is astounding. It makes for a Livingston Montana based fly fishing trip, a perfect scenario. No matter which location we decide to fish, you can be assured that the opportunity for a unique successful experience is certainly available. Please ask for details.