In a week, I’ll be headed out on another Montana fly fishing road trip. I live in a beautiful place called Central Oregon, but there’s something about Big Sky country that makes me want to return.

Madison River Valley |

One of our destinations in Montana will be the International Federation of Fly Fisher’s Fair in Livingston. My wife is leading the Women’s University Fly Fishing class and I’m teaching a knot tying class for the techniques I use. (see Testing Fly Fishing Knots)

We’ll drive past some really nice fishing water, but can’t stop. There are soooo many places to fish in Montana. I found I need to attach blinders to my sunglasses while driving because if we do stop to fish, we won’t make it to our next stop!

The first few days you’ll find me fishing the Madison River below Quake Lake. We’re staying at Kelly Galloup’s Slide Inn to be close to fishing water. I really enjoy wading the waters around Raynold’s Pass bridge.

Madison River Valley |

And of course $3 Bridge fishing water is only a short drive away. Hmmm, I wonder how the $3 Dip got it’s name.

$3 Dip - Gold Bead |
$3 Dip

We might sneak over Raynold’s Pass into Idaho and try the Henry’s Fork for a day. Fishing conditions on each river will dictate where to go.

OK, so perhaps the reason I like fishing the Madison River is it’s so close to Campfire Lodge and a few Whiting Farms feather choices! I stepped into the Lodge many years ago and found out it was one of the top Whiting dealers in the US! What a surprise. I’m taking inventory and hope to find a couple of saddles for my fly tying.

And being close to West Yellowstone, Montana means I will be stopping into Blue Ribbon Flies, one of my favorite shops. I’ve written about them before (Craig Mathews and Blue Ribbon Flies) and many of the fly pattern sheets on RiverKeeper Flies are their fly patterns. I doubt I’ll be able to leave town without another patch or two of sparkle dun deer hair. I tie and fish so many Sparkle Dun flies.

Sparkle Duns |

Our next stop will be Livingston, Montana. We arrive a few days before the Fair and have made arrangements to fish Depuy Creek. Never done that. I’ve heard a lot about Armstrong and Depuy spring creeks. Looking forward to exploring the creek.

The Yellowstone River flows through Livingston, so fishing will be a stone’s throw away. I hope to find access for fishing before or after the Fair events.

Speaking of the Fair, I’ll teach my knot tying class on Thursday and demonstrate a few flies on Friday and Saturday afternoons. 

A friend of mine told me I should fish the Stillwater River someday and I hope this is the year for doing it. The river flows into the Yellowstone at Columbus, Montana. I’m still completing the arrangements for that part of the trip, so I hope it works out.

Then up and over Beartooth Pass and into Cooke City and Silver Gate and a day or two on Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar in Yellowstone Park.

Lamar Valley |

Lastly, I’ll be driving past the Henry’s Fork of the Snake on the way home. I’m taking bets whether I’ll stop to fish or wearing my sunglasses with blinders.

Well, that’s the plan for my Montana fly fishing road trip. Maybe I’ll see you on the road…

Enjoy…go fish!

I am!

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