Wilderness Excursions

Fly Fishing Trips

The Bob Marshall Wilderness presents exceptional Montana fly fishing opportunities for fishermen of any skill level. Many of our young guests get their first taste of a life-long passion fly fishing with their fathers on the Sun River.  For accomplished and well-traveled fishermen, these remote mountain streams offer an unparalleled trout fishing experience.

The fish move up and down the rivers and streams in cadence with water temperatures and flows.  There are no barriers to their movement, so they tend to optimize their comfort and feeding habits largely in tune with the rivers and streams.  We have a pretty good idea where they'll be most prevalent based on the time of year, and what their habits are at that time.  We also know from experience the best lures and flies for the time of year.

A typical morning begins with a hearty breakfast in camp, and depending on how close we are to the river, we either walk or ride horses to our destination. Out here, you can fish upstream, downstream, ripples, holes, or whatever your prefer. The fish are everywhere and will be active at different times of day depending on air temperature, light or shadows on the water, terrestrial insect activity among other factors.  This makes for quite a variety in activity at different times of day and in different stretches of the streams.

After a sack lunch in a shady spot along the river, you have the rest of the afternoon to continue fishing with almost no one else on the water with you.  You will occasionally see deer, elk, an assortment of birds of prey, and perhaps even a bobcat along the river, but you rarely see any other person, unless it's your fishing buddy with you.  After getting back to camp and the often well deserved happy hour, a filling and  delicious back country dinner is served in the early evening.  The day is capped with camaraderie, stories, and general good fellowship around the campfire. Some guests like to keep fishing until dark, which can be pretty late in Montana's northern latitude. 

Often, we find that people want to stay up extra-late one clear evening to see the vast Montana evening sky.  It mostly defies characterization due to the vastness of the stars, the depth of the Milky Way galaxy, and the absolute absence of any light pollution.  Montana is often referred to as Big Sky Country, and our night-time skies are unbelievably rich with star gazing opportunity.

 


There are basically three places like this in the world for fly fishing….. Kamchatka, Alaska, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness  [Sun River]. 

Jim W – CO

Fly fishing Montana is many angler's dream, and the headwaters of the Bob Marshall readily fulfill that quest.  Rivers are lightly fished and you will not see many, if any, other fishermen on the river. The scenery is unmatched.  When the water warms up in July and then through the end of the summer under optimal conditions our fishermen can catch 50-70 fish a day.

Seasons and Weather

The high country summer season is pretty short by many standards. The winter snow runoff lasts until the end of June, and the water quality stabilizes in mid-July.  Often, our snow pack lasts in the high basins until the first week of July, even as it's receding rapidly.  Our waters run high and murky until then, and by mid-July the waters are running clean and cold.

The best fishing begins as soon as waters clear, and we typically start the fishing trips in mid-July.  The days are warm by then, but the evenings and early mornings can be chilly.  You don't ever need waders for mountain fly fishing, but you will need to pick your river crossing locations a little more carefully this time of year.  Mid-July to end of August generally conveys the most consistently good weather for us, and that is a good thing for the fishing.  Our days gradually warm to the 70-80's as we get through the end of July and into August.  August is the hottest month when we can get daytime temperatures in the 90's and mild evening temperatures.  We do get an occasional thunderstorm in August, but they are fast moving and infrequent.  The terrestrial insect population explodes with activity from mid-July through August, this drives the fish into feeding frenzies on sunny days.   

From time to time we get requests for fishing trips around Labor Day.  This is also a great time to fish, as the nights are starting to cool but the days stay agreeably warm.  This is the lowest water flow time of the year, and we seek out the headwaters where the streams are coldest and most predictable.

Flies and Lures

There are so many aspects to fishing the Bob Marshall that make a trip exceptional.  The stunning scenery, the seclusion, the peacefulness, and quantity of trout all contribute to the experience.  However, one can argue that the absolute frantic action on top of the water surely sets a Bob Marshall fishing experience apart from any other. 

The mountain trout are very aggressive, and strike strongly at agitators and other flies resembling the terrestrials (grasshoppers, horseflies, deerflies, ants, etc).  They feed all day, hit frequently, and hard.  They hammer the dry flies, often breaking the surface full body, and there is not much more exhilarating than that kind of repeated action, in hole after hole, all day long.  

These are wild trout, not owing anything to anyone -  they are fantastic fighters and will make you earn every one you bring to shore.  They do not give up easily  and it’s hard to imagine a more worthy fresh water competitor!

Species

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Whitefish
  • Arctic Grayling

These fish live year long in hard water conditions where the rivers freeze over in the deep sub-zero winters. They withstand the angry surge of spring snow melt, and otherwise spend their time in very cold water. 

Families and Friends

An A Lazy H Montana fly fishing vacation is as much about family and friends as it is about the fishing.  We are experience fly fishing outfitters with decades of backcountry experience.  We take care of the heavy lifting so you can enjoy your vacation. For the non-fishermen in your group, we provide horseback riding, hiking, and other excursions.

Downloads, Links, and Other Information

 
 

Fishing Trip Schedule

Fishing Trip Rates

Fishing Trip Gear

 

Fishing Licenses Available

Online Fishing License Application

 

 

 
 

Popular Links

Helpful Sites