Fly Fish Beaverhead River Ranch – Private Waters

Here at Montana Fishtales

Incredible fly fishing, beautiful scenery and solitude!

If you want to take on a difficult fishing adventure that’s going to reward you with fresh trout and a memorable trip, you must take our fly fishing guide to the Beaverhead River.

Through its twists and turns through the hills, the river’s banks are lined with fresh grass, beautiful willows, and cottonwood trees. A serene landscape along with the steady flow of water makes it an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy fly fishing.

Beaverhead Riveris a difficult river to fish, but it also is one of the most abundant brown trout spots in Montana. The river is prime water for large brown trout that are over twenty inches. So, if you’re looking for a trophy-sized brown trout, you will not be disappointed.

However, the water flow of the Beaverhead River is unregulated, making fly-fishing difficult during certain times. Reaching the prime fishing holes, then, becomes a difficult task.

At FishTales Outfitting, our team of expert guides will explore the Beaverhead river with you so you can make long-lasting memories.

The owner of the Beaverhead River Ranch is a 4th generation rancher that allows Fishtales Outfitting limited access to the ranch with a limited number of 6 anglers per day, on a rod fee basis, to several miles of the lower Beaverhead River which is not fishable from boats floatable to other anglers.

The Ranch is 1,400 deeded acres with 3.1+ miles of the Beaverhead River frontage. A dry bluff runs the west boundary of the ranch and offers many spectacular views that will take your breath away, including a historical buffalo jump used by Native Americans who inhabited this area long ago.

The large pond sits in the center of the Ranch and is loaded with large rainbow and brown trout. A lovely slough bisects the property as well, adding to the fishable water. The river bottom has stands of mature cottonwoods and thick willows. The habitat for wildlife is incredible and the fishing resources are seemingly endless.

From early season pre-run-off action that can be lightning-fast on streamers and dries, to picture-perfect summer-time dry flies; you can fish for five different species of trout (brook, rainbow, brown, the native grayling and cutthroat) on one river. And of course, radiant September and October, when solitude and ravenous kype-jawed browns await your presentation.

The upper Big Hole meanders its way through several meadows brimming with brook trout, rainbows and the last wild population of Arctic fluvial grayling in the US – all eager risers to your favorite dry fly. We’ve heard from more than one grinning client, “This is exactly what I imagined a Montana river would be like.”

Madison-River-rainbow-trout-pectoral-fin-close-up
Happy-client-holding-large-Clark-fork-River-rainbow-trout

The river fishes much like the rest of the Beaverhead. Weare able to drive through the ranch to some of the spots depending on irrigation and walk upstream to the rest of its winding path that offers countless turns and buckets holding mostly wild browns however, there are a few rainbows as well. Streamers dries and nymphing are all tactics that you might encounter. Hatches include Baetis, PMD’s, Yellow Sallies, and great hopper fishing.

On the pond, we approach these bank cruising bruisers much like you might be bonefishing the saltwater flats but with dry flies or crawfish patterns. We walk the banks looking for a cruiser and get into position in front of the fish and lead the fish so the cast doesn’t spook fish. This allows the fly to be the first thing the fish sees as it approaches. It’s a tricky game that gets about 5 out of 10 interested fish to eat and you have to be ready for plenty of refusals. However, when you see that fish eat, be ready and hold on because it’s kind of like lassoing a freight train.

Recommended Flies

Dry Flies

PMD Sparkle Dun
Yellow Stimulator
Biot Parachute PMD
CDC PMD Dun
PMD Sawyer or Limestone Cripple
CDC Yellow Sally
Crane flies
Grasshoppers

Nymphs

Sizes vary from #14-22 depending on specific hatch’s and water conditions.
Beadhead Pheasant Tail
Mitchell Split Back
Psycho May Fly Nymph
Soft Hackle Sow Bug
Zebra Midge

Streamers

Kiwi Muddler
Zuddlers
Zonkers
Bow River Bugger
Silvey’s Sculpin
Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow
Stalcup’s Flash Fry