Fly Fish The Jefferson River

Here at Montana Fishtales

The Montana River of Your Dreams!

The Jefferson offers the best trophy trout fishing anywhere. The browns and bows encountered here are the type you’re likely to find on the cover of popular fishing magazines – burly, vibrant, awe-inspiring. The best part: You’ll never find fly fishing to be a crowded experience at the Jefferson. The river runs through a picturesque and serene landscape that’ll refresh your senses. Solitude, green landscape, and flowing fresh water – explore the serenity of this river with our Jefferson River guides. Because it’s a brown trout river, you’ll require proper equipment to catch and carry your trophy trout. A large steamer or nymphs will help you catch reward-worthy freshwater trout.

Though you can fish here all year long, the best time is during the fall when the brown trout gather at the mouth of the streams that flow into the river. If you really want to have a rewarding fly fishing trip at the Jefferson River, join Fishtales Outfitting today. Our experienced Jefferson River guides will make your day on the water ever so memorable.

Floating the Jefferson is reminiscent of what Montana was generations ago: solitude, sweeping mountain views, ample wildlife, and super-model trout. By Montana standards, the Jefferson may not be the fish factory that other rivers are, but she delivers with a voice that few other rivers possess.

The Jefferson River has a similar feel as the lower Big Hole with its soft riffles, long runs, and cottonwood log jams left behind from high water. Flanked by the Highland Mountains to the west and the Tobacco Roots to the east, the river changes course and channels regularly here as a freestone river should, and lends itself nicely to drift boat fishing.

Adoring a large Montana Brown Trout

The Jefferson River flows north and east for 77 miles, meandering its way through pastures and farmland, eventually joining the Madison and Gallatin Rivers in Three Forks to form “The Missouri”.

Downriver hatches range from caddis, PMD’s and Yellow Sallies to even Brown Drakes. The best dry fly patterns, water conditions permitting, are likely summer Stones or Hoppers, but the Jeff’s reputation as trophy brown trout water was built on knowing how to trigger the predatory nature of these carnivores. Stripping, and swimming streamers of all manner work wonders. Your FishTales guide will teach the needed streamer techniques to entice a hog from his hiding place. If it’s elbow room and a chance at a really big beautiful brown trout you seek, join us on a Jefferson River fly fishing trip.

Recommended Flies

Dry Flies

Rogue River Salmon Fly
Chubby Chernobyl
Elk Hair Caddis
Goddard Caddis
Iris Caddis
Parachute Adams
Royal Wulff
CDC Cinnamon Flying Ant


Pheasant Tail
Prince Nymph
Copper John


Mini-Loop Sculpin
Trevor’s Sculpin
Whitlock’s Hare Sculpin
Wooley Sculpin