Montana’s Last Best Fly Fishing Lodge
The Stonefly Inn and Outfitters is a privately owned Fly Fishing Lodge in rural Montana. No stop lights or tourist traps here – just countless miles of Blue Ribbon Trout Water, an overwhelming number of Trout and the occasional cattle drive. Because of our location, we often do not see the fishing pressure some of the other areas of the state have to deal with. In Twin Bridges, you can truly unwind and enjoy your Montana Fly Fishing Vacation along with the solitude and vastness of Southwest Montana. The days are longer, the fish are bigger and the beer is colder.
Here at The Stonefly, Dan “Rooster” Leavens and his entire staff of Montana Fly Fishing Guides are dedicated to providing you a Montana Fly Fishing Vacation that will leave you wanting to return year after year. Our average return ratio hovers around 95% season after season and Rooster goes out of his way to keep it that way.
A typical day at The Stonefly will start with breakfast with your Montana Fly fishing Guide before you head to one of our local rivers to fish. During the day, you can expect professional instruction while you employ seemingly endless techniques to catch fish. With so many rivers to pick from, each day is certain to be different. Returning to the lodge, you’ll find fresh appetizers in the Roost Lounge and take a little time to unwind and tell a fish story or two over a cocktail. Dinners are prepared by our in house chef, Glen Hornsby – a veteran chef of over 20 years in the fly fishing industry. Following dinner, nightly campfires are the norm complete with after dinner cocktails, joke telling, guitar picking and plenty of storytelling.
During your Montana Fly Fishing Vacation, you will always feel welcome at The Stonefly. You can count on professional instruction from your Montana Fly Fishing Guides, top shelf “Farm to Table” meals and courteous service from our staff. You have our word on it. Odds are, you’ll catch a few great fish while you are here as well!
Pricing based on double occupancy
- Montana Fly Fishing Guide
- Lodging (arrive the night prior to your first day on the water)
- Nightly 5 star dinnners, prepared by our Chef
- Daily Montana style fishermans breakfast
- Any needed gear and all of your flies
What is Included:
Drinks & Snacks
Rod & Reel
Ruby is the perfect name for this river, for it is a largely hidden, sparkling gem. Its crystal clear waters begin in the pristine Beaverhead National Forest in southwest Madison County, ... morebetween the Snowcrest Mountains and the Gravelly range. While it starts as a rather thin trickle, it picks up more than a dozen mountain, freestone creeks, and gains velocity as it flows for 40 miles past Alder and into the Ruby Reservoir. Past Alder, the river runs north between the beautiful Tobacco Root Mountains to the northeast and the Ruby Range to the southwest. Nestled in the quaint Ruby Valley, the river is conveniently located a mere thirty minutes from Ennis and a lovely one-hour drive from Bozeman. Like many other rivers in this region, the Ruby is small at only 76 miles in length, but it is full of surprisingly large fish.
Leaving Alder, the Ruby exits the reservoir as a tailwater and supports abundant midge, caddis, and Pale Morning Dun (PMD) hatches. For a short time the river passes through a scenic, arid canyon before abruptly transitioning into a meandering open agricultural valley. At this point the Ruby runs over vast swaths of private land, sometimes making access difficult. The 40 mile descent from Alder to Twin Bridges also crosses over high-end ranch properties, where again, access can be challenging although public access points do exist and can be easily located.
The river is open year round to fishing and conditions are good through all seasons. Springtime on the Ruby brings hatches of baetis and early season caddis. When the water warms in summer, the river will explode with Yellow Sallies and Pale Morning Duns (PMDs), along with hoppers and other terrestrials. Late summer and early fall is considered by many to be the best time to fish, as clouds settle in the high mountain valley providing fast paced action for the streamer enthusiast. Running a nymph rig subsurface, or using a dry/dropper combo is the best technique on the Ruby throughout the year.
Fish will jump for hoppers during the late summer months, while streamer-fishing can very satisfying throughout the summer and early fall. A predominantly brown trout fishery, the Ruby is full of trophies that often reach 18 – 20 inches. The greatest numbers of rainbow trout are found in the first few miles of the river just below the dam. If you seek a unique opportunity, the upper portions of the Ruby rumored to hold rare cutthroat trout and arctic grayling.
The Jefferson River is an important part of a system of rivers that combine to form the majestic Missouri. Starting at the confluence of the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers near Twin ... moreBridges, Montana, it winds 77 miles in a northeasterly fashion to Three Forks. Here, it meets with the Madison and Gallatin rivers that together converge into the Missouri River at the Missouri Headwaters State Park. Like so many other rivers in Montana, the Jefferson, named by Clark in honor of the U.S. President, runs deep with history. In fact, the Jefferson River is a segment of the larger Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, administered by our National Park Service.
When thinking about the Jefferson, a Class 1 river for recreational enjoyment, most observers view the river in three distinct sections. Characterized by slow, meandering flows, the upper third works its way through a broad, arid valley. Along this braided, 44 mile long floodplain, you will encounter working farms, dense cottonwood stands, flowered meadows and a variety of wildlife until you reach the town of Cardwell. Throughout the next 15 miles, its waters flow through a narrow, steep canyon where the water can be deep, slow and contained. As a result, the stretch from Cardwell to the Sappington Bridge has comparatively fewer trees, swamps, meadows and wildlife.
At Sappington Bridge the river once again becomes a circuitous, rambling river, rich in swamp life, colorful fields, large cottonwood groves and productive agricultural land. The presence of significant agriculture has resulted in competition for water use. During dry years, the river was tapped generously for irrigation, dropping water levels to the point where fish populations were adversely affected. Recent improvement in riparian management has tended to alleviate these issues. Primarily known as a brown trout river, rainbows, mountain whitefish, burbot and northern pike can also be found here. Less well known and less discovered, the Jefferson offers the opportunity to catch large fish in a scenic, un-crowded environment.
The Beaverhead is a nearly 70 mile long tributary of the Jefferson River. Its original course has changed due to the construction of the Clark Canyon Dam, as have its headwaters, once ... moreformed by the confluence of the Red Rock River and Horse Prairie Creek. These rivers, along with the first 6 miles of the Beaverhead, are now flooded as a result of the reservoir project. Today, the Beaverhead flows through a wide valley where it meets the Big Hole River and forms the Jefferson River. The river is well known for its clear, blue-green color, narrow, winding turns, willow-lined, undercut banks and thriving insect life that attracts fish.
The origin of its colorful name can be traced back to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, when their indigenous guide, Sacajawea, recognized a large rock formation in the middle of the river known to her as the Beaver’s Head. According to Lewis, this indicated to her that they were close to the summer retreat of her Indian nation. On August 15, 1805 the party reached her tribe, where one of her remaining brothers, Cameahwait, Chief of the Shoshone, provided crude maps, food and horses, making it possible to continue the Expedition through the mountains. On their return trip Lewis gave the river, once full of beavers, the name it now holds.
Fortunately, floating the Beaverhead in today’s world is much easier, more fun and amply rewarding. It is widely considered one of Montana's premier Brown trout fishing rivers, producing more large trout, particularly Brown trout, than any other river in the state. Due to its abundance of large trout, fly fishing the stretch near Dillon, from Clark Canyon Dam to Barrett’s Dam and through to Twin Bridges, tends to be very popular and get can crowded, even although the fish can also be hard to catch. While large fish can be caught with dry flies, it is primarily a nymph fishing river along with a swiftly moving current, so expect to be constantly mending your line.
The Big Hole River starts in the Beaverhead Mountains south of Jackson, Montana and flows on for about 156 miles. Beginning as a slight stream, it picks up muscle as it joins with ... morethe North Fork, and draws more volume as it passes through the Wise River basin. At the Continental Divide it changes its northeasterly direction and heads southeast until it joins the Beaverhead and forms the Jefferson River close to the town of Twin Bridges, Montana. It hosts one of the last known habitat for the native fluvial artic grayling but is best known to fly fishers for its trout.
Like so many Montana rivers, the Big Hole is as full of history as it is of water. When Lewis and Clark stumbled upon it, the river was providing a buffer zone between rival Indian tribes vying for land as they sagely anticipated the westward push of European miners, furriers and settlers. Fifty years later, a significant number of the Nez Percé, a tribe that had initially befriended the Expedition, refused to accept life on a reservation and were nearly wiped out by U.S. troops in the Battle of the Big Hole. Today’s battles consist of quarrels between ranchers who desire water for irrigation and recreational users who wish to see the water preserved.
Fishing the river can be basically divided into three sections. From the headwaters at Skinner Lake to Fish Trap, the river meanders slowly through high meadowlands. This is where the few remaining artic grayling can be found, although browns and rainbows are in abundance here. In the second section, Fish Trap to Melrose, you will find boulders and pocket water rushing through a narrow canyon; here rainbows outnumber the browns with an estimated 3000 fish per mile. The final section, Melrose to Twin Bridges, is lined with cottonwood bottoms, braided channels and long, slow pools. In contrast to the second link, browns outnumber rainbows 2 to 1 with approximately 3000 fish per mile.
This is a small town with a big heart, a veritable fisherman’s paradise. Located near the fish-filled Madison River, and surrounded by the waters of Ennis Lake, the Ruby River, Hebgen ... moreLake, Quake Lake, Henry’s Lake, the Big Hole River and scores of smaller streams, the town boasts what many consider the best trout fishing in the world. As well known for its wranglers as its anglers, Ennis has succeeded in maintaining the look and feel of its original, gold town roots. Warm and hospitable, the area offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from simple campsites, rustic motels and gracious hotels, to full-service, luxury resorts. Fly shops are numerous, stocked by local experts ready to advise and assist, while guides can be booked for trips throughout the area.
Boredom is the only thing unavailable in Ennis. Throughout the summer season the city hosts a series of events, including its renowned 4th of July Celebration Parade and a genuine, old-fashioned rodeo. In August, fly-fishing luminaries from around the US, flock to Montana to compete in the Madison Fly Fishing Festival. Athletes also find their way to Ennis to compete in the city’s Madison Trifecta, two shorter races followed by a full Marathon at 9000 feet, the highest elevation run in America. For the true sportsman, October falls in with the annual Hunter’s Feed. What’s caught, typically elk, moose deer, pheasant and bobcat, gets cooked on the streets and served up to hungry spectators.
Flanked by three grand mountain ranges, The Tobacco Root, Gravelly and Madison, Ennis is scenic and entertaining – truly an authentic, fly fisher’s haven.
Welcome to the Stonefly Inn & Outfitters, Montana's "Last Best Fly Fishing Lodge", located in the heart of Montana's Blue Ribbon Trout Country.... more
Based in Twin Bridges, we are licensed outfitters on the Big Hole, The Beaverhead, The Madison, The Jefferson, the Missouri and the Ruby Rivers. That's right - there is over three hundred miles of world class Montana fly fishing water within an hour’s drive of your cabin door.
FIVE Blue Ribbon Rivers. Six guest cabins, great steaks and the best guides in the zip code. Join us here at The Stonefly Inn and let us show you our definition of "Montana's best fly fishing". Because when it’s over, the fishing was just one part of your Montana fly fishing vacation.
Lodging: Staying at The Stonefly Inn, you will enjoy clean, freshly remodeled cabins that will make you look forward to returning from your day on the water. In a time of fast food, roadside motels and less than friendly service, we are "the other guys" that do it right. And we're located right in Twin Bridges, a five minute walk from the Beaverhead River. We have six cabins that can accommodate up to 12 anglers. Each cabin has 2 queen beds, and more than enough space for 2 anglers and all of their gear.
You can expect clean, comfortable cabins with all the amenities of any chain motel. Each cabin has Direct TV and Wi-Fi access is available - but if you choose to leave those options for when you return home, we understand! Daily housekeeping is standard, and you will return to your beds being made, fresh towels on the racks and the coffee pot ready to roll for the morning.
Whether you are our guest for one night or five, comfortable cabins, clean sheets, warm showers and a family down home Montana atmosphere await you. During your stay in Twin Bridges, The Stonefly Inn will be your home away from home. Other amenities include complimentary wi-fi internet, satellite television and a buffet style breakfast served each morning. After a long day of fly fishing, you're invited to unwind, maybe tell a tall tale or two and get to know other Stonefly Inn guests at the Stonefly "Roost" Lounge. Our outfitted guests can also enjoy nightly dinners from the grill. Montana beef and Alaskan salmon are just the tip of the iceberg - many times prepared by none other than Rooster himself!
The Stonefly Inn operates primarily as a fishing lodge throughout the summer months, but we welcome all fishermen and travelers on a space available basis - please call us at (406) 684-5648 and check our availability! We have six cabins that can accommodate up to 12 anglers. Each cabin has 2 queen beds, and three of our cabins have kitchenettes for the do-it yourselfers out there.
When you return to the Stonefly after a day of fishing - you can look forward to appetizers and refreshments in the spacious screened in patio of "The Roost". Our guest lounge comfortably seats up to 20 guests, and is often the hub of information each night. Our meals are prepared our chef, Monique, and range from Montana beef to Alaskan Salmon. Late night "seminars" are quite common, as our guides tend to migrate to the Roost just about the time dinner is served. One word of caution, when the liars dice gets started you might want to head for the barn!
- Cancellations made 14 days before will be fully refunded.
- Cancellations made 7 days before will be refunded 50% of the amount paid.
- Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.