The Big Blackfoot River, made famous in the movie “A River Runs Thru It,” is a gravel bottom, boulder-strewn “Freestone” river running from the Continental Divide near Lincoln, down thru the Blackfoot Valley where it joins the Clark Fork River at Bonner, Montana.
This is one of the most beautiful, scenic rivers in Montana and it is hard to keep your eyes on your fly when you’re surrounded by breathtaking scene of pine forests and towering cliffs.
And the fishing? Awesome! Even first time beginners enjoy great success, as the aggressive West slope Cutthroat is not as finicky as some trout. The prolific hatches of huge Salmon Flies, Golden Stones, big Mayflies, Caddis, and a smorgasbord of terrestrial insects work these opportunistic feeders into a fly-grabbing frenzy.
Most fishing is done from a raft using big dry flies on a short line in fast, broken, gin-clear water filled with Rainbows, Browns, and the huge Bull Trout, better known as Dolly Varden.
What is Included:
Drinks & Snacks
1 - 2 anglers
The Blackfoot may not be the world’s longest or most majestic river, but it is certainly well known. First made famous by Norman Maclean’s moving story, it became a permanent part ... moreof the American imagination with the 1992 release of Robert Redford’s legendary movie. A favorite for floaters, the river offers scenic diversity and variation in flows from placid meandering to white water rapids. Filled with large populations of Montana’s only two truly indigenous salmonids, the Cutthroats and Bull trout, it is also host to Rainbows, Cutbows, Browns and Mountain Whitefish throughout its entire length. The Blackfoot Valley is regarded as a fully intact ecosystem, still thought to contain every species of fauna present before the first Europeans arrived – one of only 12 such remaining ecosystems on earth.
Starting out a leisurely pace, the upper portion of the river runs slow and easy through narrow channels and dense forest. From there it flows into a large, open plain, and the first of many intermediate rapids start a few miles above the Scoot Brown Bridge. As it enters the Blackfoot River Recreation area, the speed picks up, but it is from Sperry Grade, five miles down from the Scotty Brown Bridge, that white water appears. For the next seven miles floaters are challenged with Class III rapids and sizeable waves that eventually ease off as you approach Bonner Dam.
The initial 22 miles of the river down to Lincoln, offer little to entice fly fishers. Best fished waded, the appearance of Brown trout begins to pick up on the stretch from Lincoln to Mineral Hill. While the section of river from Mineral Hill to Cedar Meadows looks short on a map, it actually consists of 18 miles of rugged twists and turns. The water is slow through here so inflatable kayaks and canoes are highly recommended. At about the halfway point of the river, the Barefoot gains velocity and continues with quick to moderate flows all the way down to Clark Fork. Wildlife is abundant here, home to grizzlies, elk, bighorn sheep, cougar, lynx, wolf and deer.
Nestled at the convergence point of five valleys, Missoula is a picturesque as it is interesting. Surrounded by towering mountains, three rivers come together here; the Clark Fork, ... moreBlackfoot and Bitterroot. Each river is overflowing with rainbow, brown, cutthroat and bull trout, and the variety of opportunities to fish here are nearly infinite. For those inclined to venture out, it’s even possible to drop an impromptu line from a bridge in the middle of town and expect success with a catch. Other year round outdoor sports include white water river rafting, hiking and competitive marathon running.
What’s most unique about Missoula is that it’s not only beautiful but it appeals to sportsmen and artists alike. In fact, Missoula is a premier choice for fly fishermen with diverse interests such as the visual arts, live theater, cinema, local brewpubs and an active nightlife. Much of this activity is attributed to the presence of the University of Montana, frequently ranked as the most beautiful campus in the US, as well as being recognized for its academic excellence. The city is now host to the Montana Book Festival, the International Wildlife Film Festival and the Montana Museum of Art and Culture.
Whether you are a fly-fisher with a yen for culture or you are a fisherman traveling with people who don’t fish, this is a wise choice for striking a balance between great angling and satisfying entertainment.
Located in the prestine Upper Blackfoot River Basin near Lincoln, MT, we offer anglers fully guided fly fishing trips on some of the best fly fishing waters in the world. We and our ... moreteam of experienced, seasoned fly fishing guides strive to provide you with a fly fishing vacation experience that will far-exceed your highest expectations. We offer daytrip guide service, tailored multi-day trip packages with lodging in rental cabins, B&B's and hotels, riverside base tent-camps, and weeklong float fishing trips. Rivers we operate on include the Big Blackfoot River(as in "A River Runs Thru It"), the 30 mile "Blue Ribbon" designated stretch of the Missouri River, Smith River, Dearborn River (all 3 forks), South Fork of the Flathead River in The Bob Marshall Wilderness, Clark Fork River, Clearwater River, Bitteroot River, Rock Creek, and many other smaller streams and area lakes. The combination of breath-taking scenery, some of the best fly fishing waters you will find anywhere, and some of the best fly fishing guides in Montana, ensure you will have the most awesome, memorable, and safe fly fishing vacation you could possibly experience anywhere. Proudly serving anglers since 1997. Member of Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, Montana Fishing Outfitters Association, Montana Chapter Trout Unlimited.
- 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.