Ruby River Fishing Report

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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, between 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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
Tributaries:
Tributaries include the Beaverhead, Jefferson and Big Hole Rivers
Source:
Beaverhead National Forest
Mouth:
Big Hole River
Length:
76 miles
Seasonal Conditions
Season
Temperature
Hatches
Spring
36 - 63
 F
Midge hatches, baetis
Summer
45 - 76
 F
Midges, caddis, PMD’s and terrestrials
Fall
22 - 43
 F
Midges
Winter
17 - 39
 F
Nymphing with olive, chocolate, black, grey and red midge larvae or pupae
Guide Reports
Upper ruby on the forest service is fishing well on nymphs a few hoppers starting to show up. A small bead under hopper seems to do the trick ... more
below the dam has been good on small dries especially late
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Wednesday, 13 Jul, 2016
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Upper ruby is starting to run off. Lower ruby is fishing really well, lots of rainbows in the system! Bugs: streamers color is a key to the ruby this time of year; don't be scared ... moreto experiment with lots of colors and tie's, like sparkle minnows or jj cone heads. The ruby this time of year is a fundamental fishery in the sense that traditional flies are the hot ticket to success. Prince nymphs of different varieties, pheasant tails, worms, small girdle bugs, and hares ears! In the evening midges and BWO's and fish can be taken readily in the afternoon hours on these dry fly imitations.

Secret of the Week: Small Chubby Chernobyl!

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Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Wednesday, 13 Apr, 2016
Fish Caught:
13-19 fish
The warmer weather has brought out the hatches and fish on the Ruby River. The Ruby tends to be a nice winter-time option as the winds are mild and the dams protect the waters from ... moreice shelves. Nymphing has been hot and we have seen some risers on Midge hatches. Small, non-descript patterns like Zebra Midges and RS-2s are consistent producers.
Fishing Water Report:
Start Access Site:
Date:
Monday, 1 Feb, 2016
The browns have finished their spawning. Streamers with Nymphs are working well. Stick to near the dam for more action. The storm will break Friday and temperatures will improve to ... morethe low 40’s so look for those hatches.
Fishing Water Report:
Start Access Site:
Date:
Tuesday, 15 Dec, 2015
Fish Caught:
1-3 fish
Streamer fishing with a bead are your best bet on the Ruby River. Near the dam tends to have the largest concentration of fish. Woolly Buggers and small Copper Johns or Princes are ... moredoing well. Browns are still being caught but they are just finishing up their spawning. Water temperature is running warmer in the afternoon. Try a Sculpin streamer with a slow swing in the deeper pools.
Fishing Water Report:
Start Access Site:
Date:
Tuesday, 1 Dec, 2015
The Ruby River is a good fishing late fall and winter fishery. With plenty of trout to be had ranging from 8-18 inches. Streamer fishing and nymphing are fishing very well. Near the ... moredam are the largest concentrations of fish. The flows will be down on this already small wade fishery so working the obvious water is fairly easy.
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Sunday, 15 Nov, 2015
Fish Caught:
9-12 fish
Fishing Trips
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  • 4 nights lodging
  • Guided fly fishing day on the Ruby River
  • Guided fly fishing on the Madison River.
  • Guided fly fishing on the Beaverhead River.
  • Three home cooked meals per day
Our 3 day and 4 night fly fishing packages include comfortable accommodations at our Montana fishing lodge, three home-cooked meals each day, and all ranch activities. They also includes ... moreprivate access to the Ruby River and a guide. Guided day fishing trips include a Montana fly fishing guide, lunch, and refreshments.

On occasion, water levels may require that we alter the rivers fished. To maintain a high level of personal service, we limit our guests to 10 per week. Please contact our Montana fly fishing guides if you need a custom package or wish to arrange special rates for your fly shop or club.

Notes

Montana accommodation tax is included.

Fishing licenses are not included.

Children are welcome.
Destination:
  • 3 nights lodging
  • Guided fly fishing day on the Ruby River
  • Guided fly fishing day on your choice of the Madison River or Beaverhead River.
  • Three home cooked meals per day
Our 2 day and 3 night fly fishing packages include comfortable accommodations at our Montana fishing lodge, three home-cooked meals each day, and all ranch activities. They also includes ... moreprivate access to the Ruby River and a guide. Guided day fishing trips include a Montana fly fishing guide, lunch, and refreshments.

On occasion, water levels may require that we alter the rivers fished. To maintain a high level of personal service, we limit our guests to 10 per week. Please contact our Montana fly fishing guides if you need a custom package or wish to arrange special rates for your fly shop or club.

Notes

Montana accommodation tax is included.

Fishing licenses are not included.

Children are welcome.
Destination:
  • Transportation to and from the river (dependent on which river is fished)
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunch
  • Expert "Chuck and Duck" instruction from a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide
You know how big fish got to be big fish? By eating little fish. Are you a hog hunter looking for the right stretch to fish and what piece of meet to throw? Or have you just seen these ... morehuge flies in the shop and wanna learn a thing a two? Either way MFFT is here for you. You can't just throw a wooly bugger and hope for the best. There are numerous books based solely on different streamer techniques. Why? Because these techniques have been proven to catch quality trout. However, there is no guarantee in fishing. Especially a big fish guarantee. We are here to help increase your chances of catching big fish, not only on your trip but forever, by teaching you techniques learned throughout extensive guide careers. *The location of this trip will be decided by the guide based the quality of streamer fishing on his last few trips
Destination:
  • Transportation to and from the river (depending on which river is chosen)
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunch
  • Excellent instruction on nymph fishing from a knowledgable and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide!
We all know how to catch the most fish--nymphing. After all, nymphs account for over 80% of a fishes diet. But there is more to it than just flopping a bobber out there, much more. ... moreFor example, how far up your leader do you want to put that indicator? How much weight should you use? How often should you change your nymph rig? And that is just scratching the surface. Come with us on a fun filled day learning how to increase your success rate with nymphs! *The location of this trip will be decided by the guide based on the quality of nymph fishing on his last few trips
Destination:
  • Transportation to and from the river (dependent on which river is fished)
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunch
  • Expert dry fly instruction from a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide
Are you sick of throwing bobbers and wanna try something new? Already throw dry flies but would like to hone your skills? Pretty darn good just want to be pointed in the right direction ... moreand given some bug recommendations but also there with a net when you need it? We can accommodate all skill levels on our dry fly only trips. We can explain how, what and where to fish something that doesn't look like a dodgeball at the top of your leader :) *The location of this trip will be decided by the guide based the quality of dry fly fishing on his last few trips
Destination:
  • Transportation to and from the river (dependent on river being fished.)
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunch on each river
  • A three river adventure with a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide!
Variety is the spice of life, right? Well, that's where our 3 Rivers in 3 Days comes in because that's exactly what you'll be doing, fishing three different rivers in three days! With ... moreour choice of 4 world class rivers, our guides will know what rivers to fish on which days to maximize your chances for success. Don't blink, you might miss something!
Destination:
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  • Transportation to the river and back from Ennis, Alder, Sheridan or Twin Bridges.
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunches
  • Casting instruction
  • Knot tying instruction
  • Entomology lessons
  • Learning how to "read the water"
  • Beautiful 2-3 day float trip in pristine Montana
  • All from a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide
This is our 2-3 day, personalized introduction to fly fishing. You will learn knots, fly selection, how to find where the fish are and soooo much more. Our guides have been fishing ... moreall of their lives, they know what their doing and are excited to share that knowledge with you! We offer this on the water, individualized, class in two and three day sessions. Besides another great day of fishing, the booking the three day intro will give you a chance to: ask more questions as you learn more and start knowing what questions to ask, see more of a variety of water and better learn to adjust your fishing to different situations, get a better understanding of bug life (entemology) and what part that plays in your fishing plans, as well as more intricate fishing knowledge from one of our professional and experienced guides. The rivers you learn this wonderful sport will be determined by the guide and where he/she thinks you will be most successful. However, if there is a certain river you would like to spend some time on, let us know and we are happy to accommodate.
Destination:
  • Transportation to the river and back from Ennis, Alder, Sheridan or Twin Bridges
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunch
  • Instruction and local knowledge from a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide!
If you don't like dirt roads, small rivers and big trout, then this is not the river for you! Located in the heart of the Ruby valley and just outside the town of Alder, the area is ... morebrimming with history and rustic charm. The Ruby is a river you hear a lot about but don't get many specifics. And, that's the way the locals like it. That's where MFFT comes in--we know which turns to make, which flies to fish and which bridges are public and where all those Rocky Mountain jewels, that we call trout, live and play.
Fishing Waters:
Destination:
  • 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
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 ... moremiles 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
Destination:
  • Experienced Guide
As our friends refer to secret spots - the Ruby River is a "sleeper". From the dam to Twin Bridges there is over 40 miles of twisting, turning trout water. Good public access makes ... morethis a great place to spend an afternoon before, during or after your trip with us.

What the Ruby offers:

Classic small stream fishing

Reliable hatches of PMD's, Caddis, and Blue Wings

Great numbers of trout, from the dam to Twin Bridges

AMPLE public access

A great place to finish up your day or trip
Fishing Waters:
Destination:
Current Forecast
Water Flow
Fishing Access Sites
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Ruby River Fishing Report
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
21 acres
Elevation:
4,885 ft
Activities:
Fishing, Hunting
Sanitation & Water:
Toilet
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Ruby River Fishing Report
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
45 acres
Elevation:
5,125 ft
Activities:
Fishing, Hunting
Sanitation & Water:
Toilet
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Ruby River Fishing Report //
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
11 acres
Elevation:
5,135 ft
Activities:
Fishing, Hunting
Sanitation & Water:
Toilet
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Ruby River Fishing Report //
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
69 acres
Elevation:
5,276 ft
Activities:
Fishing, Hunting
Sanitation & Water:
Toilet
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Ruby River Fishing Report //
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
2 acres
Elevation:
5,318 ft
Activities:
Fishing
Sanitation & Water:
Toilet
2 reviews   0 comments
Fishing Quality
(5.0 of 5)
Scenery
(5.0 of 5)
Access
(5.0 of 5)
Water quality
(5.0 of 5)
Top Fly Fishing Rivers in the US
Rated as one of the top trout fishing rivers in the US byBob Mallard, author of 25 Best Towns - Fly Fishing for Trout
Fishing Quality
Scenery
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Great Wade Fishing
I have been fishing this river for years. The wade fishing is excellent and highly recommend it.
Fishing Quality
Scenery
Access
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