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.
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.
Tributaries include the Beaverhead, Jefferson and Big Hole Rivers
Beaverhead National Forest
36 - 63 F
|Midge hatches, baetis|
45 - 76 F
|Midges, caddis, PMD’s and terrestrials|
22 - 43 F
17 - 39 F
|Nymphing with olive, chocolate, black, grey and red midge larvae or pupae|
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.
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.
Tuesday, 1 Dec, 2015
- 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.
- 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.
- 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