Montana River
Kootenai River Outfitters Montana
Rainbow Trout

Small Stream Fishing in NW Montana

The Northwest corner of Montana receives significantly more rainfall on average than the rest of the state. This area is much more green and lush than your typical "Big Sky" country. Looking at a map of Northwest Montana one quickly realizes that this country has an abundance of mountains and water. Mile upon mile of rivers and streams in every direction offer the fly fisherman a life times worth of exploration.

Bull River ~ Yaak ~ Lake Creek - Guided Fly Fishing

These 3 are the larger streams in the area and they are generally best floated during the earlier part of the season and then walk waded come summer and fall. We utilized drift boats and rafts on the Bull and Yaak. Lake Creek is only accesible by walk wade. When the Koot is blown out, chances are that these will be good to go. Floatable seasons here run from late May - July most years.

KRO guests have access to miles of Lake Creek right out their front door. It is perhaps the most fertile stream in this part of Montana. 10"- 18" fish are common with the occasional 20+" fish. Hatches are plentiful. Drakes, Stones, Salmonflies, Caddis, PMD's. They all happen here. It is strictly a walk wade fishery as numerous log jambs and sweepers that change on a yearly basis make floating it impossible. Redband Rainbows, Westslope Cutthroats, Browns and Bull Trout all inhabit this water.

The Bull River is 20 minutes away from our cabins and primarily holds Rainbows and Cutties that will run 10" to 16" with the occasional bigger fish. For those streamer fanatics there are also some bigger browns lurking the depths. The Bull definitely lends itself to the more seasoned fly fisherman as tight acurate casting here is a must. The driftable season tends to be short here. Less than a couple of months. June - July. But for the expeirienced angler this is one that you should definitely not miss. Some of the thickest Drake hatches I have ever seen any where have come off this river. Hit it at the right time and it's amazing!

The Yaak River is 30 to 45 minutes away from our Fly Shop.It is small and remote and the fish here will average 6" to 10" with the occasional 12" to 14" fish. The yaak is definitely an "easier" fishery for the novice. 50 to 100 fish days are not uncommon. Rainbows and Brookies are the primary fish here.

You can expect remote scenic beauty with any of these streams. BUT...Log jambs and other hazards can and do change on a yearly basis so it's best to inquire before floating any of them your first time out. The Bull River has class 3 rapids. The lower Yaak is inaccessible to all but the most expeirienced rowers. It contains Class 4 and 5+ rapids in a narrow shute canyon.
Check our maps page for more info. Please utlize common sense.

Access is very tricky on Lake Creek and the Bull River as the valley bottoms are mostly private land. The Yaak river however has many miles of National Forest access. Hiring a guide at least for your first day is always a prudent idea. But for the competent drifters we'll gladly point you in the right direction.

The Thompson River can be found roughly an hour Southwest of our cabins and offers very easy access as it is paralleled by logging roads for it's entire length. It is best fished on foot in the spring and fall as bigger fish migrate up from the reservoir. The Thompson has some spectacular hatches and over the years has produced some great fishing.

None of the above mentioned streams receive excessive pressure but for those of you that prefer to explore a little more, there are numerous smaller higher mountain streams that might not see a fisherman for years. These streams offer extreme solitude in true wilderness environments and are a great way to spend a day or two. Don't expect monster fish here, not going to happen, but endless feisty cutties on a 2 wt in a pristine environment make the experience a truly memorable one.

We realize that exploring Montana on your own and trying to figure it all out though is part of the fun. However if we can assist you in any way or you would like to book a day of guided fishing on any of these waters please contact us.

Brown Trout


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