Luxury on the Banks of Montana's Bighorn River
Montana’s Bighorn River Lodge has drawn avid fly fishing enthusiasts and sportsmen alike for decades. Known as one of Montana’s finest trout rivers in the country, the Bighorn River boasts an abundance of trout ranging in size from 14 to 18 inches, many exceeding 20 inches. Recent fish counts indicate an unsurpassed fish population of 5,000 trout per river mile. The Bighorn River is situated on the eastern edge of the Rock Mountains just north of the Wyoming – Montana state line. If you are looking for a Montana fly fishing vacation, this is your destination!
Bighorn River Lodge has the distinct pleasure of being recognized twice by Travel & Leisure and Departures Magazine as one of the top fishing and outdoor lodges in the West. The lodge itself is situated on the banks of the river, designed and built with the most discriminating angler in mind. The lodge is outfitted with the finest and most comfortable furnishings, original pieces of wildlife art, a common area with a native stone fireplace, and expansive decks to enjoy the scenery during the summer months. On warmer days you can sit outside on the deck after a day of fishing and watch trout rising in the lodge’s private pond while you converse with friends. The interior of the lodge was designed for total privacy. The bedrooms are comfortably furnished, and each has its own private bathroom. There are no two rooms back to back, guaranteeing you a quiet and restful sleep.
Food and Beverages
“Dinner is served!” No sweeter words could be uttered at the end of a day on the river. The dining room seats up to twenty, located directly off of the lodge’s expansive kitchen. The dining room offers a variety of seating arrangements, spectacular works from renowned artists, and views of the river and surrounding wildlife. Breakfasts are cooked to order, lunches are packed in coolers for your day on the river, and dinners include gourmet menu items such as thick Montana steaks, chops, chicken and fish.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
For non-anglers, the short trip to the nearby Little Bighorn Battlefield is more than worth the effort. It leaves a powerful impression to walk along the chalky bluffs where Custer and his Seventh Cavalry engaged the Cheyenne and Sioux over one hundred years ago.
Internet / Communications
Internet access is available at the lodge. Cell coverage in the area can be spotty. Be sure to check with your service provider prior to your trip regarding specific coverage in the area.
How To Get There
The closest commercial airport is Billings (BIL) which is about 2 hours away.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Upon arrival into Billings, visiting anglers will need to rent a car to get to and from Fort Smith. Rental cars are available at the Billings Airport.
Montana fishing licenses are available at all area fly shops and sporting goods stores, or online by visiting the following website: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. You will need to present a valid driver’s license in order to purchase your fishing license.
Yellow Dog provides airline reservations ad ticketing assistance through etcTravel Group, and a full-service airline logistics agent that can help book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, and more. You can click here to request a quote or contact Yellow Dog for more information at 406-585-8667. etcTravel Group offers dedicated support services for all Yellow Dog clients. Service fees may apply when booking or researching tickets, and etcTravel will discuss this with you before sending quotes.
The most productive trout fishing waters of the Bighorn flow through the Crow Indian Reservation, an area approximately two hours south of Billings. In this 13-mile stretch below Yellowtail Dam, the river’s character is not unlike that of an enormous spring creek, with undulating weed beds, deep holes, undercut banks, and occasional riffles. The Bighorn is a veritable “insect producing machine,” keeping its resident browns and rainbows fat and happy twelve months a year. The primary hatches on the river include caddis, tricos, pale morning duns, little yellow stoneflies, baetis, and midges. The hatches are not very diverse, but the ones that come off do so in impressive numbers. In fact, the midge hatches can be so prolific that fishing larger “cluster” patterns is a regular technique.
Open hilly plains with scattered patches of trees make up the surroundings of this fantastic river. Gravel and grass islands are found throughout the stream, and sandstone cliffs and groves of willows rise from the banks. The river is home to large numbers of fat rainbows and brown trout. While the days of 8,000 fish per mile on the Bighorn may be gone, the size and the quality of the fish have never been better.
Boats and Equipment
The guides of Bighorn River Lodge use top-of-the-line drift boats to float and fish the river. The lodge has a complete selection of rental gear, as well as a fully-stocked fly shop.
Rates and Terms
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge.
2022 Pricing (based on double occupancy)
3 nights / 2 days = $1,900.00 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $2,400.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $2,850.00 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $3,300.00 per person
- Guided fishing
- All meals (cooler lunches & sodas, waters, etc on guide trips)
- Flies & tackle provided by the guides
- Guide pick up & drop off on each day of fishing
- River shuttle fees for guide’s vehicle
- Airfare (fly into Billings)
- Transportation to/from the lodge (rent a car)
- Alcoholic beverages at the lodge or on guide trips (BYO)
- Fishing licenses (can buy at the lodge)
- Equipment use (available for rental at the lodge for an additional cost)
- Gratuities for guides and lodge staff
- Lodging taxes
Bighorn River Lodge (Ft. Smith, Montana)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
A deposit of 50% per person is due within 10 days of booking for all trip packages and reservations, and final payment if due 90 days prior to arrival. All trip cancellations must be received in writing, sent to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, LLC. For all cancellations outside of 45 days of scheduled arrival at the lodge, a full refund or a trip credit (minus a $100.00 per person lodge cancellation fee and a $100.00 per person Yellow Dog fee) will be issued. For cancellations inside of 45 days, deposits and final payments will be forfeited, and no refund or credit will be issued. If a cancelled package is resold by either the lodge or by Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, then a full refund will be sent minus a $100.00 per person Yellow Dog cancellation fee. In the case of cancellation by the client, both deposit and final payment may be transferred to another guest or angler for those same (original) dates if facilitated and arranged by the client. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these packages. Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance for this trip.
Payment Terms For All Yellow Dog Trip Bookings
In order to lock in your trip reservation, we ask that you please remit payment within 10 days of receipt of invoice. For your convenience, Yellow Dog accepts on-line payments via a direct and secure ACH platform – a quick and easy way to complete your trip reservation. Note that all Yellow Dog invoices include a live link that takes you directly to the Yellow Dog ACH platform for fast and easy payment. For open and existing invoices with a remaining balance, payment reminders also include this easy link to the ACH page.
Other customary forms of payment that are accepted are checks or wire transfers. If you would like to pay in a different way or have any questions about alternate payment methods, please contact Yellow Dog at (888) 777-5060 or (406) 585-8667. We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Beginning September 1st, 2020, Yellow Dog will apply a 3% convenience fee for all credit card transactions.
Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures Standard Forms For Payment
- ACH online payments (for US banking institutions only).
- Traditional checks (sent via mail)
- Electronic wire payments (client is responsible for any wiring fees)
*Please contact us if you prefer or require a different payment option. Convenience fees may apply for other payment methods.
**Please be aware that the ACH platform is only available for US financial institutions and bank accounts. International payments can be made via wire or with a credit card.