Fine Accommodations Just Outside of Bozeman
The Gallatin River Lodge is located on a 350-acre ranch near the Gallatin River, ten miles west of Bozeman, Montana. The cedar post-and-beam building offers spectacular views of five mountain ranges, and the landscape is beautiful and unspoiled. A large heron rookery is in within sight of the Lodge, and eagles, osprey and sandhill cranes are regulars to the property as well. Whitetail deer, beaver, mink, muskrat, fox and pheasant inhabit this riparian area. The Lodge’s private trout pond is just outside the front door and the Gallatin River is simply a ten-minute walk across hay meadows.
All six Lodge Suites feature elegant oak furniture and private baths with a large Jacuzzi tub and shower. A king or queen sized bed, Mission-style couch, beautiful fir floors, Tiffany lamps, satellite TV and western artwork adorn each suite. Large windows offer superb views of the mountains and river terrain. Air conditioning is available in every room. A library, fly tying table and lounge area is open to guests on the second floor. The great room with a large stone fireplace faces the trout pond and the Spanish Peaks just south of the Lodge. A century-old oak bar graces the dining room.
The Trout Lodge has four downstairs guest rooms with contemporary furnishings, king-sized beds or two twin beds, private bathrooms with large walk-in showers and flat-screen televisions. These rooms open onto covered patios with views of the pond. The upstairs two-bedroom suite offers sleeping accommodations for up to six guests, two bathrooms, a wet bar, entertainment room and a private deck overlooking the pond and framing the Spanish Peaks.
Food and Beverages
The chefs feature creative Montana cuisine. The full-service bar offers an extensive wine list. Homemade creations characterize the restaurant fare; innovative cocktails are designed from scratch. You will find a hand-picked selection of Montana microbrews, a full selection of premier liquors, and outstanding wines to accompany your meal. The wine list boasts unique selections from around the globe with more than 120 bottles to choose from. Each aspect of dinner at the Lodge is made from in-house ingredients; from the bread baked daily to Chef Craig’s famous huckleberry ice cream. The culinary team works exceptionally hard to bring an array of Montana products to your table.
Typical Length of Stay
The Gallatin River Lodge requires a three-night minimum stay. The standard package is seven (7) nights / six (6) fishing days, although trips of other lengths of stays can be arranged.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
We are happy to assist you or your family in the organization of non-angling activities during your stay. Remember that Yellow Dog can customize any trip package! If you want to fish less and sightsee more, let us know. Whether it’s horseback riding, touring Yellowstone National Park, hunting, hiking, or exploring, give us a call to discuss your needs and desires. Horseback riding trips into the backcountry to fish for native cutthroats can also be arranged.
Internet / Communications
Internet access is available at the Lodge. Most cell phones work in southwest Montana. Be sure to check with your service provider prior to your trip regarding specific coverage in the area.
How To Get There
The nearest commercial airport is Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), located in Bozeman, Montana. Serviced by Delta, Northwest, United, Frontier, and Horizon Airlines, the airport is just 15 minutes from the Gallatin River Lodge.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
You will be picked up by a representative from the Gallatin River Lodge when your flight arrives and you will be driven about 20 minutes, directly to the Lodge. Check-in time is after 3 PM on your arrival date, and check-out time is 10 AM on your departure date.
Montana fishing licenses are available at the Lodge, or online, by visiting the following website: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. You will need a valid driver’s license (or other ID) in order to purchase your fishing license.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
Gallatin River Lodge’s team of experienced and professional guides fish all of the “great” waters located in this part of Southwest Montana.
The Gallatin River is a 10-minute walk beyond the door of the Lodge, just across adjacent hay meadows. The Gallatin flows over 90 miles with hundreds of small creeks adding to its flow. It originates from springs in Yellowstone National Park and flows to Three Forks, the birthplace of the Missouri River. The three sections of the Gallatin are the Meadow, Canyon, and Valley.
The Meadow stretch extends approximately 30 miles from Yellowstone to Big Sky. Riffles, runs, and pocket water characterizes the Gallatin here. Rainbow, brown, cutthroat and cut-bow hybrids inhabit this area. The Canyon stretch extends about 25 miles through a narrow, shaded, rocky gorge. The classic river fishing scenes from A River Runs Through It was filmed in this section.
The Valley section contains 35 miles of classic Western freestone water. The Gallatin River Lodge sits along this section. Offering excellent wading for browns and rainbows, the river primarily braids through private ranch property. Larger browns and rainbows can be found in this section. Access is more limited than the upper sections.
The last five miles of the river can be accessed by boat, but all other areas cannot be fished from watercraft.
April and early May are excellent months to fish the Gallatin. Anglers fish stonefly, attractor nymphs, and streamer patterns and also see consistent midge and baetis hatches during these months. By late May, runoff begins and the Gallatin usually is not fishable until mid-June. Late June is salmon fly time on the Gallatin. July brings salmon flies, golden stones, caddis, and PMDs. Attractor nymphs work well throughout the summer months. August and September are hopper, caddis and attractor dry months. October is one of the best months on the Gallatin and streamers and nymphs are quite productive.
The East Gallatin runs north of town and eventually meets up with the Gallatin. Surrounded mostly by private farmland, access is limited and all fishing is done by wading. The East Gallatin is a smaller stream that holds good numbers of rainbows and browns and can be very productive. It’s a great alternative to fishing the Gallatin and is within 20 minutes of the Lodge.
The Madison River is within 30 miles of the Lodge. It contains three sections as well: the Upper section in Yellowstone National Park, the tailwater of Hebgen Dam and the tailwater of Ennis Dam. The Lodge will usually fish the section below Hebgen to Ennis most of the year, and the lower river in winter, spring and fall.
The upper river, although a tailwater, fishes more like a freestone river and has been described as the “50 Mile Riffle.” Brown and rainbow trout are the predominant species, and native whitefish and Westslope Cutthroat are also found here. Typically, anglers will float and wade fish the Upper Madison, as most areas of the river pass through private property over this stretch. April through mid-May means stonefly and attractor nymphs, while spring caddis and baetis hatches become more prolific beginning in mid-April. Late May the river can occasionally become unfishable due to runoff.
Mid-June through August, the Madison offers one of the finest angling experiences in the world. The Madison’s famous salmon fly hatch begins in early July. A variety of hatches occur throughout the summer including numerous mayflies, stoneflies and caddis. Hoppers and various attractor patterns work well through early September. Terrestrials, streamer and nymph fishing in September and October often prouces some of the largest fish.
Over the course of 45 miles, the lower Madison flows through the Bear Trap Canyon to Three Forks, MT and the Missouri River. It is a deep, fast river through the canyon stretch. Anglers can float and wade the area of the lower Bear Trap to within a few miles of its confluence with the Jefferson River. This tailwater offers consistent hatches in the spring including prolific caddis, midge and baetis. Large browns and rainbows inhabit this area, along with a few cutthroats. Mid- to late June offers prolific stonefly hatches and some super fishing. Fall streamer fishing for big browns and rainbows often produces some of the biggest fish of the season.
As the longest undammed river in North America, the Yellowstone provides over 300 miles of fishable trout water. It flows north of Yellowstone Lake with the Park bounds, and flows hundreds of miles to meet the Missouri River near the Montana-North Dakota border. Deep pools and runs characterize this great freestone river. Typically, Lodge guests will float fish the river from the boundary of Yellowstone Park to Big Timber, MT, a section of over 70 miles. Browns, rainbows, and cutthroat are the predominant species. The Yellowstone is open year-round to angling. Spring and fall months offer the most consistent hatches of stoneflies, caddis, midges and mayflies such as baetis, BWOs and sulphurs. Terrestrials and attractor fishing characterize summer angling. Drifting a large hopper pattern over good water often delivers some of the largest fish in the river. The Yellowstone fishes well in the fall and offers some of the most spectacular views of the Montana scenery. Streamer and nymph fishing can be productive throughout the fall and winter.
Paradise Valley Spring Creeks/Streams/Alpine Lakes
Many famous spring creeks are nearby: DePuy’s, Nelson’s, Armstrong’s and the MZ Ranch are all within 30 minutes of the Lodge. These spring creeks flow on private property and require a rod fee. Many anglers find challenging, technical fishing on the creeks; an experienced guide can really help with this type of fishing. Small streams, stillwaters and alpine lakes are nearby. The Lodge can also make arrangements for horseback access trips to isolated alpine lakes and backcountry streams in the area. Guests may also travel to Yellowstone National Park, just an hour away, and fish the numerous streams, lakes and rivers with the Park boundary. Finally, the private pond at Gallatin River Lodge (full of rainbow trout) offers a great angling treat for many guests. It also provides a great place to practice and is used for casting instruction requests.
Boats and Equipment
Float fishing on area rivers is done via McKenzie-style drift boats designed for fly fishing. The Gallatin River Lodge can outfit you with any equipment you may need for your fly fishing trip through rentals or for purchase. Guests are welcome to ship their equipment directly to the Lodge prior to arrival.
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.
2020 Pricing (based on double occupancy)
June 1 – September 31
Main Lodge Suite
3 nights / 2 days = $1,712.50 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $2,375.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $3,037.50 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $3,700.00 per person
Trout Lodge Room
3 nights / 2 days = $1,637.50 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $2,275.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $2,912.50 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $3,550.00 per person
October 1 – 31
Main Lodge Suite
3 nights / 2 days = $1,412.50 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $1,975.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $2,537.50 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $3,100.00 per person
Trout Lodge Room
3 nights / 2 days = $1,375.00 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $1,925.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $2,475.00 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $3,025.00 per person
– Guided fishing
– Airport transportation (if flying into Bozeman)
– All meals (cooler lunch & non-alcoholic beverages while fishing)
– Guide pickup & drop off on each day of fishing
– River shuttle fees for guide’s vehicle
– Rods/reels, flies, and tackle provided by the guide
– Fishing licenses
– Gratuities for guides
– Gratuities for lodge staff
– Waders/wading boots
– Alcoholic beverages at the lodge (bar tab)
– Alcoholic beverages guide trips (BYO)
– Lodging taxes (will add upon final invoicing)