Dry Fly Paradise Outside of Missoula, Montana
When it comes to pure dry fly fishing, the rivers in Missoula’s vicinity provide some of the best opportunities! Former NFL linebacker Joe Cummings is the owner of A Classic Journey Outfitters, the outfitter for the Missoula River Lodge. Throughout the season, his team of guides pursues trout on famed rivers, including the Blackfoot, Clark Fork, Bitterroot, Rock Creek, and the Missouri River. Accommodations for packages are at the Missoula River Lodge with three different fully-furnished locations, all on the centrally-located Clark Fork River. A Classic Journey Outfitters is our first pick in the Missoula area and is the total package when it comes to lodging and world-class fishing. The Missoula River Lodge has rightly earned a reputation for putting guests onto fish with a dry fly, making for a great Montana fly fishing experience.
Nobody offers nicer accommodations at a more central location to all the great fishing around Missoula than the Missoula River Lodge. The Bitterroot, Blackfoot, Rock Creek, and Missouri are all within striking distance of the lodging and the Clark Fork is right out the back door. Perched on the banks of the Clark Fork River are three lodging options. Each lodge features its own private boat launch on the Clark Fork River, making for an easy start or finish to the day. These lodges are also fully outfitted with full-size modern kitchens, HD TV and Wi-Fi. Families and corporate groups will love the privacy of the rural setting, with plenty of space to relax and enjoy the living room views of the Clark Fork.
Food and Beverages
In 2017 their executive chef, Carrie Nowlen, was named by the Washington Post to the top 100 chefs in America and is featured in “America the Great Cookbook.” They are proud of her culinary excellence rooted in creativity and the farm-to-table ethic. Guests at the Missoula River Lodge choosing the all-inclusive package will have a diverse offering of meal options. Each dinner is unique and never the same during a stay. For fishing days, streamside BBQ-style lunches on the river are provided by your guides. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all included in the package.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
The riverfront lodging and its close proximity to Missoula make for some great non-angling options. A trip to Missoula and a visit to the Montana Museum of Art and Culture or the Montana Natural History Center are great for those interested in history and culture. Tours of the many breweries and wineries may interest some, as well as hiking, mountain biking, and river rafting trips. Festivals and fairs are held throughout the seasons, along with farmers’ markets and concerts. Missoula features a number of excellent restaurants as well. We are happy to assist you in the organization of non-angling activities and Missoula has no shortage of activities to enjoy after a day of fishing.
Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi is available free of charge and most cell phones work in 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 Missoula International Airport (MSO), located in Missoula, Montana. This airport is serviced by Delta, Northwest, United, and Horizon Airlines.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Most customers prefer to rent a car so they can enjoy the luxury of sight-seeing and other non-fishing activities. Guides will happily pick up and drop off guests at their accommodations. You can arrive and depart Missoula River Lodge on any day of the week. Ground transportation from and back to the airport is included in the all-inclusive package. Check-in is after 4 PM upon arrival day, and check-out is after breakfast on departure day.
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 rivers in the Missoula vicinity are the place to consistently cast to rising fish in Montana. The guides at Missoula River Lodge pride themselves in getting their anglers into dry fly fishing from the start of the season in March to November. From skwalas and March browns in the spring, and salmonflies and golden stones near the beginning of the summer, caddis, tricos, and hoppers are regularly on the menu for trout in late summer and blue-winged olives in the fall. It’s easy to see why Missoula is at the top of the list for many anglers for its consistent dry fly fishing.
Flowing through the town of Missoula, the Clark Fork is the major drainage in the area. The upper section meanders through meadows and gains momentum as it picks up water from Rock Creek, the Blackfoot, and the Bitterroot on its way to the Columbia. Clockwork hatches bring these feisty trout to the surface to feed; dry flies drifted through the long flats and back eddy’s produce on this match the hatch fishery.
Lewis and Clark fished the Bitterroot, and like all the rivers in the area, it remains just as scenic and beautiful as it did hundreds of years ago. The east and west forks of the Bitterroot combine for 50 miles of river, and the forks join to form more than 80 miles of the main stem of the Bitterroot. The fish on the Bitterroot are right where you’d expect them to be: rising off the back of a fallen log, hiding under deep cut banks, or moving from the dark holes into the skinny riffles during a hatch.
The Blackfoot begins near the Continental Divide outside Lincoln and flows through scenic and wild countryside before its confluence with the Clark Fork, about five miles east of Missoula. As the river winds and cuts through canyons and whitewater pour over huge rock shelves, anglers will be surrounded by a vast forest of ponderosa pines. It’s truly a primitive wilderness setting on the Blackfoot.
Located in the Lolo National Forest, Rock Creek flows north to where it joins the Clark Fork River, about 20 miles east of Missoula. Pristine water, diverse hatches, and solid numbers of trout make this a river that everyone should try out. A Classic Journey Outfitters is one of only three outfitters that hold permits to float Rock Creek.
The “Mo”, as it’s known to local anglers, is famous for its scenery and high numbers of fish per mile. The Missouri River below Holter Dam is like no other freestone river in the Missoula area. Clean, consistent flows and a rich insect population make for a long season of dry fly fishing. The Missouri River near Craig, MT simulates the behavior of a giant spring creek.
Boats and Equipment
Float fishing on rivers in the Missoula area is done with McKenzie-style drift boats. The guides of Missoula River Lodge also utilize rafts made specifically for stretches of water like Rock Creek. Each guide is outfitted with complimentary rods and reels, which are available for guests to use during guided trips.
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.
2023 Pricing (based on double occupancy)
3 nights / 2 days = $2,195.00 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $2,875.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $3,515.00 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $4,050.00 per person
7 nights / 6 days = $4,400.00 per person
- Guided fishing
- Transportation to and from the airport
- All meals (cooler lunch while fishing)
- Beer, dinner wine, and non-alcoholic beverages at the lodge
- Daily room cleaning service
- Rods/reels, flies, and tackle provided by the guide
- Lodging taxes
What’s Not Included:
- Specialty alcohol, liquors, etc at the lodge (BYO)
- Alcoholic beverages on guides trips (BYO)
- Waders and wading boots
- Fishing licenses
- Gratuities for guides and lodge staff
Missoula River Lodge (Missoula, 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 handling fee and a $100.00 per person Yellow Dog cancellation 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.