Fly Fishing The Famous Missouri River
Missouri River Ranch, located just outside Craig, Montana, offers couples, friends, families and small corporate groups luxury accommodations and Missouri River frontage surrounded by 160 acres of wildflowers and meadows. Over a mile of private access to the Missouri River runs through the Ranch property, which will keep any angler busy before or after a day of drifting. Owners Chip and Sue Anderson have upgraded the amenities to create a one-of-a-kind Ranch with warm and welcoming hospitality, paired with close proximity to some of the best trout fishing in the U.S., making the Missouri River Ranch the ultimate destination for fishing the famed Missouri River. The Ranch works with local guides and outfitters in the region who have a solid reputation for taking great care of guests and putting them on fish all day. Non-angling activities include hikes, mountain biking, massages, cooking classes, as well as day trips to the many museums and historical sites within a short driving distance of the Ranch.
Missouri River Ranch offers all the comfortable amenities that you’d expect to find at the premier lodge on the Missouri. New additions include spacious rooms that step out onto decks overlooking the river. The guest rooms have various bed configurations to best accommodate couples, fishing buddies, friends and families. The common Great Room is a relaxing loft made for guests to unwind after a day of fishing and outdoor activities. The room—formerly a hayloft for the dairy ranch—provides guests a space for relaxing on the dining deck or chat with the chef about that evenings gourmet meal. For guests looking to stay connected to the outside world, the great room offers both Wi-Fi and television with over 300 channels.
Food and Beverages
Each meal is prepared by an in-house chef using fresh, hearty ingredients. The menu focuses on elegantly-prepared traditional Montana meals, which leave you feeling beyond satiated! Breakfasts can be made-to-order while watching the sunrise over the Missouri River or, the chef can prepare a breakfast sandwich to-go so you can hit the road and begin that day’s adventure. For non-anglers preferring to stay at the Ranch during lunchtime, the chef is happy to prepare an appetizing meal. While on the river fishing, your guide will have a riverside lunch prepared with an assortment of drinks. Different entrees are offered every night, including filet mignon, Italian night, fried chicken, pork loin, fresh Alaskan salmon, Mexican night, or even Shrimp Fra Diavolo.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Non-angling guests may choose from countless exciting activities during their visit. On the ranch property, hikers can explore two miles of trails, taking in the views along the Missouri River and viewing the local wildlife and birds that call the Ranch property home. Cooking classes with the Ranch chef can be arranged for either individuals or groups. Within a short driving distance of the Ranch are some great sights, tours, museums, trails and parks that should be on every visitors’ list. Only 20 minutes from the Ranch is the Gates of the Mountains Tour, consisting of a 120-minute cruise through the scenic canyon walls of Holter Lake. The Montana Historical Society in Helena and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls are rich in history a great way to learn about this historic region of Montana. Other non-angling activities include a visit to First Peoples Buffalo Jump, the Charles Russell Museum and Glacier National Park, to name a few.
Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi access is available at the Ranch, and most cell phones work in the vicinity. Contact your service provider for specific details on cell reception in the area.
How To Get There
The nearest commercial airport just 45 minutes south of the Ranch in Helena (HLN), an airport that is serviced by Delta, Horizon and United. Great Falls Airport (GTF) is 55 miles to the north and serviced by Allegiant Delta, Horizon, and United. Rental services are available at both airports. The staff at Missouri River Ranch are happy to arrange a shuttle or personally shuttle you to the Ranch.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
You can arrive and depart Missouri River Ranch on any day of the week.
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.
The Missouri River (the longest river in North America) begins where the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers meet near Three Forks, Montana. Below Three Forks, the Missouri passes through three reservoirs, which make this tailwater a unique and one-of-a-kind fishery. The Missouri River near Craig, MT is reputed for great dry fly fishing and high numbers of fish per mile. In a recent study by Montana Fish, Parks and Wildlife, biologists found that the Craig section of the Missouri River held over 8,000 trout per mile!
This section of the Missouri is sometimes referred to as a giant spring creek due to the consistent water temperature and the steady flows from Holter Dam, which give life to great hatches year-round. Rising trout and consistent hatches are the claims to fame for the Upper Missouri. Any time of year will offer the opportunity to cast to rising fish and give the dry fly angler countless opportunities to drift their fly to fish looking upward. Missouri River Ranch and Yellow Dog have close relationships with experienced and professional local guides and fly shops in the Craig area. An added bonus to staying at the Missouri River Ranch is the convenience of access to wading over a mile of river frontage on the Ranch property.
Boats and Equipment Required
Float fishing on the Missouri River is done via McKenzie-style drift boats designed for fly fishing. There are several fly shops in the Craig area and all stock great selections of flies, terminal tackle, and all of the major lines of rods, reels, waders, and more.
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 or the outfitter.
2020 Pricing (based on double occupancy)
3 nights / 2 days = $1,750.00 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $2,425.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $3,100.00 per person
– Guided fishing
– All meals
– All house beer, wine, spirits & non-alcoholic beverages at the lodge
– Cooler lunch and non-alcoholic beverages on guide trips
– Rods/reels, flies, and tackle provided by the guide
– Guide pickup & drop off on each day of fishing
– River shuttle fees for guide’s vehicle
– Lodging taxes
– Airport transportation (can be arranged at an additional cost)
– Waders and wading boots (available for rental at local shop)
– Fishing licenses
– Gratuities for lodge staff
– Gratuities for guides
– Surcharge for fishing Land of the Giants (extra $75 per guide / per day)