Trip Overview 

On a 350-acre ranch just outside the town of Bozeman, Montana sits the Gallatin River Lodge, a full-service fishing lodge situated within easy striking distance of the Yellowstone River, the Lower Gallatin, the Upper and Lower Madison, and numerous spring creeks and lakes (all less than an hour’s drive from the Lodge).  As for “home waters,” a short walk across a meadow on the Lodge property leads to two miles of private access on the Gallatin River, excellent water for both brown and rainbow trout. Your room is the perfect place to return to after a long day on the water and the exceptionally comfortable accommodations are matched nicely by the outstanding cuisine. The Gallatin River Grill and Bar has rightfully earned its reputation of serving the best food in Bozeman, with a menu featuring a wide range of entrees and appetizers plus nightly specials to choose from.

Destination Quick Facts 

Yellow Dog Community and Conservation FoundationLOCATION:  Bozeman, Montana

SEASON:  Year-round

CAPACITY:  Maximum of 25 fishing guests per week

CLOSEST MAJOR AIR HUB:  Bozeman, Montana (BZN)

TARGET SPECIES:  Rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:  Montana fishing license and valid I.D.

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO     888-777-5060     INTL 01-1-406-585-8667       info [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com


Lodging Details
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 sand hill 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 length 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.


General Information
Gallatin River Lodge's team of experienced and professional guides fish all of the "great" waters located in this part of Southwest Montana.

Gallatin River
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 Naitonal 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 characterize 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 were 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.

East Gallatin
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.

Madison River
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.

Yellowstone River
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.


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 3PM on your arrival date, and check-out time is 10AM on your departure date.

Documents Required
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.

Travel Arrangements
Yellow Dog offers a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or travel [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.


Package Rates
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 outfitter. All prices listed below are per person, based on double occupancy, and quoted in US dollars. Trips of any length of stay can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.

Main Lodge Suite
3 Nights / 2 Fishing Days = $1,537.50
4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days = $2,137.50
5 Nights / 4 Fishing Days = $2,737.50
6 Nights / 5 Fishing Days = $3,337.50
7 Nights / 6 Fishing Days = $3,937.50

Trout Lodge Room
3 Nights / 2 Fishing Days = $1,425.00
4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days = $1,987.50
5 Nights / 4 Fishing Days = $2,550.00
6 Nights / 5 Fishing Days = $3,112.50
7 Nights / 6 Fishing Days = $3,675.00

What's Included

  • Number of nights of lodging as outlined in your package
  • Number of days of guided fishing as outlined in your package
  • Bozeman airport transfers to and from the lodge (if needed)
  • All meals & picnic lunch on the river on each day of guided fishing
  • Non-alcoholic beverages at the lodge and on guide trip
  • Transportation to and from the river on guide days
  • River shuttle fees
  • Rod/reel, fishing tackle, flies, leaders, etc (provided by the guide)

What's Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Gratuities for guides or lodge staff
  • Alcohol at the lodge or on guide trip
  • Waders/wading boots
  • Fishing licenses
  • Lodging taxes (will add upon final invoicing)

Gallatin River Lodge: The Fishing By Season

Springtime is probably the best-kept secret in Montana. All the rivers are fishing well and are generally low and clear. Spring run-off usually doesn’t begin until late May or early June, and you can expect a lot of streamer and nymph fishing with possibilities for early caddis and mayfly hatches. This is a great time to experience Montana as things begin to “green up.” You can expect some aggressive feeding from the fish.

This can be a transition month in Southwest Montana. While some years high water might be a problem, June can still offer tremendous fishing. In anticipation of the salmon fly hatch this is a good time to fish a lot of stone fly nymphs for big browns.

July - August
Lots of fun and sun. Late June and early July brings out the salmon flies on the Madison. July offers a lot of great caddis fishing and in August it’s time to start thinking big dry flies! The hopper fishing is tremendous and this is the time to fish big attractor patterns.

This is the local’s favorite time of year, and the fall in Montana is beautiful. You can still fish hoppers and big attractor patterns, and the fish are beginning to turn on to big, heavy streamer patterns. You can expect temperatures to be in the 70’s with the rivers low and clear.

October - Mid-November 
If you like fishing streamers, you can expect a lot of action from aggressive fish during the fall months. The weather can be somewhat unpredictable, but the fish don’t seem to care. This is also a great time to do cast-and-blast combos (call Yellow Dog for more details)

Client Testimonials

"All in all, this place is the best. We can’t wait to return and fish next year!" 

- Celeste W. (Kerrville, Texas)

"We would highly recommend the Gallatin River Lodge for any event or visit. We all agreed that the food and service was exceptional."

- John & Janet D. (Bismarck, North Dakota)