Pristine Southwest Montana Fishing
The Shields River Lodge is set on 283-acres of pristine southwestern Montana land that also features one mile of the Shields River – a Montana guide favorite. You will be treated to deluxe accommodations and amenities, gourmet meals prepared by the lodge’s executive chef, and full days on area waters with some of the best guides in the region. This is a fantastic option for couples, as the lodge offers exceptional non-angler amenities and activities, and the ideal set-up and location for a relaxing Montana vacation. There are also trails and kicking paths that crisscross the property and offer access to the lodge’s home waters on the Shields.
The Shields River Lodge is situated outside of the small Montana town of Clyde Park, and built on a rolling hillside that offers dramatic views of the Absaroka, Bridger, and Crazy Mountain ranges and the meandering Shields River. The Lodge has 9 luxurious, spacious, and private rooms, all offering either king or queen beds, well-appointed private baths, and large windows with sweeping views of the surrounding landscapes. We consider this to be one of the very best options in the northern Rockies for couples, families, and intact groups, and this is a great destination when non-anglers are a part of the equation!
Cozy, tastefully decorated rooms that feature a king-sized bed and en-suite bathroom. Comfortable seating areas, writing desks, and plenty of space.
Slightly larger rooms that also feature king-sized beds, en-suite bathrooms, seating areas, incredible valley views, and a large outdoor balcony.
The largest rooms in the lodge, each luxury suite features a king-sized bed, comfortable seating areas, and desks to write postcards home about the day’s biggest catch! Relax and recharge in your spacious, well-stocked modern en-suite bathroom with a soaking tub and separate walk-in shower. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee on your patio overlooking expansive views of the Shields Valley, Absaroka Mountain Range, and the Crazy Mountains.
Food and Beverages
The food at Shields River Lodge is some of the best we’ve found anywhere in the western United States. Executive Chef Don MacArthur’s love of food began early while growing up on an organic farm in Pennsylvania, where he learned that quality ingredients are the key to any meal that is meant to be truly remarkable. Working behind the fish counter at famed purveyor Dean and DeLuca led to a passion for cooking anything from the sea. Chef Donald then attended New York’s acclaimed French Culinary Institute before honing his craft at Esca – New York’s venerable Italian seafood restaurant. However, the call of the west was strong and Chef Donald eventually found himself sourcing the world’s best seafood, meat, and game as the Executive Chef at award-winning restaurants in Montana and Colorado. Now at the Shields River Lodge, Chef Don leads and an extraordinary team that continues to source the finest ingredients to prepare them with subtle nuance and expert technique.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
The lodge concierge is happy to assist guests with arranging activities such as hiking, biking, rafting, horseback riding, natural hot springs, exploring the western culture of Livingston and Bozeman, shopping, museum trips, art gallery hopping, or spending a day in Yellowstone National Park, which is approximately a 90 minute drive from the lodge. Being so close to the towns of Livingston and Bozeman means that all types of activities can be arranged. There is also a well-appointed gym and work-out facility at the lodge, as well as an on-site masseuse offering a full line-up of spa services.
Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi access is available in the lodge. Cell phone reception throughout the property is dependent on the provider but largely available.
How To Get There
The nearest commercial airport is Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), located in Bozeman, Montana. This airport has fantastic route access and is serviced by Delta, United, American, Alaska, Frontier, and Allegiant, JetBlue, and Sun Country. The airport is approximately one hour from the lodge.
Montana fishing licenses should be bought before arrival at the lodge. They can be purchased at most area fly shops and sporting goods stores or purchased online before the trip.
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 Shields River flows over 60 miles and is a tributary of the Yellowstone River. The headwaters of the Shields River originates in the Crazy Mountains within the Gallatin National Forest in northern Park County, Montana. It flows west, then south between the Bridger Mountain Range to the west and the Crazy Mountains to the east, past the small Montana towns of Wilsall and Clyde Park. It joins the Yellowstone River approximately 13 miles from the Shields River Lodge and 7 miles northeast of Livingston. The Shields River was named for John Shields, an early explorer and a member of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition.
The Shields is home to good numbers of browns and rainbows on the lodge section, and cutthroat and brookies in the upper reaches of the fishery. And while this is a great fishery for one or two days (and of course evening sessions on your own) there are numerous other rivers and fisheries that can be accessed and fished while staying at the lodge. Number one on that list is the world-famous Yellowstone River. As the longest un-dammed trout river in the Lower-48, the Yellowstone provides over 300 miles of fishable, trout-bearing water. This river is known for its prolific hatches and excellent cutthroat and rainbow fishing. There are also a number of trophy brown trout that are caught on a fairly regular basis. While the Yellowstone is a great river for both long floats and wading, it is predominantly fished with the use of a drift boat.
Other areas waters that can be fished from the lodge include the Madison River, Boulder River, Gallatin River, the famous spring creeks of Paradise Valley, and numerous lakes and ponds. The lodge’s head outfitter is someone that Yellow Dog has worked with for many years, and we consider his operation to be one of the very best in the entire state. Fishing itineraries can easily be customized based on requested waters, seasonal conditions and angler ability.
Boats and Equipment
When floating, the majority of the fishing is done from drift boats. Guides also furnish their anglers with everything they need including rods, reels, flies and all terminal tackle. We do suggest that anglers bring their own waders and boots, as well as layers and quality rain gear.
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.
2021 Pricing (based on single occupancy room / shared boat)
3 nights / 2 days = $2,612.50 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $3,575.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $4,537.50 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $5,500.00 per person
3 nights / 2 days = $2,987.50 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $4,075.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $5,162.50 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $6,250.00 per person
3 nights / 2 days = $3,925.00 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $5,325.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $6,725.00 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $8,125.00 per person
Pricing also available for couples that will be sharing a room
– Guided fishing
– All meals at the lodge (including cooler lunch, waters, sodas, etc. on guide trips)
– All alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at the lodge
– All flies and terminal tackle provided by the guide
– Use of rods and reels (if necessary)
– Transportation to and from the river on guided fishing days
– Shuttle fees for guide’s vehicle
What’s Not Included:
– Airfare to Bozeman
– Ground transportation from the airport to lodge (can be arranged at an additional cost)
– Use of waders and wading boots (if necessary)
– Fishing licenses
– Gratuities for fishing guides and lodge staff
– Massage, spa services, and other off-site activities (additional charges apply)
– Lodging taxes (will include upon invoicing)