Experience the Best of Montana's Big Hole River
The Big Hole River is unique, secluded and majestic – one of the most iconic rivers in the US West. Nestled right on the banks of the Big Hole is the Complete Fly Fisher Lodge – and operation that has prided itself on hosting anglers from throughout the US and across the globe since 1968. Located just downstream from the confluence of the Big Hole and the Wise River, the lodge is perfectly suited and situated to take advantage of the amazing angling opportunities found all throughout the immediate area, as well as numerous outdoor recreational activities in the Big Hole Valley and throughout Southwestern Montana. The lodge was recently purchased by a new ownership group led by two fly fishing industry veterans – Paul Moseley of the well-known Ruby Spring Lodge, and John Barrett, a long-time television personality and host of Fly Fishing the World.
The Complete Fly Fisher can accommodate up to 14 guests in private accommodations situated along the banks of the Big Hole. Each cabin and room is tastefully appointed and designed for maximum comfort and relaxation.
Each cabin has spectacular views, enclosed glassed and screened porches, and a private bath. Choose between two, extra-long twins or a king bed. Also available is a two-bedroom cottage with queen beds, private baths, a kitchen, and a sitting room with a glassed-in porch. A specific cabin can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Lodge Suites
There are bedrooms at either end of the main lodge building, nicely appointed with their own bathrooms and amazing views of the Big Hole River. You can literally hear the sounds of the river as it passes directly by your room. And – you can smell breakfast and fresh muffins cooking just down the hall each morning!
Food and Beverages
The scenery, the stories, and the company at the bank-side dining table are a big part of the Complete Fly Fisher experience. There really is no better way to start or end a day of fishing and outdoor activities than basking in the glow of a Montana evening while enjoying exceptional cuisine, great conversation, and authentic Montana hospitality. Chef Sean Kim and Chef Nicole Carey are partners in life and in the kitchen. Both are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America and bring a life-long passion for cooking to the Big Hole Valley. They have a diverse culinary background with stints at prestigious Italian, Japanese, and Asian restaurants. Our Yellow Dog team can tell you from first-hand experience that Sean and Nicole create some of the most incredible meals we’ve ever had at a Western US lodge.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Southwest Montana is a paradise for outdoor recreation. Surrounded by the snow-crowned peaks of Glacier National Park to the north and the geological marvels of Yellowstone National Park to the south, this vast region holds the very best of what Montana is all about. Along with some of the best trout fishing in the world, area activities include hiking, camping, visits to authentic western ghost towns, cycling, hot springs, golf, rafting, horseback riding, exploring nearby small towns, summer rodeos, and so much more. This is a fantastic option for non-angling spouses and families.
Internet / Communications
The lodge offers strong wireless internet throughout the property. Cell service available in most areas of the valley, although the signal can be spotty or altogether unavailable at the lodge. (Enjoy it!)
How to Get There
Most lodge guests fly into either Bozeman or Butte. If flying into Butte, a shuttle can be arranged free of charge. Yellow Dog is more than happy to assist with flights, shuttles and transfer logistics.
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.
Each morning, your day will start with a made-to-order breakfast before meeting your guide for the fishing day ahead. Each lodge day is spent with your guide – floating and wading on one of several area rivers and blue ribbon trophy sections of water. A picnic lunch is served stream side each afternoon, and the rest of the day can be as long or as short as your guide recommends and you desire. A typical day on the river will produce a good number of fish, and occasionally some large ones as well. Your guide will know the area rivers well and will offer all levels of instruction and assistance. After a day of fishing, many guests adjourn to the lodge’s main deck to experience the amazing Montana sunsets over Goat Peak – sharing stories of the day and making plans for the morning ahead.
The variety of the rivers in close proximity to the lodge can only be described as epic. The Big Hole, Beaverhead, Jefferson and Ruby rivers along with Rock Creek make up the majority of daily trips that are offered and arranged through the lodge. Some adventurous guests also ask to experience the Bitterroot and Missouri rivers. Whether you like sipping rainbows, streamer-hungry browns, or the chance to catch a native Arctic Grayling, the Complete Fly Fisher is ideally situated to deliver legitimate and rewarding Montana fishing experiences, with long-time guides who grew up in the valley and on these rivers.
The Big Hole remains the main focus of the lodge’s angling diet – a fishery that has often been referred to as “the Last Best River.” Offering some of the finest dry fly action in the West, the angling situations found on different sections of the rivers at different times of the season are diverse. The conditions are dynamic, and with five species of game fish found in the river, a mixed bag is common. The Big Hole runs unencumbered for 125 miles from its origins high in the Pintlars, Pioneer, and Bitterroot Mountains. The river is diverse as it slips through mountain meadows, towering canyons, and classic meandering river bottoms to its confluence with the Beaverhead River to form the Jefferson River.
One of the strongest elements of the Complete Fly Fisher program is their seasoned and incredibly-experienced guide staff. This crew has been here for years, and they are hands-down the best guides on the river. Most specialize in dry fly fishing the Big Hole, although streamer opportunities early season can produce some of the best action of the entire year.
Boats and Equipment
When floating, the majority of the fishing is done from drift boats and rafts. The Upper Big Hole is floated with rafts outfitted with fishing frames – ideal for rowing in skinny waters. The lodge also furnishes anglers with everything they may need – rods/reels, flies, tackle, waders, boots and more. There is a fully-stocked fly shop at the lodge.
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.
2020 Pricing (based on double occupancy)
3 nights / 2 days = $3,000 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $3,760 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $4,600 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $5,400 per person
– Guided fishing
– Butte airport transportation
– All meals (cooler lunches, 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
– Waders and wading boots if necessary
– Transportation to and from the river on guided trip days
– Shuttle fees for guide’s vehicle
– Other area airport transportation (can be arranged at an additional cost)
– Fishing licenses
– Gratuities for fishing guides
– Gratuities for lodge staff (8% will be added to final bill)
– Lodging taxes (will be included upon invoicing)
The Complete Fly Fisher Lodge (Wise River, Montana)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
A non-refundable 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. Please note that all deposits and trip payments are non-refundable, and upon cancellation, payments will be forfeited, and no refund or trip credit will be issued. For all cancellations outside of 120 days of scheduled arrival date, a full trip credit (minus a $100.00 per person Yellow Dog cancellation fee) may be transferred to another date within the same calendar year as the originally scheduled trip dates. 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.