On the Riverway: Summer Fishing in Southwest Montana

One of the beauties of writing for a Montana tourism blog is that it doesn’t need a lot of salesmanship. The state pretty much sells itself. Don’t get me wrong, I could talk all day about the extraordinary beauty of Montana’s diverse rivers, that range from hurtling boulder-strewn cascades to imperturbable meanders through wide, grassy valleys. I could wax poetic about the siren call of the mountains, the irresistible joy of willow-clogged creek banks …

I could write about all of those things, but I don’t really have to. As far as I can tell, Montana is pretty darn high on everybody’s list of places to go for outdoor adventure and, once you actually visit, it pretty much is the list. One of the great things about planning a trip to Montana is the sheer range of options. It’s entirely possible to plan a fishing trip to Southwest Montana’s blue ribbon trout streams armed with little more than the essential equipment, a license, and a copy of the FWP Regulations. But it is equally possible to have a carefully-curated bespoke experience from one of the region’s many fishing outfitters and guides.

Your first stop for all things fishing in Montana is, of course, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. There you can find out about getting a  license, download a copy of the FWP Regulations, explore fishing opportunities, and get all of the river data you might need. Of course, one of the things that makes Montana fishing so ideal is the amount of care we take with our rivers, so make sure you know what you need to do to protect Montana’s waterways.

You’ll also want to figure out where to go. To start with your dreaming, visit our descriptions of Southwest Montana’s rivers and lakes, as well as this handy page from Visit MT that helps you find fishing access sites.

There are a couple of great resources for finding outfitters and guides. You can scroll through our list of SWMT outfitters; Visit MT has a useful search-by-town tool; and you should also check out the Montana Outfitters & Guides Association and the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana.

And, of course if you’re still looking for some advice, then you can always get a free travel planner or give us a call (1-800-879-1159)