The Little Blackfoot River of Southwest Montana

Little Blackfoot River

The Little Blackfoot River falls into the category of the Montana rivers that - except for the name - might be better described as a spring stream. It also falls into the category of unnoticed streams that offer great fishing. The river flows out of the northeast out of the mountains to Elliston, and then makes an abrupt turn, heading southwest through a narrow canyon before joining the Clark Fork at Garrison, some forty miles from its headwaters. On its upper half, the river threads through public land, making easy access for anglers willing to brave the brush to get to the banks. Below Elliston, the river passes through mainly private land, but U.S. Highway 12 follows it through the canyon, so some access can be found at pull offs and bridges. Too narrow to float, the Little Blackfoot is a wadefisher's paradise, thick with trout and whitefish. Although you can't float the river to fish, canoes and kayaks often ply the lower waters for fun. Springs keep the river flowing year round, and the only time you can't fish it is when the April runoffs turn it to fast flowing sludge. With camping near Elliston and a delicious café in Avon, the Little Blackfoot is a favorite haunt of locals in the know.