The Big Hole, Beaverhead and Ruby Rivers merge near twin Bridges Montana forming the Jefferson River. Though not as revered as her sister rivers, the Jefferson offers more solitude, more wildlife and tremendous vistas and scenery. Another bonus is the realistic chance at an out-sized brown in the four to six pound range!
It’s a fact that the overall numbers of trout per mile is less than the Big Hole and Beaverhead but when you consider the whole package, a float down the “Jeff” is well worth the price of admission.
The majestic Tobacco Root Range borders to the east as you float north through a classic Montana River Bottom teeming with wildlife. Not much has changed in the Jefferson Valley since I first stepped foot here back in the mid-seventies. It’s nice to know that places like this still exist today.
We like the spring and fall months best as the irrigation demand during mid-summer makes for low flows and higher than average water temperatures. A strong hatch of skwala stoneflies hatch during April and May. The skwala is the first sizable insect that the trout see after a long cold winter and feed heartily on them as they skitter across the river. There is a multitude of hatches including blue wing olives, march browns, gray drakes and of course the ever present hoppers that make their appearance mid-July.
The river is blessed with some of the best holding water with deep undercut banks harboring very large rainbow and brown trout. A well place hopper or streamer will coaxed these impressive trout from their hiding spots ready to do battle!
Small Stream Fly Fishing
Are you more comfortable fishing in a bit less water? Maybe your fondest memories growing up were spent on creeks and streams no wider than a rods length? In addition to our larger Blue Ribbon Streams, our area abounds with smaller streams and creeks that are chock full of rainbows and brook trout that are eager to rise to a floating fly. Be sure to ask about this opportunity. Our guides are familiar with these back country streams and are anxious to share them with you!