The Top 10 Best Fishing Lodges in Montana

Updated August 8, 2023

Montana, often referred to as the “Last Best Place,” is home to a myriad of rivers and lakes. The state’s landscape boasts parts of Yellowstone River, Missouri River, and Clark Fork River, along with an array of pristine freshwater lakes. This blend of bountiful fresh water and untouched wilderness crowns Montana as one of the premier destinations for top-notch freshwater fishing lodges in the United States.

Fishing lodges in Montana provide a wide array of experiences and fishing excursions. Fish for Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, and unique local species from an all-inclusive fishing lodge or a rustic riverside cabin. We are here to help you locate the perfect fishing lodge for your vacation. We sifted through our directory of exceptional Montana fishing lodges and assembled this list of the 10 Best Fishing Lodges in Montana. 


We selected these fishing lodges based on:
  • Customer feedback
  • Uniqueness
  • Value for the money
  • Quality of accommodation, food, boats, and gear
  • Customer service
  • Reputation

In no particular order, here are our top 10 best fishing lodges in Montana.

Maddison Valley Ranch

Ennis, Montana

Madison Valley Ranch, established in 1994, stands as one of Montana’s premier fly fishing lodges. Located conveniently near Bozeman on the upper Madison River, the ranch offers breathtaking views, world-class Montana fly fishing, and luxury lodging. It’s also home to one of Montana’s finest restaurants. The ranch boasts a rich history and has recently celebrated the opening of its brand new Madison Lodge in July 2021. Whether you’re an angler looking for a trout paradise or someone seeking a luxurious escape amidst vast ranchlands and remote mountains, Madison Valley Ranch promises an unforgettable experience.

What makes it unique

  • Award-winning Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge: Recognized for its excellence in providing top-notch fishing experiences.
  • Diverse Fishing Options: From its own trophy trout pond and Jack Creek to the Channels section of the upper Madison River, there’s a spot for every angler.
  • High-End Accommodations: The lodge offers 14 guest rooms, each adorned with authentic western decor, two queen beds, private showers, and outdoor patio seating.

Firehole Ranch

West Yellowstone, Montana

Nestled on the pristine shores of Hebgen Lake, Firehole Ranch is a world-class fly fishing lodge in Montana that promises an unparalleled experience. Established on a sprawling 640 acres, the ranch offers guests a chance to fish the legendary waters of the Rocky Mountain West, including renowned rivers like the Madison, Yellowstone, Henry’s Fork of the Snake, Gallatin, Firehole, and Lamar. Beyond fishing, Firehole Ranch provides a serene escape into the vast expanse of Big Sky Country, where guests can indulge in fine dining and rejuvenate amidst the breathtaking landscapes.

What makes it unique

  • Historic Significance: The ranch boasts a beautifully preserved historic log lodge, handcrafted from surrounding lodgepole pine in the 1940s, exuding original style and elegance.
  • Diverse Fishing Opportunities: With access to a plethora of legendary trout waters, anglers can experience various Western fly fishing techniques, from wet and dry flies to nymphs and tandem rigs.
  • Limited Availability: Open only for 16 weeks each summer, the ranch offers an exclusive experience, hosting just 22 guests at a time.

Silver Bow Club

Divide, Montana

The Silver Bow Club, a family-owned Montana guest ranch, is an epitome of luxury and natural beauty, sprawling across 1800 acres with an impressive 3½ miles of frontage on the Big Hole River, a renowned Blue Ribbon Trout Stream. This majestic ranch offers guests an immersive experience, from fly fishing in the pristine waters known for Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brown Trout, and Arctic Grayling, to relaxing in the grandeur of the lodge or the cozy log cabins. The ranch is strategically located, offering easy access to some of Southwest Montana’s legendary trout fishing waters, making it a haven for anglers and nature enthusiasts alike.

What makes it unique

  • All-Inclusive Experience: The Grand Lodge offers an all-inclusive stay, encompassing fly fishing on the Big Hole River and other area rivers, with activities like trap shooting, ATV tours, horseback riding, and pheasant hunts.
  • Local Expertise: The ranch collaborates with Montana’s finest fly fishing outfitters, ensuring guests are guided by local experts familiar with the rivers’ nuances.
  • Versatile Activities: Beyond fishing, guests can indulge in horseback riding, ATV tours, or simply relax by the campfire, making the most of the Montana outdoors.

Healing Waters Lodge

Twin Bridges, Montana

Healing Waters Lodge, an ORVIS endorsed fly-fishing lodge, is a gem located in the heart of the Ruby Valley, surrounded by the majestic Tobacco Root, Ruby, and Pioneer mountain ranges. Positioned between the towns of Sheridan and Twin Bridges, amidst sprawling cattle ranches and cottonwood trees, the lodge offers panoramic views in every direction. Guests can indulge in world-class fly fishing experiences, with a plethora of angling choices within easy driving distance, including renowned rivers like the Beaverhead, Big Hole, Jefferson, and Madison. The lodge also provides exclusive access to private spring-fed creeks and ponds. After a day of fishing, guests can unwind in spacious rooms, enjoy gourmet meals, and soak in the outdoor hot tub, all while being enveloped by Montana’s natural beauty.

What makes it unique

  • Experienced Guides: Boasting the most seasoned, knowledgeable, and personable group of guides in Montana, they ensure guests have the best fishing opportunities and techniques at their disposal.
  • Diverse Fishing Opportunities: From floating on larger rivers to wade fishing on smaller meadow streams, the lodge offers a variety of angling experiences. Exclusive access to private creeks and ponds further enhances the fishing adventure.
  • Luxurious Accommodations: Each room is designed for comfort, featuring two queen-sized beds, a private bathroom, Wi-Fi, and a porch with a view. Additional amenities include an exercise room, outdoor hot tub, and a beautiful pond for casting practice.

Rainbow Valley Lodge

Ennis, Montana

Situated on the edge of the picturesque town of Ennis, Montana, the Rainbow Valley Lodge offers a gateway to the expansive Madison River Valley. This lodge, run by the warm and welcoming hosts Ed and Jeanne Williams, provides a unique blend of rustic charm and modern comforts. Whether you’re in Ennis for fly fishing, exploring the historic Virginia City, or taking the scenic route to Yellowstone, the Rainbow Valley Lodge ensures a memorable stay. With its proximity to world-class fishing spots and attractions like Yellowstone National Park and Virginia City, it’s an ideal base for both adventure seekers and those looking to relax amidst Montana’s natural beauty.

What makes it unique

  • Prime Location: Nestled in the heart of Ennis, the lodge offers easy access to the Madison River, known for its big browns and huge rainbow trout, making it a fly fisher’s paradise.
  • Rustic Charm with Modern Amenities: The lodge features 24 comfortable rooms and off-property cabins adorned with rustic log and knotty pine interiors, complemented by amenities like a heated pool and free continental breakfast.
  • O’Dell Creek Fly Shop: Located within the lodge, this fly shop boasts a vast selection of hand-tied flies tailored for the Madison River, along with a range of fishing gear, accessories, and Montana souvenirs.

Montana Fly Fishing Lodge

Absarokee, Montana

Montana Fly Fishing Lodge, an Orvis Endorsed establishment, is a haven for anglers seeking the ultimate fly fishing experience in Big Sky Country. Located in the heart of the Yellowstone River Basin, this lodge offers guests the opportunity to cast their lines in some of the most legendary waters, such as the Yellowstone, Bighorn, Stillwater, and Boulder rivers, as well as many smaller private-access Blue Ribbon walk/wade trout streams. Beyond the fishing, guests can retreat to luxury accommodations that capture the essence of Montana. With its prime location on the banks of the “Wild & Scenic” East Rosebud River, the lodge is surrounded by the breathtaking Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness mountain range, ensuring every stay is immersed in Montana’s natural splendor.

What makes it unique

  • Luxurious Accommodations: Montana Fly Fishing Lodge boasts a range of accommodations, from the Log Lodge to Canvas Cabins, all set amidst Quaking Aspen and Cottonwood trees. The ranch also features “The Barn” Rec/Bar/Tasting Room, a historic bridge, and private trout ponds.
  • Secluded Experience: Many guests note the tranquility of their fishing trips, often encountering only a few or no other anglers during their guided excursions.
  • Comprehensive Amenities: The lodge offers a fly shop stocked with hand-tied flies and top-notch fishing gear, ensuring guests have everything they need for a successful fishing adventure.

Kingfisher Lodge

Fort Smith, Montana

Kingfisher Lodge, a renowned fly fishing establishment, is located in Fort Smith, Montana, and has been guiding anglers on the Bighorn River for over 32 years. This family-owned lodge is a blend of tradition, expertise, and hospitality, ensuring every guest leaves with cherished memories. With its prime location on the “Wild & Scenic” East Rosebud River, the lodge offers unparalleled fishing experiences, boasting impressive trout counts of around 4,000 fish per mile. The Bighorn River is home to abundant Brown and Rainbow trout populations, with average trout sizes ranging between 14”-18” and the possibility of landing a trophy 24” fish. Beyond the river, the lodge also provides exciting fishing opportunities on the lake, adding variety to the angling experience.

What makes it unique

  • Impressive Fish Counts: The Bighorn River consistently produces one of the most abundant Brown and Rainbow trout populations in the U.S., with counts of around 4,000 fish per mile.
  • Variety of Fishing Opportunities: Apart from the river, the lodge offers fishing on the lake, adding diversity to the angling experience.
  • Deep-Rooted Tradition: Established in 1991, the lodge has been a cornerstone of fly fishing in Montana for over three decades, turning Big Sky country experiences into lifelong memories.

Big Hole Lodge

Wise River, Montana

Established in 1984 by the passionate angler Craig Fellin, Big Hole Lodge stands as a testament to the beauty and allure of fly fishing in Montana. Located in the scenic backdrop of Fort Smith, Montana, this lodge offers an immersive experience into the world of fly fishing. With its strategic location near the “Wild & Scenic” East Rosebud River, guests are treated to a plethora of fishing opportunities, from the legendary Big Hole River to the Beaverhead, Bitterroot, and beyond. The lodge’s commitment to providing a memorable fly fishing trip is evident in its flexible schedules, ensuring each guest’s fishing desires and needs are met. Whether you’re floating on the Bitterroot catching native cutthroat on dry flies or wading in a private spring creek, Big Hole Lodge promises an experience like no other.

What makes it unique

  • Decades of Tradition: With its establishment in 1984, Big Hole Lodge has been a cornerstone of fly fishing in Montana, turning experiences into cherished memories for over three decades.
  • Diverse Fishing Opportunities: The lodge offers a variety of fishing terrains, from the renowned Big Hole River to private spring creeks, ensuring every angler finds their perfect spot.
  • Guided Expertise: The lodge prides itself on its seasoned guides, who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, ensuring guests have the best fishing opportunities.

Big Horn River Lodge

St Xavier, Montana

Big Horn River Lodge, located in Fort Smith, Montana, is a sanctuary for anglers seeking the thrill of fly fishing in one of the world’s most prolific tailwater fisheries. This lodge, with its serene setting on the banks of the Bighorn River, offers an unparalleled fishing experience. The river, flowing through the picturesque valley of the Crow Indian Reservation, boasts a consistent water temperature ideal for trout, thanks to the Bighorn Reservoir’s depth. This consistent temperature, combined with the nutrient-rich waters from the limestone and sandstone walls of the Bighorn Canyon, results in a habitat teeming with aquatic invertebrates and insects, providing a rich food source for trout. Whether it’s the midges, baetis, scuds, sowbugs, or the grasshoppers during warmer months, the Bighorn River promises a diverse and rewarding angling experience year-round.

  • Tailwater Fishery: The Bighorn River stands out as one of the most prolific tailwater fisheries globally, offering consistent fishing conditions throughout the year.
  • Rich Ecosystem: The river benefits from the nutrients of the Bighorn Canyon, promoting aquatic plant growth and a diverse range of food sources for trout.
  • Year-Round Fishing: Thanks to the Bighorn Reservoir’s controlled temperature, the river never freezes, allowing anglers to enjoy fishing in all seasons.

Elk Lake Resort

Lima, Montana

Nestled in the heart of southwestern Montana, Elk Lake Resort offers a unique blend of tranquility, adventure, and genuine Montana hospitality. This premier resort, established in 1932, provides an escape from the ordinary, allowing guests to immerse themselves in a remote Montana adventure. With its prime location near the “Wild & Scenic” East Rosebud River, the resort is a gateway to some of Montana’s most famous fly-fishing waters. Anglers can expect to encounter feisty Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, and the elusive Arctic Grayling in the local streams and lakes. With minimal fishing competition, the experience is both peaceful and rewarding. Whether opting for an all-inclusive fly-fishing package with guided excursions or embarking on a self-guided adventure, the world-famous streams promise an unforgettable experience.

What makes it unique

  • Guided & Self-Guided Options: The resort offers both guided excursions and the freedom for guests to pursue their own paths in a self-guided adventure.
  • Secluded Waters: The resort’s waters are a closely held secret, ensuring a serene fishing experience with minimal competition.
  • Accommodations & Dining: Guests can enjoy comfortable lodging and indulge in “Country Gourmet” fine dining, crafted from scratch daily.

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