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Missoula, MT

Photo via Wikipedia

A laid back town with several beautiful rivers that inspired Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It.

A fishing trip in Big Sky country is enough to make any angler giddy. There are thousand of miles of prime trout water criss-crossing Montana, and Missoula is at the very heart of it. As the setting for Robert Redford’s iconic movie “A River Runs Through It”, Missoula might be fly-fishing’s most famous city. Throw a rock and it will land in a legendary trout stream. Only minutes from away from bustling downtown Missoula, you will find yourself wading in Clark’s Fork, the Bitterroot, Rock Creek, or the Big Blackfoot (to name a few). As the saying goes, trout don’t live in ugly places. In Missoula, anglers can target multiple different species of trout in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Basic Info
  • 34° 18° Dec-Feb
  • 60° 44° Mar-May
  • 84° 52° Jun-Aug
  • 57° 34° Sep-Nov
Blackfoot River, Clark'S Fork, Bitterroot River, Rock Creek
Fishing license info here: here

The Catch

Top fish species to target in Missoula, MT

Brook Trout

Especially prevelant, sometimes over populated, in high elevation lakes and streams, these fish have one spots and multi-colored fins.

Brown Trout

Large dark spotting pattern makes this fish stand out against the other trouts. They can be tough to catch and strong. Look for fall runs.


These fish are particularly resilient and thrive in slow moving to standing water. In some cases considered a destructive invasive species.

Cutthroat Trout

These fish look similar to Rainbows but with more spotting and the distinctive red slash near the throat.

Mountain Whitefish

Favoring cold clear water, these small cylindrical fish mostly inhabit mountain lakes and streams.

Northern Pike

Can grow quite huge and are often the fiercest fish in waters inhabited by trout and other smaller species.

Rainbow Trout

Adult fish are distinguished by a broad reddish stripe along the lateral line, from gills to the tail, which is most vivid in breeding males.


Olive and gold in color, Walleyes are native to Canada and the Northern US. They have good vision and thus feed most in low visibility water conditions.

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