These are the best destinations to plan a fishing trip to in Montana. Check them out on the map or look below to see how they rank. If you’re looking for some awesome fishing and you don’t care if you’re in a town with minimal services, take a look at our list of Montana’s Remote Fly Fishing Towns.
Big Fork, MT – Rating 9.75
Bigfork, Montana is located at an altitude of 2,900 feet in the mountains of northwest Montana. The town is located on the shores of Flathead Lake where the Swan River flows into the lake. Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi and the lake draws visitors that enjoy fishing, boating and other forms of water recreation. Bigfork is one of the most popular places to visit in Montana. You will find plenty of accommodations here as well as fishing guides.
Helena, MT – Rating 9.75
Helena is the capital of Montana and the county seat for Lewis and Clark County. This city is very unique in that it has a nice blend of the past and the present. You will be able to find plenty of hotels and other accommodations in Helena. This city is surrounded by pristine forests and there are plenty of places to experience the great outdoors. Boating and fishing are popular on Holter Lake, Hauser Lake, Canyon Ferry Lake and Spring Meadow Lake. There are also numerous trout streams in the area.
Missoula,MT – Rating 9.75
Missoula is a good-sized city and one of the largest in all of Montana. Missoula is home to the University of Montana. This area is a popular tourist destination, especially among fly fishermen. Missoula is located in a deep valley near the Clark Fork River, the Bitterroot River and the Blackfoot River, which gives fly fishermen a lot of options during their trip to this area. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants and shopping to go along with numerous fishing guides and outfitters to help you catch that fish of a lifetime.
Whitefish, MT – Rating 9.75
Whitefish, Montana is a very popular vacation destination. It is probably known more as a winter vacation destination because of the skiing, but there is so much to do here during the summers as well. The town is tucked against Big Mountain and the peaks of Glacier National Park. There are plenty of accommodations from hotels, motels, resorts and even vacation home rentals. You will also find plenty of shops and restaurants also. Whitefish Lake is very popular and it’s a good place to fish for rainbow trout, northern pike, whitefish and lake trout. There are also plenty of rivers and streams nearby that hold trout.
Bozeman, MT – Rating 9.25
Bozeman is a decent-sized city located in southwestern Montana. This area is popular among tourists. There are plenty of hotels, vacation rentals and other types of lodging. You will also find numerous fishing guides and outfitters in Bozeman. There are so many rivers, streams and lakes nearby that offer excellent fishing for trout.
Livingston – Rating 9.25
Livingston, Montana is a great vacation destination for those who enjoy being outdoors. The surrounding mountain ranges provide some beautiful scenery and the Yellowstone River offers some outstanding fly fishing opportunities for trout. The town of Livingston has plenty of hotels, motels and other types of lodging to go along with some great shops and restaurants. The Yellowstone National Park is nearby which gives you some options for what you can do on a vacation to Livingston, Montana.
Big Sky, MT – Rating 9.0
Big Sky, Montana is known mostly for the skiing. The Big Sky Resort is a popular tourist destination among skiers. The town of Big Sky is located in southern Montana and there are plenty of places to stay as well as fishing guides and outfitters. The area waters are loaded with trout, which makes Big Sky a great vacation destination for fly fishermen as well as skiers.
Billings, MT – Rating 9.0
Billings is the largest city in Montana. It is located in the south central part of the state and it has been growing rapidly. This city is popular among tourists because it offers many conveniences with nice hotels, restaurants and shopping, but it is also close to Yellowstone National Park. This area provides a nice balance for people looking to get away from the daily grind without leaving all of their conveniences behind. Fishing is popular in the area. There are a couple of guides that can put you on some fish.
Butte, MT – Rating 8.75
Butte is a decent-sized town located in the southwesten part of Montana. Butte was one of the biggest copper towns in the west and it was home to hundreds of saloons and a famous red-light district. Fishing is popular here on the Big Hole River for brown trout, rainbow trout, brook, cutthroat trout and grayling.
Fort Peck Lake – Rating 8.75
Fort Peck Lake is the largest lake in Montana measuring 134 miles long and it has 1520 miles of shoreline with a maximum depth of 220 feet. This lake is known for its excellent walleye fishery, although there are other species such as lake trout, smallmouth bass, northern pike and crappie.
Bitterroot Valley, MT – Rating 8.25
The Bitterroot Valley provides some awesome scenery, enough accommodations and area services so you can have an excellent vacation and some awesome fishing. Anglers target a variety of trout such as rainbow, brown, cutthroat and an occasional brook trout too. You can stay local and fish the area waters or make a drive to some of the other popular waters in this area. The area guides will have several options for doing different trips for a variety of different fish.