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The Missouri River, 'America's longest river,' gets its start in Montana near the town of Three Forks. Right from the start the Missouri is running big and wide on its long journey across North America to join the Mississippi over 2300 miles away. The rolling hills and open plains along which the Missouri winds haven't changed much since the Lewis & Clark expedition mapped its headwaters over two centuries ago. The expedition's journals suggest that the Lewis & Clark party passed by the Missouri River Ranch on July 18, 1805.
It is a 10 minute walk from the Lodge to the river on our private road. Once there, we have approximately 1.3 miles of river frontage, enabling guests to wade or even fish from the shore thanks to gently sloping banks. Ask about the ability to launch or take out your drift boat from the Ranch's riverbank, providing an extra measure of convenience for the dedicated angler.
The Missouri River is world-renowned for its dry fly fishing, particularly for large rainbow and brown trout. The latest “Fish-per-Mile” study was conducted in October of 2015; the results of that study found that there were over 4,000 rainbow trout fish per mile in the Craig, MT stretch of the Missouri River. That compares to a long term average of just over 3,000 per mile. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks stated that high flows in the river combined with the end of a decade-long drought in 2008 continues to help keep fish numbers high.
In some of the slower moving stretches and the reservoirs upstream of the Ranch, you can fish for walleye, carp, and whitefish.
If you are looking for a guide or outfitter, we have close relationships with many of the local fishing guides and fly shops. We're happy to make recommendations based on our other guests' past experiences. The Missouri continues to be one of the best tailwater fisheries in the United States, and the Missouri River Ranch has over a mile of private river frontage so you can learn why this river's remarkable reputation continues to grow.