Fly Fishing Montana’s Jefferson River

Fish The Jefferson

Your chance to catch the fish of a lifetime.

The Jefferson offers the best trophy trout fishing anywhere. The browns and ‘bows encountered here are the type you’re likely to find on the cover of popular fishing magazines – burly, vibrant, awe-inspiring.

Floating the Jefferson is reminiscent of what Montana was generations ago: solitude, sweeping mountain views, ample wildlife, and super-model trout. By Montana standards, the Jefferson may not be the fish factory that other rivers are, but she delivers with a voice that few other rivers possess.

The Jefferson River has a similar feel as the lower Big Hole with its soft riffles, long runs, and cottonwood log jams left behind from high water. Flanked by the Highland Mountains to the west and the Tobacco Roots to the east, the river changes course and channels regularly here as a freestone river should, and lends itself nicely to drift boat fishing.

Jefferson river fishing report
Montana guided fly fishing

The Jefferson river flows north and east 77 miles, meandering its way through pastures and farmland, eventually joining the Madison and Gallatin Rivers in Three Forks to form the Missouri.

Down river hatches range from caddis, PMD’s and Yellow Sallies to even Brown Drakes. The best dry fly patterns, water conditions permitting, are likely summer Stones or Hoppers, but the Jeff’s reputation as trophy brown trout water was built on knowing how to trigger the predatory nature of these carnivores. Stripping, and swimming streamers of all manner work wonders. Your FishTales guide will teach the needed streamer techniques to entice a hog from his hiding place. If its elbow room and a chance at a really big beautiful brown trout is you seek, join us on a Jefferson River fly fishing trip.

Plan your Montana flying fishing adventure now!

Recommended Flies

Dry Flies

Rogue River Salmon Fly
Chubby Chernobyl
Elk Hair Caddis
Goddard Caddis
Iris Caddis
Parachute Adams
Royal Wulff
CDC Cinnamon Flying Ant


Pheasant Tail
Prince Nymph
Copper John


Mini-Loop Sculpin
Trevor’s Sculpin
Whitlock’s Hare Sculpin
Wooley Sculpin
Madison River Foundation

FishTales Outfitting LLC is a licensed Outfitter with the State of Montana's Board of Outfitters
and Permittee for the Madison, Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers.

Big Hole River Foundation
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Site Photography: Bruce McDaniel and Vic Sorensen

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