1 . Montana River Lodge

Superior, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (406) 207 - 0673

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If you were walking through the peaceful forested trails near Missoula, Montana and you suddenly spotted the Montana River Lodge, you’d wonder: is it real? Is it part of the scenery? Is it really as cozy and inviting as it looks? The answers are yes, yes, and yes - and three yeses add up to our no. 1 pick.

Overlooking its own private stretch of the Clark Fork River, it’s a luxury lodge that seems like it’s the only one in the world. And that’s part of the point. From the Montana River Lodge's private river beach, you can choose your direction for summer fun: upstream for rafting on the Alberton Gorge, or downstream for calmer days canoeing or fishing. The surrounding forest transforms into a winter playground for cross country skiers and snowmobilers. It’s classic outdoor fun amid some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. And speaking of spectacular - wait until you step into the lodge. It has seven bedrooms, six baths, a recreation room with pool, foosball and a big screen TV, plus a full kitchen and dining facilities. The deck is a highlight, too, where you and your entire group of up to 25 can gather and admire the view.

Highlights

With its seven spacious bedrooms, a full recreation room and a deck that takes full advantage of the surrounding forest serenity, Montana River Lodge has several packages and options for group gatherings of all types.

Related activities

Montana River Lodge is convenient to boating on Flathead Lake, wildlife viewing at the National Bison Range and hiking in Glacier National Park along with golfing at several Missoula area courses.

Related Onsite Offerings

The beach is ideal for volleyball, although it’s different than what you might picture - the backdrop here includes stunning forest and mountain scenery on the Clark Fork River.

2 . Gallatin River Lodge

Bozeman, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (888) 387 - 0148

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You don’t often hear about romance and fly fishing in the same sentence, but you’ll find it at Gallatin River Lodge. It’s one of the few places we’ve ever heard of that’s known equally as a MT fly fishing destination lodge and fine country inn!

By fine country inn, we really mean a small luxury hotel that happens to sit on a 350-acre Montana ranch. And by a fly fishing destination - well, the possibilities are almost endless. The lodge is five minutes from the Gallatin River, and the Madison River, the Yellowstone River and countless creeks and streams are within a half hour. If you have any doubts about the fishing here - or any questions at all - the lodge staff can answer them, down to what types of fish inhabit which section of these untouched waters. The lodge itself is a masterpiece that hosts romantic vacations from all over the world. Six well-appointed suites have all the little luxuries including Jacuzzi tubs and satellite TV; the dining is yet another unforgettable experience, featuring the creations of the lodge’s own Executive Chef who was trained at the Culinary Institute of America.

Highlights

To go along with its spectacular local cuisine, Gallatin River Lodge features three dining rooms which seat 24-40 guests each; enjoy cocktails from its historic oak bar.

Related Onsite Offerings

Gallatin River Lodge is ideal for Montana weddings, wedding receptions, dinners and other events for up to 100 indoors and up to 300 outdoors.

Mountain range

Your Gallatin River Lodge fishing experience will always include breathtaking views of Montana’s Spanish Peaks.

3 . Five Rivers Lodge

Dillon, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 378 - 5006

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Yes, the Five Rivers Lodge is named correctly, and for the record the five rivers here are the Beaverhead, the Ruby, the Big Hole, the Jefferson and the Madison. More importantly, they’re all brimming with huge trout. And they’re all within a 30-minute radius of this luxury Dillon, MT fishing lodge.

There are also two acres of spring fed ponds, but at this point, who’s counting? Five Rivers Lodge is: the staff keeps careful watch over these private-access waters, and conducts three- to seven-day guided trips based on which areas have not been fished. This makes for an unforgettable fishing trip - private, exclusive and full of huge brown trout! What’s also unforgettable are the accommodations here. Along with the spacious guest rooms and several gathering areas that encourage you to gather before dinner - which is always an event, with healthy, hearty gourmet meals - you’ll find plenty to help you gain knowledge about nature and fly fishing including a library and a fly tying bench. Five Rivers is as serious about comfort as it is about Montana fishing!

Highlights

With excellent equipment and meeting facilities and accommodations for up to 30, Five Rivers Lodge welcomes your corporate Montana fishing retreat, seminar, client trip or board meeting.

Getting there

Five Rivers Lodge rests on 28 acres on Highway 41, just 13 miles north of Dillon, Montana.

Related Onsite Offerings

Five Rivers Lodge is open year round and offers photography seminars, fishing schools and guided or self-guided area tours.

4 . Duck Lake Lodge

Babb, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (406) 799 - 5168

WEBSITE

At number four Duck Lake Lodge is a unique and homey base camp for you fishing excursions. With guides bring you to some ponds and lakes less fished, you'll be catching all the famous rainbow trout in no time! And if you want an extra special fishing experience Duck Lake is catch and keep!

Located on the front door of Glacier National Park, and connected to its famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, Duck Lake Lodge prides itself on being so close to the pristine natural wonder of the Montana Wilderness. If you're looking to take a break from fishing, the opportunities for hiking trails, biking trails, and much more are all around! Just keep your eyes peeled for some of the more impressive wildlife in the area like Elk, Black and Grizzly Bears, and much more!

Address

3215 Duck Lake Rd. Babb, MT 59411

Mountain range

Both the Livingston Range and Lewis Rage are in the area with more than 150 peaks over 8,000 ft.!

Related Onsite Offerings

There's a full, onsite restaurant and a newly remodeled jacuzzi, so after a long day of adventuring, you can grab a bite, then soak in the bubbling waters!

5 . The Resort at Paws Up

Greenough, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 473 - 0601

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It’s funny - even if you’re shying away from the idea of a MT fishing vacation from a tent, the Resort at Paws Up has some surprise accommodations for you. Yes, it’s a tent; but it features a spacious deck, a private master bathroom nearby, housekeeping, gourmet meals and even a personal butler.

It’s called “glamping.” But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The fishing really is wonderful here. The Blackfoot, Bitterroot, Missouri and Clark Fork Rivers are all right nearby - world-renowned for huge, fighting trout. The Resort at Paws Up rests in the heart of an area that has been referred to as the “Golden Triangle” - an area between eastern Idaho, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks - that is world-renowned for fly fishing. That’s not all it’s about at the Resort at Paws Up - there are also world-class tours on horseback or ATV, plus rappelling, sporting clays, upland bird hunting and a special six-day-a-week program for children, to name a few. And about those tents - collectively known as Tent City, they’re just a small part of the accommodations at Paws Up which include bunkhouses, ranch houses, lodges and wilderness estates.

Highlights

The Resort at Paws Up offers the Pomp, Trough and Tank Restaurants, the breathtaking Tower Office Boardroom and the 76,000-square-foot Saddle Club for corporate retreats and group events of all kinds.

Related activities

Spa Town® at Paws Up features eleven oversized tents, a winding boardwalk and private spa treatments delivered by trained massage therapists.

Fun facts

The Resort at Paws Up is home to the annual Wine & B*tch Weekend - the first luxury vacation designed for you and dog. It includes a fashion show, a wellness seminar, a dog parade and much more.

6 . Rich Ranch

Seeley Lake, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 532 - 4350

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Coming in at number 6, Rich Ranch is home to plenty of outdoor fun. Catching cutthroats, rainbows and brown trout in the Big Blackfoot River immortalized in the film "A River Runs Through It," is just the beginning. Discover adventure and the Dude Ranch, or take a day and explore the area on one of the many Bike trails.

Glacier National Park isn't far either so you can rest assured that the natural beauty is as pristine and breathtaking as you'll find anywhere. There's practically no better way to spend a day than driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road through the heart of the park. And make sure to watch closely so you can spot Elk, Moose, and Black and Grizzly Bears! As if all of that wasn't enough, you can rest assured that with the modern and comfortable rooms, you don't have to sacrifice comfort for such great adventure!

Address

939 Cottonwood Lakes Road Seeley Lake, Montana 59868

Fun facts

Located Nearby Glacier National Park!

Related Onsite Offerings

Go for a ride on a horse at the dude ranch or explore the area with a bike ride on one of the many trails!

7 . Timber Wolf Resort

Hungry Horse, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (406) 387 - 9653

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Onto number 7! Timber Wolf Resort has a little bit of everything. With opportunities for tent camping and hook-ups for RVs, in addition to rooms at the lodge, you get to choose exactly how you want this fishing adventure to go. Only nine miles from Glacier National Park, you can practically pick any direction to head and you'll find a great place to fish.

If you're looking for something revolving a bit more around civilization, only a few minutes away from Timber Wolf Resort, are several rustic and quaint towns, perfect for an afternoon of relaxed exploring. But, if the mountains are calling, head to Glacier National Park and take a scenic drive along the fifty mile Going-to-the-Sun Road. You can expect to see Elk, Black and Grizzly Bears. Not to mention breathtaking vistas of glacier scarred mountain terrain!

Address

9105 US Highway 2 East Hungry Horse, Montana 59919

Highlights

Nearby offerings include museums, quiet mountain towns and even a water park. You can rest assured, there'll be something for everyone to love at Timber Wolf Resort!

Related activities

Whether it's fishing, hiking, hiking, kayaking, or moutain-climbing, the grandeur surround Glacier National Park is the place to do it!

8 . Twin Rivers Ranch

Manhattan, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (406) 284 - 6485

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Welcome to a truly serene, wildlife-filled, utterly scenic fishing vacation in Manhattan. We’re not kidding. Once you see the stunning mountain views and start catching the fish that teem in the East and West Gallatin Rivers, you’ll never want to leave this ranch near Manhattan, Montana again.

That’s not to mention the myriad rivers and streams that surround this magical place, which are almost always inhabited by deer, eagles and of course plenty of fish. Rainbow and brown trout and salmon are prized catches here. And whether by wading or drift boat, Twin Rivers is excellent for the serious angler: here, terms like attractor and hopper patterns, stoneflies and terrestrials are part of the lexicon and the guides know the local plants and animals as well as they do every part of the river you’re fishing. Cabins at Twin Rivers Ranch are as beautiful as the scenery and equally functional. Riverside cabins feature wireless Internet, CD sound systems and solar lighting, and the Deluxe Cabin on the hill, which accommodates up to 12, is as much a work of art as its surroundings.

Related activities

Along with unforgettable guided fly fishing adventures at Twin Rivers Ranch, you can strike out and discover the local Montana landscape including the Lewis and Clark Caverns, Virginia and Nevada Cities and Yellowstone National Park.

Fun facts

Twin Rivers Ranch specializes in meticulously breeding and raising Tennessee Walking horses. Many of these wonderful animals are for sale.

Related Onsite Offerings

Twin Rivers Ranch offers a variety of clinics and packages including women’s fly fishing adventures, beginner and intermediate casting clinics, crafters’ getaways, horse clinics, bird watching walks and more.

9 . Lone Mountain Ranch

Big Sky, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 514 - 4644

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Built in 1926, Lone Mountain Ranch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and, along with its authentic Western charm, brings the “discovery of nature” to your Yellowstone County fishing vacation. We think the best part is discovering a monster trout at the other end of your line.

Another great thing about Lone Mountain Ranch is that the entire experience here is designed to get the entire family excited about fly fishing. There are programs for kids, women and first-time anglers, featuring personal fly fishing instruction by Orvis-endorsed guides. Choose your world-class fishing river: the Yellowstone and the Madison are just to the west, and just to the south is Yellowstone National Park. Talk about a great place to discover nature! The cabins are yet another experience at Lone Mountain Ranch. Many of them were built 70 years ago; but even if they’re newer than that, you still get a good taste of the ranch’s authentic history through the charming décor, ponderosa pine furnishings and wood burning fireplaces. There’s even the luxurious Ridgetop Lodge overlooking the ranch!

Related Onsite Offerings

Lone Mountain Ranch specializes in winter MT cross country ski vacations, with an 80k network of groomed trails for skiing and snowshoeing.

Highlights

Inclusive packages at Lone Mountain Ranch include accommodations, meals, a ropes course, evening programs, campouts for kids, youth programs and a variety of guided activities including hiking, biking and horseback riding.

Getting there

Transportation to and from the Bozeman Airport is provided at no additional charge for guests staying four nights or more.

10 . Historic Tamarack Lodge

Hungry Horse, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (406) 387 - 4420

WEBSITE

The Historic Tamarack Lodge is just a few moments from the west entrance to Glacier National Park. So if you can take your eyes off of the stunning Rocky Mountains, you might actually remember that the blue-ribbon Flathead River is right across the road and full of trout.

That’s not including the fact that the lodge works with an expert outfitting service to offer discounts on guided fishing trips. Many of these take place on the Hungry Horse Reservoir, which is managed by the Flathead National Forest and teems with cutthroat trout, bull trout and whitefish. If you’re adventurous, you can also explore the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness Areas. The historic part refers to the fact that it was built in 1907, and even though it’s been moved and renovated you can still feel every moment in its lodgepole pine architecture and beside the massive stone fireplace. Choose your accommodation from a range of 22 private cabins set in woodland, or enjoy the ambiance of the lodge in a lodge room.

Related activities

The Historic Tamarack Lodge rests near the west entrance to Glacier National Park and its one million acres of lakes, valleys and breathtaking mountains formed by centuries of glacial activity.

Getting there

The nearest airport, 20 minutes away from the Historic Tamarack Lodge, is Glacier International Airport between Kalispell, Whitefish and Columbia Falls, MT. The lodge is about eight hours north of Yellowstone National Park. From Yellowstone, take 287, 191, or 89 North to Interstate 90. Follow Interstate 90W to Missoula. In Missoula, get on 93N to Kalispell. In Kalispell, take Highway 2 east through the town of Hungry Horse. The Historic Tamarack Lodge is located on the right side of US Highway 2 at 9549 Highway 2 East, Hungry Horse, Montana.

Related Onsite Offerings

Enjoy the beauty of the local area with a range of rental equipment to match the seasons including mountain bikes, snowshoes and fishing equipment. Enjoy an espresso in the lodge and take home a few "Made in Montana" souvenirs with a brand new coffee bar and gift shop opening to guests in the spring of 2013.

11 . Bighorn River Country Lodge

St Xavier, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 235 - 5450

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This is a tale of a lodge and its river - and both can claim to be arguably the best in the U.S. The Lodge is Bighorn River Country Lodge. And the river is the Bighorn River, where, according to legend, sometimes the water actually boils with freshly hatched trout.

For you, this means a can’t-miss southeastern Montana fly fishing vacation. It also means that each day begins with a hot breakfast, winds down in the lounge with beverages and hors d'oeuvres, and ends in a spacious, private lodge room with satellite TV and a covered porch. In between, of course, are guided float trips including lunch and all flies. It’s a classic fishing vacation, with added modern comfort and style. Also according to legend, which is equally true, this area was the end of the line for one General George Custer. That makes Bighorn River Country Lodge ideal for a wondrous Montana sightseeing adventure, including museums and tours of the actual battlefields - just the thing for when you’re not fishing or for those mysterious souls who do not.

Related activities

Visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, site of the famous 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Getting there

Exit the Billings, MT airport onto 23rd St. Take 23rd St. to I-90 East to Hardin. Take exit 495 and turn right onto Hwy 313 to St Xavier. At St Xavier Hwy 313 makes a left turn just past the church. Continue on Hwy 313 and pass mile marker 38. Turn right at the bottom of the hill onto Warman Loop. Go a short distance and make an immediate left after you cross the bridge. Stay on this gravel road past Cottonwood Camp. Bighorn River Country Lodge will be on the right, a half mile past Cottonwood.

Related Onsite Offerings

The completely remodeled Big Horn Cabin features a full kitchen, a dining area, satellite TV and space for four - ideal for fishing groups.

12 . Big Hole C4 Lodge

Twin Bridges, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (406) 684 - 5760

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We just know that any Montana fishing lodge with a guide named Big Jon has got to be good. So the Big Hole C4 Lodge is a natural for our list. Well, that and the fact that it allows almost exclusive access to the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers, where an estimated 3,800 fish per mile hang out.

You’ll love hanging out here, too, and not just because of all the fish. The lodge surrounds you with classic log cabin-style décor, including hand peeled furniture and huge picture windows overlooking truly stunning scenery near Twin Bridges. Your private sleeping quarters include king and queen sized beds and plenty of charm and comfort. The fishing is spectacular. Besides the Big Hole and the Beaverhead, you can also take guided fishing excursions (many of them courtesy of Big Jon) along four privately-leased miles of the Ruby River - home of grayling, brown and rainbow trout aplenty. It’s like the purpose of this place has always been for fish to thrive - and to host your ultimate MT fishing vacation.

Highlights

The main lodge at Big Hole C4 Lodge is perfect for Montana business retreats, weddings and wedding receptions, reunions and many other group events.

Getting there

From Bozeman, Montana, merge onto I-90 West. Take the Exit 249 onto MT-55 toward MT-69/Whitehall. Turn left onto MT-55/N Whitehall St./Whitetail Rd. Turn left to stay on MT-55; it becomes MT-41/MT-287. Big Hole C4 Lodge is 14.3 miles down MT 41.

Related Onsite Offerings

Big Hole C4 Lodge rests in absolutely prime territory for whitetail deer hunting, and offers a limited number of non-guided hunts for bow and muzzleloader hunting annually from September through November.

13 . Rainbow Ranch Lodge

Big Sky, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 937 - 4132

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It’s probably pretty simple to be a world-class Montana fishing lodge when you have a trout pond in the front yard and the blue-ribbon Gallatin River out the back door. But that doesn’t stop the Rainbow Ranch Lodge from going even further - offering a total Big Sky vacation.

You can almost forget that you’re in the midst of some of the world’s great trout fishing, being that you can cast a line from your back deck into the Gallatin River. You can also ask the lodge to arrange for an expert local guide for a wade, float or horseback fly fishing trip to remote lakes and streams. There’s also plenty of other year-round fun including kayaking, golf, dog sledding and for the die-hards, winter fly fishing. We don’t know how Rainbow Ranch Lodge manages to combine “back to nature” with modern comfort, but they’ve certainly pulled it off. This shows in the dining - courtesy of the lodge’s food philosophy that stresses locally grown and conscientiously raised products - and in the Outpost Retreat, where you can relax with indigenous, riverfront treatments featuring a traditional Tea Ceremony.

Getting there

From Gallatin Field Airport, turn right on historic Highway 10. Continue through Belgrade until you reach the second four-way stop sign. Turn left onto Jackrabbit Lane. Jackrabbit Lane becomes Highway 191 at Four Corners. Continue on Highway 191 for 46 miles. The Lodge will be on your left.

Fun facts

As part of its commitment to food - great food - Rainbow Ranch Lodge is part of Chefs Collaborative, a nonprofit chef’s network that emphasizes local foods and fosters a more sustainable food supply. It’s also home to Montana’s largest collection of fine wines, with more than 10,000 bottles.

Related Onsite Offerings

With its historic barn, a covered deck and a gazebo grill, Rainbow Ranch Lodge is ideal for summertime weddings and events.

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