At Upper Canyon Outfitters, our guests enjoy exclusive use of more than two miles of the Ruby River, as well as our private spring-fed pond. The Ruby’s gravel bottom makes for easy wading and most guests walk/wade the entire length of the stream without difficulty as they cast for browns and rainbows, with grayling and the occasional brook trout populating the waters just above the ranch. For those who want bigger water, our guided drift boat fishing on the nearby Madison, Beaverhead, Big Hole and Jefferson Rivers is a great way to spend a day chasing giant browns and rainbows. And if you want to escape to the smaller waters where Merriwether Lewis first described the beauty of native cutthroats, there are plenty of opportunities on the Ruby’s headwaters, as well as the many small streams that run through the National Forest.
Montana fishing is pretty much all about time. In the summer, you can set your watch by the trio hatch that starts just about 9:30 every morning. Forty-five minutes later, it’s the spinner fall. Although you can depend on size #18-#20 tricos working well, you’ll also find that a #12 Royal Wulff with a #16-#18 bedhead pheasant tail nymph makes a deadly combination as well.
After lunch, it’s hard to beat a #12 Jay-Dave’s Hopper – and if you haven’t fished a hopper on a hot Montana afternoon, you’re in for something special. Caddis hatch sporadically all day long, but you’ll find the fishing best just after dinner, just before dark. For bigger water, it’s much the same with the addition of big streamers and stonefly nymphs to attract those football-sized Madison River browns.
3-, 4- or 5-weight rod for small streams
6-weight rod for larger rivers
Weight forward floating lines work best
4x, 5x and 6x tapered leaders 8-11 feet long
A good single-action reel with backing
Chest waders and wading boots
Sunscreen and bug repellent
Warm sweater or fleece jacket