Fly Fishing the Blackfoot River

“On the Big Blackfoot River above the mouth of Belmont Creek the banks are fringed by large Ponderosa pines. In the slanting sun of late afternoon the shadows of great branches reached from across the river, and the trees took the river in their arms. The shadows continued up the bank, until they included us.” – Norman Maclean

“My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things – trout as well as eternal salvation – come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.” – Norman Maclean

Acquiring its fame from Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, The Big Blackfoot River is a one of the most pristine Montana Rivers. The Blackfoot was created by the Blackfoot thrust fault and has beautiful red and green argillite rocks that enhance the beauty and scenery when floating down the river. The Big Blackfoot River has canyons, rapids, and boulders that offer exciting fishing all year and some of the most exilerating trips we offer are during high flows, when there are class 3 rapids we float while we fish! You can float and experience some of Norman’s old holes that are still there since this river is embedded in bedrock and canyons that have remained the same for many years.

Dixon Adventures has had a special attachment to the Big Blackfoot. Jay used to live on the Blackfoot and did his thesis work on Bull Trout on one the tributaries of the Blackfoot in the early 90s. Jay’s passion for the Blackfoot began at a very young age when he read Norman’s books. Jay had the privilege of being on Fly Fishing America with Norman’s son and author, John Maclean.

The Blackfoot has an abundance of life, including stoneflies and Bull Trout that can thrive in only very pristine waters. The water quality and native fisheries create one the most pristine trout fishing experiences in Montana. Dixon Adventures has some of the best Montana Fly Fishing Guides that work on the Blackfoot River.

The Big Blackfoot River is a permitted river and we have about 80 miles of river to choose from. The Blackfoot fishery has all 6 salminoid species, including an abundance the native species Bull Trout and West Slope Cutthroat. The very predacious Bull Trout can grow over 3 feet and weigh more than 14 pounds! It is illegal to target these species on the Blackfoot, but we sometimes end up with one of these monsters in the net and take special care to release them unharmed. We fish the Blackfoot from the spring until fall with the exception of the violent run-off periods. Salmon flies and Golden Stones start hatching in the latter part of June and this time of year has exhilarating high water adventures. Fishing the summer and fall months has pocket water and emerald pools that produce easy dry fly fishing on our floats!

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.” – Norman Maclean

Join Fly Fishing Montana with Dixon Adventures and their guides if you want to be “haunted by waters”, on the Big Blackfoot River!