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  • Missoula Recommendations

    So I have the opportunity to go to Missoula, Montana for my first time ever and I am pumped. We are arriving on a Sat. and staying till Thurs. or Fri and then headed to Colorado for a few days. We have a little cabin booked that says it is right near a trophy trout stream about 30 mins outside of town.

    Does anyone have any guide, restaurant, things to see or do recommendations? I've been reading up a little on the city but there is just a lot of information to take in and I was interested in some first hand knowledge/tips?

  • #2
    Originally posted by wookie View Post
    So I have the opportunity to go to Missoula, Montana for my first time ever and I am pumped. We are arriving on a Sat. and staying till Thurs. or Fri and then headed to Colorado for a few days. We have a little cabin booked that says it is right near a trophy trout stream about 30 mins outside of town.

    Does anyone have any guide, restaurant, things to see or do recommendations? I've been reading up a little on the city but there is just a lot of information to take in and I was interested in some first hand knowledge/tips?
    When are you going?
    "I like beer, do you like beer, I like beer a lot."

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    • #3
      Give Eric Hess, Missoula Fishing Company, at call (406-544-5208). He's been guiding there for over 20 years.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by narcodog View Post
        When are you going?
        June 16th through the 21st.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wookie View Post
          So I have the opportunity to go to Missoula, Montana for my first time ever and I am pumped. We are arriving on a Sat. and staying till Thurs. or Fri and then headed to Colorado for a few days. We have a little cabin booked that says it is right near a trophy trout stream about 30 mins outside of town.

          Does anyone have any guide, restaurant, things to see or do recommendations? I've been reading up a little on the city but there is just a lot of information to take in and I was interested in some first hand knowledge/tips?
          You are really going to enjoy this trip. I have visited and fished the Missoula area many times but never as much as I would like to. I was there early July last year and the water and fishing was great. The Clark Fork runs right through town. But, I like to get away and fish some of the other waters. Since, you are staying on a cabin near a trophy stream about 30 minutes away, it could be the Bitterroot, Blackfoot or even one my favorites Rock Creek. There are many smaller streams that I like to explore as well. I fished the N. Fork of the Black Foot near Bonner a few years ago and it was a blast! Beautiful cuts that were eager to take about any dry fly I offered. You really can't have a bad day on just about any river/stream near Missoula. Just driving through the bitterroot valley is amazing. If you are into historical stuff like me, if you do drive thru the bitterroot valley, you will find numerous historical sites from the Lewis & Clark expedition. Fascinating historical information. Contact any fly shop/outfitter (many in Missoula) and they will give you all the info you need for either a guided trip or places to explore on your own. Now.. for food and such, I am going to recommend the Tamarack Brewing Co. in downtown Missoula. Not only a great craft brew establishment that constantly changes their selection but really outstanding food of all kinds (burgers, pizza, tacos, steaks, fish, etc...) good service but it gets busy around sundown. They are also right next door to a fly shop. I think it is Grizzly Hackle?
          You are gonna have a great adventure and I can't wait to hear your report!
          Last edited by raptor; 03-08-18, 02:06 PM.

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          • #6
            Blackfoot is super to fish. Did 2-weeks there for training several years ago. Grizzly Hackle was located downtown, easy to find and a good resource. Not sure if there is an open season yet, but MT has been doing bull trout restoration for years in the area. Enjoy.

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            • #7
              While in Missoula you MUST fish Rock Creek it's just 20 miles from the city.
              "I like beer, do you like beer, I like beer a lot."

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              • #8
                The description of the cabin says that it is on Brewster Creek and about a mile from Rock Creek.

                I think we are going to book at least one guided day, maybe two, and then try our luck on our own for a day or two. I'm hoping we can venture down to Yellowstone for a day as well just to see it as this will be my first of hopefully many trips to this part of the country. I'm pumped to get out there and see the beauty that I have only seen in pictures and videos.

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                • #9
                  Definitely contact a fly shop or two. Rock Creek Mercantile is good, near your cabin, and (now) has a very helpful owner.

                  Big issue could be snow runoff; spring can be late there, and roil the streams, so ask a lot about the current expectations for June. Snowpack etc. might also impact a trip to Glacier, at least in terms of the Going to the Sun Road being open. Glacier is a lot closer than Yellowstone, and might be rewarding as a day trip; Yellowstone is for stopping on the way to CO, not a day trip from MSO. Easiest mistake for first time visitors to make is to try to see too much, not realize the distances, and spend the trip in the car.

                  Lolo Creek Steakhouse is on the wrong side of MSO from your cabin, but maybe guide will have you float Clarks Fork closer to it. Food is worth the wait.

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                  • #10
                    I don't want to throw a damper on your plans but they have had a tremendous of snow in the area and it's still snowing. The snow with the heaviest water content is between now and May. As was stated contact the Mercantile for their predictions on run off. A few years ago they had a big snow and many of the rivers were not fishable until July. I'm just throwing this out to you and hope for the best. It's awesome country.
                    "I like beer, do you like beer, I like beer a lot."

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                    • #11
                      Russell parks at the Missoulian fly shop is a great guide. Really put us on lots of fish He is just a super nice knowledgeable guy


                      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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                      • #12
                        Rock Creek

                        Keep check of run-off and stream conditions as you get closer to leaving, then make a plan.

                        Just a word of advice (learned the hard way), as you drive those gravel roads in MT (about 26 miles alongside Rock Creek for example) be mindful that standard passenger type tires on most rental cars today are susceptible to small rocks wedging between tread and causing flat tires. Cell phone service is not guaranteed on some of these Forest Service roads....

                        *** Check your rental car for the special lock lugs and verify that your rental has the correct lug key before leaving the rental place***.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the tips! If the rivers and creeks are blown out it will still be an awesome trip. I've never been to that part of the country so just to be there and take it all in the first time will be fun.

                          I've been to Colorado a bunch so that will just be an added bonus, especially getting to see one of my favorite bands perform for a few nights at Red Rocks.

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                          • #14
                            When y’all go out there to fish do you take your own boots and waders or rent some when you get there? I was planning on taking a few rods but wasn’t sure on the other.

                            Looks like we are staying in Missoula for a few days then heading up to Glacier for a few days and then flying to Denver for the rest of the trip.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wookie View Post
                              When y’all go out there to fish do you take your own boots and waders or rent some when you get there? I was planning on taking a few rods but wasn’t sure on the other.

                              Looks like we are staying in Missoula for a few days then heading up to Glacier for a few days and then flying to Denver for the rest of the trip.
                              I store my waders, boots and some other fishing stuff in a secure (as much as secure can be) in a checked piece of luggage. I carry-on my rods and reels. Done this for years with no problems. I guess if the stuff in the checked piece of luggage is lost or whatever, I can replace it. Hard to replace my go-to travel rods and reels. I just like having my own stuff when I fish. Others may do it differently. But, this is what I have always done.

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