Other Waters

Smaller freestones, secret creeks, private lakes


Confluence of Beaverhead, Ruby, and Big Hole Rivers to Headwaters State Park



Favorite Stretch

Kountz Bridge to Cardwell

The Jefferson River

The Jefferson is the river that every Montana angler wishes were a better fishery. Formed by three of the state's best rivers, the "Jeff" never quite lives up to is potential. There are some very real reasons for this, mainly irrigation draw downs in the late summer that limit insect growth and trout habitat. Despite the deck already being stacked against the Jeff, anglers will find some brown trout in the lower reaches and some rainbows around Silver Star. The river is not known for any major hatches nor known as a great fishery for that matter. However anglers will to swap solitude for fishing action will find that on the Jeff. The scenery is beautiful as the Tobacco Root mountains are to the south and the river cuts through a tight canyon near Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park. Anglers fishing the Jefferson will certainly see deer, eagles, and other critters and for even more adventurous anglers wild asparagus grows in certain bankside areas of the Jefferson.


A few miles on private property near Belgrade


Late-May through November

Favorite Stretch

Water on the Milesnick Ranch

Prime Hatches

Pale Morning Duns in June

Ben Hart and Thompson Spring Creeks

Three miles of Ben Hart spring creek and one mile of Thompson spring creek run through the Milesnick Ranch. Tom and Mary Kay own the ranch and book the rods on these very challenging spring creeks. These creeks are only accessible by paying a rod fee and angler must check-in with them before fishing. They also have access to nearly five miles of the East Gallatin River. They are third generation Montanans are generous hosts. The creeks are similar in appearance and fishing: Meandering meadow streams with deep holes at each bend. There are several 20-plus inch fish in both creeks, but they are not easy to hook. For discerning anglers wanting a serious challenging, either of these two creeks are sure to fulfill your desires.

Baden Ponds

A small network of spring fed ponds near Big Sky allowing prime sight-fishing to cruising trout.

Burn's Lake

A large lake near Big Timber. Ideal for early season fishing. Big fish. Cruisers, deep nymping, and streamer fishing

Story's Lake

Beautiful high mountain lake in Paradise Valley. Perfect for small dry fly fishing to rising trout.

Sitz Ranch

Several lakes and ponds offering variety of stillwater options.