Enjoy a Guided Fly Fishing Trip on the Jefferson River
Sunrise Fly Shop provides guided Jefferson River Fly Fishing float trips that will put you on the big browns and rainbows of the uncrowded Jefferson River. The Jefferson River originates at the junction of the Big Hole River and Beaverhead River, and runs northeasterly 77 miles to Three Forks, where it joins the Madison River and Gallatin rivers to form the Missouri River. The Jefferson River winds through a grassy valley between the Continental Divide on the west and the Tobacco Root Mountains on the east, providing wonderful views and vistas as you float down the river. Southwest Montana Fly Fishing is known for its trophy-sized trout that seem to lurk under every cut-bank. From skwallas to hoppers, the Jefferson River is one of the most entertaining rivers to throw big foam dry flies and wait for those explosive takes.
Don’t Overlook the Jefferson
The Jefferson River meanders widely through a grassy valley between the Continental Divide on the west and the Tobacco Root Mountains on the east, providing wonderful views and vistas as you float down the river. Southwest Montana Fly Fishing is known for its trophy-sized trout that seem to lurk under every cut-bank. From skwallas to hoppers, the Jefferson River is one of the most entertaining rivers to throw big foam dry flies and wait for that explosive take.
Jefferson River Fly Fishing
Montana fly fishing has many famous must fish rivers. One river that gets overlooked is the Jefferson River. After years of struggling with dewatering problems on the Jefferson River, work has been done to improve this trout fishery. Solitude and the chance of a trophy trout is a reason to fly fish on the Jefferson River. During spring, you will have a short period of dry fly fishing with some excellent streamer fishing. Summer typically gets going on the Jefferson in July, with a fantastic nocturnal stonefly hatch. Grasshopper fishing in August on the Jefferson is a must for every fly angler to experience. One of the preferred methods for summer fly fishing the Jefferson River is to throw big hopper patterns. In the fall you will find solid Blue Winged Olive hatches.
Monsters of the Jefferson River
Several of Sunrise Fly Shop’s clients have caught the largest brown trout of their life on the Jefferson River. The Jefferson is not a river where you can expect 50 fish days like you can have fly fishing on the Beaverhead River or the Big Hole River, but the Jefferson is a special place to hunt for the fish of a lifetime.
Seasons on the Jefferson River
Expand any of the seasons below to view specific details about the river and hatches for the given season.
Hatches: Midges, Blue Winged Olives, Caddis
When the ice begins to melt and the water opens, you will start to see Skwalas crawling on the banks of the Jefferson River. From mid-April until early runoff, you can expect to find the trout of the Jefferson River looking for this smaller stonefly in both its adult and nymph phase. Dropping a stonefly nymph under a larger Skwala dry is a great technique to find one the Jefferson’s fames gigantic brown trout. Like all Montana rivers, spring water conditions can be variable, but if you hit the river when conditions are right, you are likely to find some of the best fishing of the year.
Hatches: Blue Winged Olives, Pale Morning Duns, Yellow Sallies, Hoppers, Crane Flies, Caddis, Tricos
After the spring runoff subsides and the water begins to clear, typically in late June, the summer season on the Jefferson River begins. With exceptional streamer fishing, golden stones, PMDs, and an assortment of different mayflies, the Jefferson River is a spectacular summer fishery. In August when the early summer hatches begin to subside and the water gets lower, terrestrials like hoppers, beetles, and ants become the predominant insect life on the river. Throwing terrestrial dies with a small bead head dropper in August and September is one of the best producing combinations on the Jefferson River.
Hatches: Pale Morning Duns, Tricos, Hoppers, Crane Flies, Blue Winged Olives
When the leaves begin to turn colors and the water temperature starts to drop into the 50’s, that means one thing on the Jefferson River. Streamer Season. Fall streamer fishing on the Jefferson is some of the best streamer fishing in Southwest Montana. Stripping large, articulated streamers in late September and October can produce some of the largest trout of the year.