Missouri River Montana Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Missouri River

Deeply entrenched in the history of the expansion of the United States, the Missouri River serves many roles in the communities it flows through, from fueling the agriculture of Montana and other Western states to providing ample recreational fishing and boating opportunities.

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  • The Missouri River is the longest river in the United States, flowing over 2300 miles.
  • The Upper Missouri River, MT is designated as "Wild and Scenic" and flows through areas seldom seen by all but the most intrepid explorers.
  • Considered one of the premiere canoeing locations in the United States.

Overview

Few rivers hold the romantic allure and historical presence of the Missouri River in Montana.  When Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out to map the uncharted territories in 1803, they began their journey on the fabled waters of the Missouri.  Historic sites and remnants of their travels can still be found throughout the course of the Missouri River to its headwaters in Three Forks, Montana.  Flowing over 2,300 miles from the upper reaches of the Jefferson River to the Mississippi River in Missouri, the Missouri River is the longest river in the United States.

Scenery

The flow of the Missouri River through Montana provides a snapshot of Montana itself, rambling and rolling through mountains, valleys, canyons, wind swept prairie, and some of the remotest parts of the Untited States.  For 150 miles downstream from Great Falls to Fort Peck Lake, the Upper Missouri River is designated as "Wild and Scenic" and flows through areas seldom seen by all but the most intrepid explorers.

Paddling

The Upper Missouri River, Montana is one of the premiere canoeing locations in the United States.  Part of the National Wild and Scenic River System, paddle through breathtaking canyons and into the prairie country of central Montana.  Rafting and driftboats are slower and require more work to make your way downstream, therefore canoes and kayaks are the vessel of choice for the Upper Missouri River.

Fishing

Explore the river by boat!  Stretches of prime trout habitat lure fisherman from all over the country, and ideal lake fishing conditions exist on many of the lakes and reservoirs along its path.

  • Best Time to Fish: In late spring and summer, Missouri River fishing is all about trout -- they are front and center as the main attraction and hatches like Midges, Baetis, Tiny olives, P.M.D.'s, black, tan, and October Caddis, and Tricos bring lots of fish to the surface. Hoppers, damselflies, ants, and beetles also attract trout near river banks. Many larger trout, especially browns, are caught on streamers.
  • Best Place to Fish: The Missouri offers a lot of great wading water as well as several zones where boats are preferred for fishing, and that’s definitely an area that local guides, suppliers and outfitters listed here can assist you. They’ve been fishing here for years and have the passion and experience to help both novice and experienced anglers be more successful and suggest the best spots to fish the Missouri via route 287, Interstate 15 and other side roads.

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Other Missouri River Resources

Swan River

Great recreation corridor in northwest Montana.