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Montana Bighorn Fishing & Upland

Overview

Montana Bighorn Fishing & Upland

Montana is the sportsman’s dream state! This Montana Bighorn fishing lodge is no exception with fabulous fly fishing on the famed upper and lower Bighorn River.  They also have great wild bird hunting for Hungarian Partridge, Grouse and Pheasant as well. Combine the two in September or later for a fantastic cast and blast combination.

Exceptional personal service for small groups of hunters and fishermen/women is the standard set by lodge managers John and Rebecca. You will not find a formal resort here; instead, you will find a second home in Montana where your every need is met by a seasoned, friendly and professional staff. You will also find some of the world’s best fly fishing and bird hunting opportunities. Bighorn fishing will remind you why you love to fish.Montana Bighorn Fishing & Upland

John and Rebecca enjoy a high return of past clients which means that you will want to call long before your desired fishing trip.  For the hunter that loves a challenging bird hunt, you will want to be in excellent walking shape as these birds are truly wild birds.  The cast and blast here is filled with excellent opportunities for those that are up to the challenge of strenuous hiking for the birds.

 

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Top 10

Species: Brown and Rainbow Trout; Sharptail Grouse, Hungarian partridge, pheasant
Capacity: 14 people
Location: Near Billings, Montana on the Lower Bighorn River
Season: Fishing - May through November Birds - October and November
Method: Fly Fishing and shotguns
Lodging: Classic Montana upscale lodge (seven rooms)
Food: Chef
Trip Length: Two to five days or longer if you wish
Transport: Guides vehicles and McKenzie-style drift boats
Guided: 2x1 Guided
Weather:

Shooting

South Central Montana boasts some of the best and most exciting wild upland bird hunting anywhere in the nation. This is the country where great buffalo herds once roamed, where pioneers struggled to carve out a new destiny and where Custer met his fate. The hillsides, valleys, creeks and fields of the Big Horn area offer a mixed bag of pheasant, Hungarian partridge and sharptail grouse. Throughout much of the season all species can be hunted and are very often encountered in the same habitat.

This lodge has secured leases on more than 40,000 acres of ranch and farmland that is rich in upland birds. Wild bird hunts are managed by taking only a limited number of hunters each year. By rotating between several different areas, the staff can insure excellent hunting throughout the entire season.

The shooting is demanding, but the birds are abundant and most shooters stand a good chance of filling their quotas each day. To help in that regard, the lodge offers a complimentary sporting clay course, complete with professional instruction to all their guests. For those wishing for a less rigorous hunt, the lodge can provide managed hunts for hard flying released birds on one of their two 1200 acres shooting preserves.

Hunting Style:

The hunts are conducted in traditional western style over pointing dogs and flushers. Knowledgeable guides and excellent dog work are the fundamentals of each and every hunt. Guests typically hunt in pairs with one guide and a team of dogs. The lodge offers an indoor championship kennel facility should you wish to bring and hunt your own dog(s). All game is cleaned, processed and packaged for your departure. Guests wishing to have their game shipped may do so for the cost of shipping.

All hunting is on foot. You will want to be in good shape for this hunt!

Cast and Blast Combo trips:

The “Cast and Blast” package is one of the most popular options and there are few places in the country that can offer wild upland hunting this good in combination with fishing a river like the Big Horn. In the fall, you can combine fly fishing and upland bird hunting in the same package, making it the ultimate “grand slam” outdoor experience!

Fishing

The Bighorn River is indisputably one of the finest fisheries in the world, providing miles and miles of blue ribbon water for rainbow and brown trout. Its cool temperatures and steady flow, combined with prolific insect life, provide an ideal environment for trophy trout.

The Bighorn holds a greater number of large trout – fish in the 15-20 inch range – than any river in the United States. With around 8,000 trout per mile, it is not uncommon for an average angler to land 20 fish between 15-20 inches in a day, and most manage to hook into fish over the 20 inch mark during their stay.

Host to phenomenal fly hatches nearly year round, the Bighorn provides excellent fishing from April through November. However, June through August is considered prime season. As a tailwater fishery, heavy run-off is never a problem, making it one of the few fisheries where fishing is good in the spring and fall.

This lodge is also one of the few outfits to guide on both the upper and lower stretches of the Bighorn. Their experience on the lower Bighorn presents opportunities for exceptionally large trout and allows guests to fish this world famous river in near solitude. Bighorn river trips combine float fishing from McKenzie-style drift boats with traditional stalk and wade techniques.

The Fishing Guides:

The professional guides are knowledgeable, courteous and gifted with unlimited patience and enthusiasm. As qualified instructors, they can teach the fundamentals to beginners, help intermediate anglers improve their form or introduce experts to new techniques for taking trophy trout.

Fly fishing Equipment:

A first time angler can arrive almost empty handed and receive personal instruction, utilize the quality Orvis equipment and depart with the skills to begin a lifetime of fly fishing enjoyment. You can even allow the staff to assist you in purchasing your personal tools of the trade in their on site Orvis retail shop.

For the more experienced angler that wants to bring their own equipment, the equipment needed for the Big Horn can be as simple as a 5wt, 8’1/2” rod and a pair of chest waders. If you would like to bring a combination of rods, they recommend a 6wt for streamers, a 5 wt for nymphs and a 4 wt for dries. All rods for the Big Horn should be 8’ or longer. A mid to tip flex rod is preferable.

Weight forward floating lines are the general rule. Full chest waders are a must. Lightweight waders are desirable in summer and fall. Polarized sunglasses are a necessity. They do a great deal of sight fishing and being able to spot the fish is a big help. Vests, gadgets and terminal tackle items are not needed as the guides provide all of these.

Cast and Blast Combo trips:

The “Cast and Blast” package is one of the most popular options, and there are few places in the country that can offer upland hunting this good in combination with fishing a river like the Big Horn. In the fall, you can combine fly-fishing and upland bird hunting in the same package, making it the ultimate “grand slam” outdoor experience!

Lodging

Nestled amongst the cottonwoods along the Bighorn River, this lodge perfectly combines the rustic beauty of Montana with the comforts of the modern age. The lodge caters to small groups of anglers and hunters who will accept nothing short of the very finest service available.

The large screened porch, complete with log furniture and an old-time swing, provide a quiet evening retreat where guests can unwind and enjoy their surroundings. The great room – complete with wet bar and the warmth of a wood stove- greets you after an exciting day on the river or in the fields.

You will enjoy friendly, knowledgeable staff from the moment you arrive until your departure. Eight years on staff is the norm for this lodge, which is virtually unheard of in the industry.

Seven guest rooms, each decorated with an artistic touch of the Montana outdoors, include two beds and a private bath.

Dining has always been a prominent element of every guest’s stay, and many have affirmed that it is among the chief reasons for their return. Meals feature such elements as local Angus beef, racks of lamb, upland game prepared with subtle spices and home-grown herbs, wild asparagus, pies filled with Montana berries and, of course, fresh vegetables.

Activities

The property offers a small shooting setup for shotgun practice and a hot tub. You are located in a beautifully wooded area along the lower Bighorn River. Walking along the river and enjoying the meals are both highlights of this lodge. About 30 minutes away, you can enjoy the site of Custer’s Last Stand and some souvenir shops.

Rates

2016/17 Rates: Call for updated pricing

Bird hunting packages begin at $3,100 pp

Fishing packages begin at $1,900

Cast and Blast packages begin at $3,400 pp

Call for more details

FAQ

How do I get to the lodge?

You will fly into Billings, Montana and rent a car to drive to the lodge which is under an hour away.

Important Links:

Moon Phases

TRAVEL INSURANCE:  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  

Links to the companies we recommend:

Travelex Insurance       Ripcord Insurance

While we do everything in our power to protect our clients from travel problems, we cannot prevent illness, natural disasters, wars, deaths, lodge closings and more; we live in uncertain times!  The only way to protect yourself and your investment is through travel insurance. Travel insurance can provide medical coverage, cancellation due to natural disaster, illness, death in the family, lodge closings and other unknowns; in this day and time, anything is possible.  Lodges count on you to protect your investment as they cannot refund your payments due to the nature of the product they offer.

Finally, travel insurance is time-sensitive and must be purchased within a certain number of days of your deposit to cover preexisting conditions, lodge closings and other various issues.  It is still available later but the benefits may be more limited.

Both companies offer evacuation insurance in addition to their travel insurance but Ripcord has more thorough coverage in this area.

The Ripcord membership and travel Insurance provides the highest levels of medical, security, evacuation and rescue services in the industry combined with travel insurance:

  • Remote rescue services from point of injury or illness
  • Medical evacuations to the member’s home hospital of choice
  • The best evacuation and rescue triggers that include rescues for medical conditions that will result in permanent injury in addition to just requiring hospitalization
  • Security extraction services for geopolitical events and natural disasters
  • Involuntary detention resolution services for members who are held against their will
  • Consulting services from special operations veterans, paramedics, nurses, and physicians
  • Travel insurance

Testimonials

…his staff were very knowledgeable and assisted us throughout the hunt. Hunting conditions were superb, and my friend and I harvested the largest mule deer of our hunting experiences.
– Kenny
“Now that we’ve been there, we’ll probably go back every year … Thanks guys for making our 15th anniversary so memorable!”
– Mark & Tracy