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BIGHORN ANGLER - Kiene's Premier Destination
Destination Overview

If you are like us at Kienes Fly Fishing Travel and like to focus on casting to thousands of wild trout, and we do mean literally thousands of wild rainbows and browns, the Bighorn Angler is your first and last stop! Owners Steve Galletta and Pate Shanafelt not only guide but also run an immaculate fly shop and lodge.


The Bighorn river is one of the world’s most legendary tailwater fisheries. On average, the fish population is a whopping 6000 wild trout per mile! Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has not planted a trout in a Montana river since the 1970’s, so when we say wild, we mean wild! The fish naturally reproduce in the pristine waters of Montana, which means they pull hard.


Steve Galletta has guided the waters of the Bighorn for more than a decade, is a published author on fly fishing the Bighorn, and with business partner Pete Shanafelt acquired the Bighorn Angler in 2012.


Steve and Pete have done an incredible job ramping up the operation and creating the most affordable and quality experience possible on the Bighorn River. Enjoy amazing fly fishing, superior meals and real attention to details in the affordable and comfortable accommodations.

The Bighorn Angler can host you alone or a group of up to 70!


Let Kienes Fly Fishing Travel book your trip to this trout rich river and well run operation on the fabled Big Horn!


At a Glance

Location: Fort Smith, MT

Target Fish: Rainbow trout, Brown trout

Time of Year: Year-round!

Lodge Capacity: Can accommodate groups of all sizes, up to 70

Nearest Airport: Billings Logan International Airport (BIL)

Documents Required: Montana fishing license

Fishing Program

The Bighorn River is a classic tailwater river, with about 30 miles of very productive water. There are 3 distinct sections and each section has it’s virtues. Each section will  vary in temperature, aquatic insect life, hatches, fish behavior and geography.


The guides of the Bighorn Angler know the river intimately (that is an understatement) and will get you into great fishing.


The river begins in Wyoming and enters Yellowtail Dam. You will fish the waters below the dam in Montana. The Bighorn is like a large spring creek, with much insect and crustacean life.


Browns and Rainbows thrive in these rich stable waters. Fish average 15 or more inches and can push to 20 and larger. Terrific fishing exists year round, this due to the tailwater and temperature of the water.


You will float in comfortable boats with experienced guides. You will fish from the boat at times and also wade to stalk big fish. Your day on the water will include a nice shore lunch and beverages.



Bighorn Angler offers a wide array of lodging options consisting of lodge rooms, cabins and custom homes to accommodate angling groups of any size. Whether you are making your first trip to the Bighorn River or an annual visit, the knowledgeable staff can help you find the lodging option that is right for you.


Bighorn Angler Lodge Rooms

Remodeled in 2012 these lodge rooms offer anglers the best mix of quality, convenience and price in Fort Smith. These motel style rooms come with either two or three beds. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, high quality bedding and towels, flat screen TV, satellite television and wireless internet, which make them the perfect retreat after a long day on the river. Pets upon approval.


Deluxe Lodge Rooms

The deluxe lodge rooms are similar to standard rooms except they are slightly larger in size, have two queen beds instead of two twin XL beds and have front porches also. Flat screen TV, wi-fi, mini-fridge and microwave also included. No Pets.


Bighorn Angler Cabins

New in2014,  these cabins are located at the Bighorn Angler. The cabins have two bedrooms, one bath, kitchen and sitting area along with a nice covered front porch. Air conditioning, wi-fi, 50″ flat screen TV, satellite cable, towels, bedding, dinnerware, cooking utensils and a grill are also provided. No Pets.


Riverbend Angler Cabins

Two identical luxury cabins, located on the bluff about one mile outside of Fort Smith, Montana with over 40 acres of private land and a quarter mile of Bighorn River frontage, providing a priceless view of the river. Each cabin is 2000 square feet with 3 bedrooms and two full bathrooms.


There are 6 beds in each cabin and blowup mattresses can be provided upon request. Furnace, fireplace and air conditioning! The kitchen has all stainless steel appliances, concrete countertops, wine rack, herbs and spices for cooking, pots, pans, dishes, silverware….all the amenities of a gourmet kitchen.


The living area has extremely comfortable leather furniture, reading lamps, fireplace, and a 50 inch plasma television with surround sound, DVD player, and satellite TV. And again, the extraordinary view of the Bighorn River! Cabins also have grills on the wrap around porches, wi-fi internet access and pets are welcome.


Riverview Lodge

You will not find a nicer property to rent on the Bighorn than this. Consisting of 4 bedrooms and two and a half baths this property accommodates groups of 8 anglers with ease. In addition to these four bedrooms you will find a chef’s kitchen, large family room with fireplace, laundry room and a covered wrap around deck with the finest views of the river. Barbecue grill, wi-fi, satellite TV, bedding and towels are also provided. No Pets.


Trout House

The Trout House is a well-maintained modular home located two streets behind the fly shop right in Fort Smith. The house features 3 bedrooms with 2 queen beds and two sets of bunk beds. A nice kitchen, family room, deck, satellite TV, internet, washer and dryer make this an ideal location for anglers, especially those looking to prepare their own meals.


Dining at Bighorn Angler

The Bighorn Angler offers dining services from April – October for our lodging guests only.  Breakfast is a Deluxe Continental Breakfast including fresh ground coffee, cereal, bagels, muffins, yogurt and a hot breakfast sandwich or burrito each morning. This is available from 6:30 – 8:00am each morning. 


Dinner is prepared from scratch each night by the in house chef. Each meal consists of a salad, entree and dessert. The menu is set nightly ahead of time. They can accommodate food allergies and gluten restrictions when notified in advance. Please make your reservation for meals at the time of booking your trip. Last minute requests for food cannot always be accommodated

Getting There

Make travel arrangements to Billings, MT. Billings has a nice airport serviced by several major airlines.


Driving From Billings, Montana

Fort Smith is located approximately 90 miles south east of Billings, Montana. 


From Billings International Airport drive east on Interstate 94, then exit on to I-90 south to Hardin. Take the first Hardin exit, where you will see signs for Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area and Yellowtail Dam. Once you get off the exit turn right. In a half mile veer right where the road forks.  Once you reach the four way stop, go straight then cross the railroad tracks on the outskirts of town.


You are now on Hwy 313.  Follow Hwy 313 about 20 miles. You will reach the town of St. Xavier.  Make a left in St. Xavier, you will remain on Hwy 313.  In about another 20 miles you will have reached the town of Fort Smith.  The Bighorn Angler Fly Shop is located just to the left of the Yellowtail Market.


Driving From Sheridan, Wyoming

Take I-90 approximately 50 miles west of Sheridan, Wyoming.  Get off I-90 at the Lodge Grass Exit. Make a left off the exit and go through town veering left after the railroad tracks.  About 5 miles outside of town make a right on Good Luck Road towards Fort Smith.


Take this road about 20 miles until it ends at Hwy 313 and turn left. In approximately 17 miles you will arrive in Fort Smith.  The Bighorn Angler is located just to the left of the Yellowtail Market.


Bighorn Angler Lodge Room Package w/Guided Fishing – most popular package!

Based on Double Occupancy Lodging, one guide boat and all meals. Montana lodging tax included. Price per person.

5 Nights / 4 Fishing Days       $1,460

4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days       $1,120

3 Nights / 2 Fishing Days       $ 775

Bighorn Angler Deluxe Lodge Room w/Guided Fishing

Based on Double Occupancy Lodging, one guide boat and all meals. Montana lodging tax included. Price per person.

5 Nights / 4 Fishing Days       $1,540

4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days       $1,180

3 Nights / 2 Fishing Days       $ 825

Bighorn Angler Cabin w/Guided Fishing

Based on 2 anglers in the cabin with one guide.

All meals are included. Lodging tax included. Price per person.

5 Night/4 Fishing Days           $1,660

4 Night/3 Fishing Days           $1,280

3 Night/2 Fishing Days           $ 895

Bighorn Angler Cabin w/Guided Fishing

Based on 4 anglers in the cabin with two guides.

All meals are included. Montana lodging tax included. Price per person.

5 Nights / 4 Fishing Days       $1,490

4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days       $1,145

3 Nights / 2 Fishing Days       $ 795

Riverview Lodge w/Guided Fishing

Based on 4 anglers with 2 guides and all meals. Montana lodging tax included. Price per person.

5 Night/4 Fishing Days           $1,925

4 Night/3 Fishing Days           $1,490

3 Night/2 Fishing Days           $1,060

Riverview Lodge w/Guided Fishing

Based on 8 anglers with 4 guides and all meals. Montana lodging tax included. Price per person.

5 Nights / 4 Fishing Days       $1,560

4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days       $1,200

3 Nights / 2 Fishing Days       $ 840

Riverbend Angler Cabin w/Guided Fishing

Based on 6 anglers with 3 guides and all meals. Montana lodging tax included. Price per person.

5 Nights / 4 Fishing Days       $1,550

4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days       $1,190

3 Nights / 2 Fishing Days       $ 830

Packages Include: meals as specified, guided fishing, daily streamside lunch, non-alcoholic beverages, shuttle fees, Montana state Lodging Tax.

Not Included: Transportation to/from Fort Smith, Montana fishing license, gratuities for guides and staff.

To book any of our trips give us a call to start the process
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