FIVE RIVERS LODGE
I want to tell you what a GREAT PERSON you have working the Travel Department at Kienes Fly Shop.
Cathy Keaton went the extra mile in setting up a trip for my Son and I on our Birthdays in August at the FIVE RIVERS LODGE, Dillon, Montana.
The Lodge owner Jay Burgin did an awesome job of hosting us, went overboard to make us feel welcome.
What a GREAT FACILITY and SERVICE they offer. A place everyone should consider booking .
You have a Super Travel Team and Destinations
- RAY M.
Five Rivers Lodge rests in a picture perfect setting and in very close proximity to five wild trout filled rivers! On a hill, the Lodge takes advantage of spectacular mountain views, amazing sunsets, and a sky which stretches forever. The sky really is bigger here!
You will fish the Beaverhead, Big Hole, Ruby, Jefferson, and Madison rivers. No matter what time of the fishing season it is, at least one or two of these rivers are fishing well. The trout in these rivers are all wild, with no planting of fish. Montana quit planting trout in the 1970’s which means the trout eat flies and pull hard!
Five Rivers Lodge is located between the small college town of Dillon and Twin Bridges in the Beaverhead Valley. This area of Southwest Montana is also a haven for an abundance of birds, waterfowl, and wildlife. The high mountain prairies are crisscrossed by numerous small streams and rivers encased by the stunning mountains.
The streams and rivers flow north and eastward on the Lewis and Clark Trail. They all come together just below the town of Three Forks, MT where they create the headwaters of the Missouri River.
The area’s history is rich, and the lodge look directly out on Beaverhead Rock! This is where Lewis and Clark halted their boat travel and went on to the Pacific by horse and on foot.
Five Rivers Lodge is a place where Kienes Fly Fishing Travel has sent many happy customers. It is simply an epic Montana adventure!
At a Glance
Location: Beaverhead Valley near Dillon, MT
Target Fish: Rainbow, Cutthroat, Brown and Brook trout
Time of Year: Early May – Mid-October
Lodge Capacity: 20
Nearest Airports: Dillon County Airport (15 mins). Butte Burt Mooney Airport (1 hour). Belgrade/Bozeman Airport (1 hour 45 mins)
Documents Required: Montana fishing license
Southwest Montana is becoming known by many people as "the Mecca of fly fishing in the lower US." This area has some of the most famous rivers in the West. The trophy trout Beaverhead, Big Hole, Jefferson, Ruby, and Madison rivers are known as high quality blue ribbon wild trout streams.
In Southwest Montana, these rivers are probably the most diverse geographically and possess very big benefits for anglers. First, all of the rivers are located in close proximity to each other, allowing many different options for each day's fishing.
Second, this diversity allows anglers to experience different conditions, water structure, and scenery for each day of fishing. An angler can literally float a different stretch of water for 30 days straight without ever fishing the same water twice.
The weather and river conditions may differ markedly among the various rivers. While one river may be running high due to run off, an angler can usually venture to another river nearby which is running clear.
Most guided trips are float/wade trips. On float/wade trips, anglers fish from the drift boat while going between riffles/runs and then get out of the boat to fish as much as they want and as river conditions allow.
These rivers run through scenery as diverse as the waters themselves. The rivers wind their way with high mountains on one side and grasslands where cattle and wild life graze on the other side. They slip through deep beautiful canyons; take you into broad prairies green with native grasses; and, lead you to ponder the past where the river banks are lined with aged Cottonwood and stately Birch trees.
Brown trout are the predominate fish in the rivers of this area. These Brown trout act more like Rainbows. They tend to get acrobatic and go airborne 50% of the time. Some trout have even found a way to escape the net by jumping directly into the boat! The area also hosts a good population of Rainbow, Cutthroat, and Brook trout. The Big Hole River is home to the last of the native Grayling in the lower United States.
The lodge opens for the season at the first of May, depending on conditions, for the start of the fabulous Mother's Day Caddis hatch on the Big Hole River. The Lodge remains open through the middle of October. The fishing in the earlier part of the season is great for casting to fish that haven't seen a fly for six months. The fishing season gets started in earnest the third Saturday of May, when all the sections of the Beaverhead and Big Hole rivers open to fishing. Fall fishing can be great using a combination of dry flies, nymphs and streamers. You can usually count on nice fishable weather into October.
The 69-mile-long journey of the Beaverhead River begins at the outlet of the Clark Canyon Reservoir, an irrigation storage facility built in 1964. The Beaverhead River is divided into two distinct sections with unique fishing conditions. After being joined by the Ruby River, the Beaverhead then joins the Big Hole River at Twin Bridges to form the Jefferson River.
Brown Trout dominate the river, with the upper section of the Beaverhead containing about 15% large rainbow trout. The upper portion of the Beaverhead, stretching about 12 miles from the Clark Canyon Reservoir to Barretts Diversion Dam, is the most fished section. Many anglers believe this section is one of the top three or four waters to fish in the lower US. The outflow from the reservoir pumps cold water into the Beaverhead river, making it the coldest section of the river and provides excellent habitat for large rainbows and brown trout.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist routinely shocked the river to determine the health, size and numbers of fish in the river. According to them, there are approximately 1500 fish larger than 23 inches per mile in this section. This is why it is true trophy water! Including fish under 23 inches, the total number of fish per mile is approximately 3,800. Doing your math means a trophy trout every 20 feet of river! A four pound trout for every two rod lengths.
Overhanging willows and cottonwoods line the banks of this fast-flowing stretch. Wading can be very difficult because of the brushy banks and steep cliffs. Floating the Beaverhead River is by far the easiest and most productive way to fish this section. The Brown Trout in this section have been aptly named the "freshwater Tarpon" because they are not only large, but have a very nasty disposition and dislike people! Many of these fish will straighten or break the hook, snap the tippet or wrap your line around anything they can find. They are just nasty wild fish, so hang on!
Below Barretts Dam, the Beaverhead River flows into the valley where irrigation plays a major role. Because irrigation diverts nearly half of the river water, the river is classic brown trout water with deep undercut banks, overhanging bushes and submerged roots. While wade fishing is much easier here, accessing the river can be difficult because it flows primarily through private lands. The stretch of water from Dillon downstream to the confluence with the Ruby River holds substantially larger fish. For anglers looking for a more secluded walk-wade or float, the guides at Five Rivers Lodge have the knowledge and access to many of the best fishing areas on the lower Beaverhead River where access is almost nonexistent because of private farmland.
Big Hole River
The Big Hole River is free flowing its entire course and one of the last undammed rivers in the west. The Big Hole River extends over 150 miles from its modest beginnings in the Beaverhead Mountains of southwest Montana to its confluence with the Beaverhead River near Twin Bridges to form the Jefferson River.
The Big Hole has been designated as a “Blue Ribbon” fishery. The Big Hole River is one of the prettiest rivers in Montana and a float through Maiden Rock Canyon section is one of the top ten most beautiful floats in the lower US.
The Upper Big Hole River is home to the last native stream-dwelling population of Arctic grayling in the lower 48 states. This has prompted many significant private partnerships and cooperative efforts to ensure the protection of this valuable population.
In the last five years people have spotted nice size grayling in the middle sections of the river, again proving that conservation does work. Starting with several sections above the town of Wise River you can float nine different all-day float/wade sections.
In seven of those nine sections the scenery and water structure are different, so it feels like you're fishing seven different rivers. Every year, in the first part of May, there is a tremendous Mother’s Day Caddis Fly hatch and sometimes the hatch is so thick it is hard to see the water!
The Big Hole’s mid-June emergence of the famous “Salmonfly Hatch” starts off the summer fishing season. The chance to throw two-inch -long dry flies for trout averaging eighteen inches is a rare treat. Fishing above and below the "Salmonfly Hatch" can be extremely productive fishing with Salmonfly nymphs. This also can greatly extend the time frame for being there exactly at the right time when the “hatch" is on.
Dry fly fishing for rainbows and browns continues in July, August and September with prolific hatches of caddis, mayflies and lesser stoneflies. During August, the Big Hole River is seeing lots of grasshoppers, ants and other terrestrials that can provide excellent and exciting action as well. This is a great time to use a hopper/dropper combination. In late August and in September Tricos blanket the river in the mornings, while the afternoons can provide tremendous caddis hatches.
The first freeze of autumn occurs in early September, cooling the waters and is the time the big Browns prepare for spawning, their color matching the golden-turning cottonwood trees along the river’s banks. For those anglers who love to throw streamers, this is a very productive and exciting time of the season. Then in October, the Big Hole River provides excellent fishing using nymphs, Caddis and Red Quill imitations during the warm Indian summer days. During this time the trees, like the Brown Trout, wear the brilliant colors of fall.
Combining great fishing with ever-changing beautiful scenery makes the Big Hole River a special angling experience. Be sure to take your camera along for times when you may encounter moose blocking your path in the river, Bighorn Sheep grazing at the river's edge, Golden and Bald eagles close by in trees and the many deer and elk grazing in the meadows along the river banks. The camera also comes in handy for taking great photographs of your fish.
The Jefferson River begins near Twin Bridges, MT, with the confluence of the Beaverhead, Big Hole, and Ruby Rivers. It flows northeasterly 79 miles to Three Forks, where it joins the Gallatin and Madison Rivers to form the Headwaters of Missouri River at Missouri River Head waters State Park. From the town of Twin Bridges, the Jefferson River meanders through grassy valleys between The Continental Divide on the west and the Tobacco Root Mountains on the east to the town of Whitehall.
The Jefferson River is often overlooked by anglers and therefore is under-fished. Lack of housing and development along its banks provides anglers with a sense of solitude combined with unbelievable scenery. Every turn of the river, one feels they could meet Lewis and Clark's expedition coming upstream. On the Jefferson River, seeing one or two other boats is a rarity and is considered to be a crowd. In the last seven or eight years the Jefferson has become a trophy Trout River, rivaling the upper Beaverhead for this honor.
During the summer, large rainbow and brown trout race to explode on your grasshopper pattern. The Jefferson River, or as it is fondly known, The "Jeff", offers hatches of caddis, baetis, summer stones, flying ants and other terrestrials. Because of the limited access along the entire length of the river, the best fishing is from the boat, getting out and fishing the riffles, runs, and the many side channels the river has to offer. From spring through the fall the "Jeff" may have the best fishing using streamers and rubber leg patterns of any of the rivers in Southwest Montana.
The Ruby River, if not the best small fishery in Montana certainly makes the list of one of the top two. Starting in the Beaverhead National Forest, the Ruby River flows into the Ruby reservoir. When the water leaves the dam, this tailwater river flows between The Tobacco Root Mountains to the northeast and The Ruby Mountains to the southeast. The Ruby joins the Beaverhead just above the Town of Twin Bridges and then flows eastward to join with the Big Hole River. At this point, the three rivers merge and become the origin of the Jefferson River.
The Ruby River, in most places, is only 30 to 60 feet wide making a very wade friendly river to fish. It is surprising this small stream can be home to the quality of trout found there. Brown trout up to 20"are tucked under over-hanging willows; at the base of riffles; or, tight to the rock- strewn banks throughout its entire length. The Ruby River is a challenging fishery because of its size and tight casting. Anglers need to be aware of their back-cast because of the willows and bushes lining the bank. The rewards are well worth it.
The river is considered to be one of Montana's prime grasshopper fishing rivers. Hopper fishing on the Ruby River begins earliest of any of the rivers in the area, using small green hoppers. The fishing using grasshopper patterns will continue into October. In June there are hatches of Pale Morning Duns and Little Yellow Sallies which continue till mid-August.
Trico's start to appear in late July and continue through most of September and the baetis hatches will start around September 1st. Ants, beetles and other terrestrials produce good results throughout the summer season. For those anglers who like to wade small water, many will be reminded of some of their favorite streams back home. Anglers find the Ruby River to be both a beautiful and rewarding experience.
The Madison River originates in Yellowstone National Park at the junction of the Firehole and Gibbon rivers. The Madison flows in a northerly direction for 140 miles to Three Forks, MT, where it joins the Jefferson and Gallatin Rivers to form the Missouri River. From its source in the park, the Madison flows across a high conifer-forested plateau.
Its journey is interrupted by two man-made impoundments: Hebgen Reservoir, located one and one-half miles below the park boundary, and Ennis Reservoir, 58 miles downstream from Hebgen. Just below Hebgen Lake, the Madison feeds Quake Lake, a natural lake formed by an earth slide during a major earthquake in 1959.
Below Quake Lake, the Madison hurries down the valley towards Ennis at a steady 7 mph. This section of the Madison River is known as a 58 mile-long riffle. The river has boulder strewn pocket water, deep channels, and shelves of bug-rich gravel. The fish on the Madison are strong and numerous.
The Madison is one of Montana’s premier wild trout rivers. Due to its national reputation, good access, high scenic value, and excellent wild trout populations, the river has been classified as a “Blue Ribbon” trout stream. The Madison River is certainly one of the most famous rivers in the Western United States. It is also famous for its Salmonfly hatch which typically occurs the last week of June through the middle of July.
In July there is a hatch of Little Yellow Sallies and caddis galore. The hopper fishing in August and into October draws vicious takes by large brown trout. Different nymph patterns work throughout the season.
All in all, fishing the Madison is an outstanding experience with the opportunity for large trout in a valley framed by beautiful scenery.
At Five Rivers Lodge some of the West's most spectacular scenery is at your doorstep. The lodge's common rooms, dining room, bar and hors d'oeuvre area, numerous sitting areas, and expansive decks were designed to enjoy these awesome views.
The Lodge library has hundreds of books, including books on fly fishing Montana, cooking and Montana wildlife. After a day fly fishing, a variety of areas provide relaxing places to exchange experiences and stories. Guests find this a great place to meet new friends and renew old friendships.
After a shower, you can refresh yourself at the hors d'oeuvre and bar area with a refrigerator stocked with beverages, a creel full of candy and post cards with stamps for you to mail home. A staff member is always available to help you. Or, guests take their favorite beverage out on the deck and watch the day come to a close before enjoying their dinner in the spacious dining room. The Lodge has wireless Internet access and generally good cell phone service. The office has a fax machine and printer if needed.
Each of the large bedrooms has two custom-made king-size beds which are separated by a half wall and are designed so guests don't need to raise their heads to see the views of mountains out the windows. The bathrooms are compartmentalized to accommodate two people getting ready at the same time. All the rooms have sitting areas to relax indoors. Bedroom doors lead to expansive decks where you can take-in the majestic mountain vistas and smell the fresh mountain air.
Your dinner is accompanied by the sun setting in the West over the Pioneer Mountains. The four and five course dinners at the lodge are made in-house and incorporate the best and freshest of local ingredients. Such ingredients are used in dishes like the Montana Wild Huckleberry vinaigrette; in-house smoked pulled pork tamales; Chilean empanadas; and, homemade Montana Wild Huckleberry ice cream.
After dinner, relax with a beverage on the expansive deck. On a clear night you can see an abundance of bright stars. Remember to wish on the first star you see and relive your day and dream of tomorrow's adventure.
The Bozeman, MT airport, with over 30 flights daily, is an easy hour and 45 minute drive. It is served by Delta, United, Frontier, and Horizon Airlines. Many of the flights into the Bozeman airport are either direct or only need one transfer. The Dillon County Airport is 15 minutes from the lodge, with an excellent fixed base operator and a landing strip which accommodates large corporate jets. The airport in Butte, MT is an hour away and has a very limited number of flights and is served by Delta through Salt Lake City.
Directions from Belgrade/Bozeman Airport (BZN) Bozeman Airport:
Estimate driving time: approximately 2 hours daylight driving. Allow more time at dusk, sunrise and night.
Turn right out of Belgrade/Bozeman Airport and travel west into the town of Belgrade. Belgrade's main east-west road on which you are traveling has a stop sign and then a signal light. At the signal light, you will see a sign to I-90 Interstate entrance.
Turn left at this signal light and go over the railroad tracks. Pass Alberton's grocery on your right and gas stations/fast food places on your left.
Turn right at the over-pass entrance to I-90 and go west. I-90 takes you past Manhattan and Three Forks ("Wheat Montana" has sandwiches and soups). Go over the mountain pass and turn at the Whitehall exit.
Go left under I-90 Interstate into Whitehall. Go on this street several blocks until you come to a T-stop. Turn right and travel for several (2-3+) blocks. Bear left (south) over the railroad tracks where a junction/T-intersection signs says Highway 41/55. Sign probably includes Dillon; and/or Twin Bridges; and/or Virginia City.
Travel about 12 miles +/- to a blinking light. Go through the blinking light and continue on Highway 41/55 for about 14 miles. You pass through Silver Star (reduce speed; watch for highway patrol) and continue to the center of Twin Bridges (population 400-500).
At Twin Bridges, make a right at the flashing light. Follow signs for 41 South to Dillon. We are 15 miles from Twin Bridges.
Continue until you see the Five Rivers Lodge Adopt-a-Highway signs and a pull out for Beaverhead Rock lookout on your right.
From the Beaverhead Rock observation point, you can see a large grey-green building on your left, which is Five Rivers Lodge. Go past the lodge and up the small hill. The lodge driveway is on your left. At the driveway entrance is a small Five Rivers Lodge sign on the fence. A mailbox and address sign are both numbered 12530.
Follow the drive down the hill, across the ponds, and go up the hill in front of you to the lodge. See you there!
2016 Rates Lodging and Fishing Packages (per person based on double occupancy, two anglers per guide)
3 day/ 4 night - $ 2,395.00
4 day/ 5 night - $ 2,995.00
5 day/ 6 night - $ 3,625.00
6 day/ 7 night - $ 4,095.00
Package Includes: Accommodations, meals, beverages, guided fishing, and loaner rods/reel/waders/boots and laundry services.
Not included: Fishing licenses, guide and staff gratuities, fly shop items, and private water fees, airfares and airport shuttles. Airport shuttles can be arranged for an extra charge.