From its origins at the confluence of the Ruby, Big Hole, and Beaverhead Rivers to where it converges with the Madison and Gallatin, the Jefferson River offers a unique Montana fishing experience through rugged canyons and rural agricultural fields.
Rugged, unspoiled landscapes surround the river through its roughly 80-mile course between Twin Bridges and Three Forks, Montana. Fly fishing the Jefferson River varies from year to year and is largely dependent on winter snowpack and spring moisture.
Despite heavy irrigation pressures during the summer, the Jefferson River remains a Montana fishing classic that offers solitude and big trout opportunities.
"...If you are going to fish the prolific trout rivers of the Bozeman area and its environs, I wouldn't go with any other guide or outfitter than Fins and Feathers of Bozeman. Nobody gets it done like these guys!"
Embark on the Jefferson's journey from its headwaters, carving through Montana's terrain until it reaches Cardwell. The river is formed by the confluence of the Ruby, Bighole, and Beaverhead Rivers near Twin Bridges, and thus drains an enormous portion of Southwest Montana.
Wide expanses and gentle meanders define this section. Pocket water holds the promise of Rainbow and Brown Trout in the upper sections near Twin Bridges. Brown Trout dominate the valley stretches near Whitehall, Montana.
Montana fish populations decrease in the lower Jefferson River Valley, but fewer fish equates to less angling pressure and larger, average sizes of wild trout.
Trace the Jefferson's course as it turns north, departing from US HWY 84 at Cardwell. Limited public access underscores the secluded nature of this stretch. Ideal for floating, the river yields larger Rainbow and Brown Trout, creating an authentic challenge for anglers fishing with patience and persistence.
“The Canyon” stretch offers a unique Montana fishing experience with a stunning landscape as the backdrop and relative solitude during the busiest times of the year.
Although fish numbers are lower than in other Montana Rivers near Bozeman, experienced Trout anglers appreciate the intangible benefits of Jefferson River fly fishing.
Discover solitude in the stretch leading to the Missouri River confluence. A haven for experienced anglers in the early summer or fall, this section is best explored by floating.
The river meanders through agricultural fields lined by wildlife-filled stands of Cottonwood Trees. Limited public gives an angler the feeling of wilderness fly fishing, near Bozeman.
Diverse holding water and the convergence of the Jefferson, Gallatin, and Madison Rivers create a unique flyfishing Montana experience.
April marks the commencement of the spring fishing season on the lower Jefferson as the winter’s ice begins to disappear...Read More
Runoff starts early on the Jefferson River as it drains an enormous region including the Ruby, Big Hole, and Beaverhead…Read More
Early summer Jefferson River fishing with nymphs and streamers is an advanced anglers fishing paradise as dropping river…Read More
Irrigation demands and the summer heat typically creates challenging conditions throughout the Jefferson in July…Read More
Shorter days and seasonal cool fronts reinvigorate the Montana fish of the Jefferson River, making for better fishing…Read More
Stable flows and cooler water temperatures make for consistent Montana fishing conditions on the Jefferson in the fall...Read More
Tap into our two decades of expertise in outfitting on the Jefferson River. Fins and Feathers Guided Service offers guided Montana fly fishing day trips between Twin Bridges and Headwaters State Park on the Jefferson River.
An ideal choice for the advanced angler willing to work for their fish with low expectations in terms of overall fish numbers. Our Bozeman fly fishing guides focus on fishing the Jefferson River between Whitehall and Headwaters State Park.