Montana Fly Fishing in Spring – Flywater Angling Adventure

| December 14, 2011

This is from Steve Hollensed, and it looks like a great trip. Please feel free to comment here, or ask questions, as I know Steve will respond. Steve Hollensed, like Rob Woodruff, is an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide, and both guys are certifiably nice guys. If you ever want to get a feel for their personalities, be sure to attend some of their lectures at an Orvis retail location near you.

Captain Steve Hollensed
Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide
FFF Master Certified Casting Instructor

Looking for something different in your fly fishing next year? Something located in the US without international travel concerns?

How about an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge with an impeccable reputation located right in the middle of Montana’s fabled trout country?

How about going during a pre-runoff period before snowmelt stains and swells the rivers and before crowds begin to pressure fish?

How about going during a time when big stoneflies and big mayflies will be hatching and producing exciting dry fly fishing?

Then come with me on a return trip to Blue Damsel Lodge near Missoula, Montana on April 10-14, 2012.


The timing, location and lodge combine to make this a very special trip.

Located right in the heart of some of the best trout country anywhere, the Blue Damsel Lodge has easy access to the Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Clark’s Fork Rivers. The lodge is located on Rock Creek, another legendary river.

The best fish of the year are usually caught during this time…this is big fish time in Montana. The water is pre-runoff; clear with easy wading and floating. The rivers will be uncrowded and unpressured. This is also the combined peak for the Skwala (big stoneflies), gray drakes (big mayflies) hatches as well as caddis hatches . Dry fly fishing is the expectation with 4x to 1x tippet.

Of course, these are wild fish in wild habitats … mostly bows, westslope cutts, and browns, but also cutt-bows, bulls, and brookies.


The Blue Damsel Lodge has been described as “both elegant and comfortable, western and luxurious”. It is composed of a three story structure plus one stand alone cabin. It was built by a dedicated craftsman and his artist wife; requiring over three years to complete. The lodge is replete with wildlife artistry that is an integral part of the lodge.

The main level contains a gourmet kitchen, bar, dinning room, and sitting area warmed by a majestic fireplace. All the comforts of home, including wireless internet, are available at the lodge.

Outside the lodge you will find decks, a mudroom, an Orvis Pro Shop, horse shoe pit, fire pits, hiking trails, grills, and a casting pond!

Breakfast and dinner schedules are coordinated with the fishing. The meals are gourmet cuisine prepared by chefs. Appetizers are served at cocktail hour after the fishing.


The travel part is easy. The Missoula Airport is serviced by American, Delta, and United. Once at the airport, courteous, professional drivers will take you to the lodge (about 45 minutes). These same drivers will also drive you to and from the fishing each day and back to the airport.


Normal temperatures for this time are about 30 degrees for a low and about 55 degrees for a high. (source: Yes it can be cold, but this trip is for the more serious fly angler looking for excellent fishing with luxury lodging. In all probability, the mornings will be cold but midday and afternoons should be very comfortable.


Price is $2500 per person. Trip is limited to the first 10 people.
Price Includes:
– 4 night stay at the lodge and 3 days of fishing.
– Ground transportation from Missoula , Montana
– Transportation to the fishing destinations
– Guided float or wade fishing through licensed Montana Outfitter
– First class accommodations at the Blue Damsel Lodge
– Hearty lodge breakfasts & gourmet dinners
– Hot shore lunches or special pack lunches
– Cocktail hour, appetizers, and refreshments at the lodge
– Daily maid service
– Casting and fishing instruction by licensed guides
– Full use of our grounds and facilities

Not included in the price is airfare to Missoula, fishing licenses, pro shop purchases, unusual long distance, special drinks, applicable Montana accommodations tax and any staff and guide gratuities you feel appropriate.

As your host, I will assist you in every detail – before, during, and after the trip to ensure that your fly fishing experience is the best that it can be.

Pre-trip meeting: For your assistance and convenience, I will be holding a pre-trip meeting on February 16 at Orvis Dallas, starting at 6 PM. This is a time set aside for tackle and fly selection, rigging, and anything else that might need attention. I will be available earlier that day for any casting assistance that you desire.


For more information, feel free to contact me or Keith Radabaugh at the lodge directly. Keith can be reached at 866.875.9909 or 406.825.3077. Also visit .

NOTE – Thanks for sending the information on this trip Steve. That seems like a very good price when you read that, along with everything else, it includes not only wading locations, but floats as well. This one’s tempting especially because it’s off peak season, and will challenge you and your gear – to stay warm, and focused on fish that are probably as smart as any fish in water. Most of these fish are truly WILD. As part of my Buy Fly USA Campaign 2012, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Missoula, Montana, to enjoy the location the fishing and the friendships.

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Category: Destination Fly Fishing

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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