PRO Outfitters' North Fork Crossing, MT

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge in Ovando, Montana.

PRO Outfitters' North Fork Crossing, MT

Overview

PRO Outfitters' fly-fishing lodge, North Fork Crossing sits on the banks of the North Fork of the Blackfoot River in Montana's pristine and remote Blackfoot River Valley. Fly fishing on the Blackfoot inspired Norman Maclean's acclaimed book: A River Runs Through It. From our lodge, we fish a variety of waters including small and large rivers; streams; spring creeks and tributaries which we float or wade. Our lodge overlooks 5 artesian-fed stocked ponds which are fun to fish during the evening hatch.

The Blackfoot River and surrounding valley are breathtakingly beautiful; under developed & remote. The river is an amazing fishery and you will have many opportunities to fish for rainbows, browns, and our native westslope cutthroats. As one of the oldest outfitters in the area, our guides are professional and experienced. We are the only Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Camp for Kids in the country; and we love sharing our passion for fly fishing with anyone wanting to learn.

At our lodge, guests stay in luxury safari-style wall tents with wooden floors; custom feather beds; heat & electricity. Each tent has its' own private bathhouse & our main lodge is a short walk away. In our beautiful lodge, we serve delicious gourmet meals featuring local produce & meats; and including beer and wine.

Date Range

We book trips in our lodge May - mid-October.

What is Provided to Customer

PRO Outfitters provide all fishing equipment as needed including rods & waders. Guests receive guided fly-fishing instruction if desired, overnight accommodations, gourmet meals, beer and wine. PRO provides personal toiletries such as hair dryers, towels, lotions, soap, shampoo and bathrobes.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

From our lodge: PRO Outfitters fishes a variety of waters including rivers, streams, tributaries and spring creeks; including the Blackfoot; Clark Fork; Missouri; Dearborn; & Bitterroot. PRO has long time, solid relationships with local landowners resulting in private access to impressive stretches of water inaccessible to others. We also have our own "secret" haunts from Missoula to Lewistown - which we prefer not to mention by name. Call us up for your own tour.

Typical Weather by Season

Anyone who knows anything about Montana knows how difficult it is to predict the weather here. At PRO Outfitters, our favorite saying is – "If you do not like the weather – wait 5 minutes and it will change!" This applies to all seasons and makes the "dress in layers" philosophy really practical. You can't go wrong if in March - June & September - November: you prepare for anything. And July & August: you be prepared for most things!

Itinerary

Sample of Typical Itinerary

Most of our guests stay 3-5 days/4-6 nights. Guests fly in and out of Missoula; which is serviced by all major airlines. They arrive at our lodge late afternoon; in time for dinner. They will fish 3-5 days; and fish a variety of water – depending on their interest and ability. Guests will usually depart on their last day after breakfast.

Activities

On-site Activities

Our philosophy is that these days - we, as a society, are barraged with too many options – from advertisements to media to 10 page menus. At PRO Outfitters - we do two things & do them really well. We fly fish & hunt wild birds in some of the most beautiful places on earth, with the best guides around. Don’t get us wrong - we enjoy all that goes along with that - including wildlife viewing; star gazing; marshmallow roasting; bird watching & reconnecting with yourself and the family and friends you brought along. If you are looking to be entertained by 10-20 other options – we probably aren’t the right place for you. If you want to relax & fly fish; or hunt wild game birds & be well taken care of by a very special place and group of people – give us a try.

Lodging

Lodging, Meals, and Accommodations

The quality of the experience you have on the water will be matched by your experience at the lodge. Although we provide a unique Montana "rustic" experience – we have not forgotten the amenities. Guests stay in deluxe safari-style wall tents. Feather beds, plush terry cloth bath robes, private bath houses and attention to detail will leave you refreshed and rested after a day on the water.

At the table, you’ll be treated to culinary events that celebrate Montana, our love of fresh local meats & produce, and our desire to present it all in a way that is comfortable yet refined. Save room for dessert. We make our own ice cream and sorbets. You’ll fall asleep wondering if the highlight of the day was the fishing or the food!

Species

Species You Fish for by Season

On the Blackfoot, throughout our season, we fish for rainbow, brown, cut-bow, and our native westslope cutthroat trout. Occasionally, you will catch a brook or bull trout.

Gear

What Should Customers Bring?


Clothing:

  • Socks (2 polypro/wool/cotton)
  • Light weight shirts (2 long sleeved/1 short sleeved)
  • Fleece pullover or sweater
  • Warm jacket (mornings can be below 40 degrees)
  • One pair thermal wear (2 pair if no fleece pants) – early/late season
  • Pants: one pair quick dry; one pair casual (jeans/chinos); one pair fleece for underneath waders – (early/late season)
  • T-shirts and shorts (quick dry)
  • Gloves or convertible mittens (fleece) – (early/late season)

Footwear:

  • Slip-ons for bathroom visits
  • Wading boots or river sandals
  • Camp shoes or Hiking shoes

Fishing Gear:

  • Hat (wide brimmed)
  • Sunglasses (polarized are best)
  • Rain jacket
  • Rain pants if not using waders – (early/late season)
  • We provide any/all fishing equipment, as needed. Or you are welcome to bring your own. Guests usually fish 8 or 9 foot; 4-6 weights.

Montana Fishing License:
MT fishing licenses can be purchased in advance. Go to the Montana FWP Online Licensing. You can also visit The Blackfoot Angler in Ovando at 406-793-FISH; or go to any Montana sporting goods store.

Miscellaneous:

  • Camera/film
  • Book or journal
  • Sunscreen & lip protectant

Beverages:
North Fork Crossing provides beverages, including beer and wine. We are unable to provide hard liquor. Please bring your own if you prefer cocktails. Airport shuttle services will make a stop locally for liquor, upon request.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. When is the best time to fish the Blackfoot?
A. There is never a bad time to fish the Blackfoot, but here are some ideas about what is fishing when:

  • July: The second most predictable time of the year in this drainage. Aquatic hatches are dominated by the mid-sized tan caddis and PMDs size #14 to #18, terrestrials are often a dominant food source for trout.
  • August: Morning and evening hatches. During mid-day large terrestrials or attractor patterns often work well. Caddis and PMDs are still dominant aquatic hatches.
  • September: The most predictable time of the year, dominated by dry weather, comfortable temperatures during the day, cool nights, cool, clear water and consistent hatches. Aquatic insects begin to get smaller but the big, old hoppers still work.
  • October: Baetis and October Caddis dominant. Larger brown trout very active and more accessible, weather cooler with more moisture. A beautiful time of year.

Q. Please tell me about your Fly-Fishing Camp for Kids?
A. Fly fishing brings many rewards, but perhaps the greatest reward is sharing our passion for the sport among generations. There is something special about introducing a child to fly fishing, or helping a child develop his or her skills and knowledge of the sport. Orvis and PRO Outfitters have launched a whole new program dedicated to doing just that.

Every summer we hold our fly fishing camp for boys and girls ages 9 to 17 at our lodge on the North Fork of the Blackfoot River in Ovando, Montana. The camp will cover all aspects of the complete fly-fishing experience, and our ideal location will let us offer an exciting “hands-on” learning experience.

During our camp, kids spend mornings wade or drift boat fishing with Orvis-Endorsed guides, with an emphasis on reading all kinds of water, from spring creeks, tail-water, freestone, and still-water. They will also learn proven fishing techniques. In the afternoons, the kids will enjoy time focusing on such skills as casting, knot tying, fly tying, entomology, and the all-important concept of habitat conservation through the study of local water restorations.

Campers will have the great benefit of a 2:1 camper to guide ratio to get the most from our personable, fun and knowledgeable staff, of whom we are very proud. With such a personal learning environment, kids of all skill levels will get the chance to learn and improve in the sport at their very own pace, whether they be beginner, intermediate, or advanced in their skills and knowledge. Our aim is to send campers home with both the enthusiasm and the ability to pick up a fly-rod and feel comfortable and capable in any freshwater setting.

Q. How do I get to the lodge?
A. Guests typically fly in and out of Missoula; MT. Missoula is serviced by all major airlines and car rental companies. Guests either rent a car or use a shuttle service. Our lodge is located about an hour east of Missoula. The shuttle service is $300 round trip (which includes gratuity) & is payable to the driver.

Q. How are gratuities handled?
A. Because we are a lodge experience, our guests usually tip 15-20% of the cost of their trip to the lodge at the end of their trip; either in the form of cash or a check made out to "Cash". This is then split between our guides, head chef, and staff.

Q. What are directions to the lodge?

From Helena:

  • Take Highway 12 west out of town. Travel approximately 30 miles to the junction of Hwy. 12 and Hwy. 141 in the town of Avon.
  • Turn right on Hwy. 141. Travel 33 miles until Hwy 141 ends at a "T" with Hwy 200.
  • Turn left on to Hwy 200. Proceed west to the town of Ovando, approximately 12 miles. Ovando lies on the south (lest-hand) side of Hwy. 200, and a good landmark is Trixie’s Restaurant and Bar on the left.
  • Turn left immediately past Trixie's and stay on the Ovando–Helmville Road (OH-RD). (If you miss the turn at Trixie's you can turn left at the sign that says 'to Ovando'. You will then need to bear right through town to proceed on OH-RD).
  • The OH-RD is the only paved road that continues south from the highway. You may see signs to Brown's Lake, Helmville, or Harry Morgan Fishing Access.
  • The road will turn from paved to chip sealed after approximately 2 miles.
  • Continue for about another mile, until you cross the North Fork of the Blackfoot River. The North Fork Crossing is immediately on the left, just after you cross the bridge.

From Missoula:

  • Take Interstate 90 east out of town to Highway 200 east, exiting at Bonner/Milltown (approximately 10 miles).
  • Proceed east on Hwy. 200 approximately 60 miles to the town of Ovando. Ovando lies on the south-side (your right) of Hwy. 200
  • Turn right at the sign for the town of Ovando.
  • You will then need to bear right through town to proceed on the Ovando - Helmville Road (OH-RD). (If you miss this turn you may also turn right immediately before Trixie’s Restaurant and Bar, and then keep to the left to proceed on the OH-RD.
  • The OH-RD is the only paved road that continues south from the highway. You may see signs to Brown’s Lake, Helmville, or Harry Morgan Fishing Access.
  • The road will turn from paved to chip seal after approximately 2 miles.
  • Continue on the chip sealed road for about another 2 miles, until you cross the North Fork of the Blackfoot River. The North Fork Crossing is immediately on the left, just after you cross the bridge.

From Bozeman:

  • Take Interstate 90 west to Garrison Junction (approximately 130 miles).
  • Exit onto Highway 12 east.
  • Proceed approximately 15 miles on Hwy. 12 to the town of Avon and the junction of Hwy. 12 and Hwy. 141.
  • In Avon, turn left onto Hwy. 141. Travel 33 miles until Hwy 141 ends at a "T" with Hwy 200.
  • Turn left on to Hwy 200. Proceed west to the town of Ovando, approximately 12 miles. Ovando lies on the south (lest-hand) side of Hwy. 200, and a good landmark is Trixie’s Restaurant and Bar on the left.
  • Turn left immediately past Trixie’s and stay on the Ovando–Helmville Road (OH-RD). (If you miss the turn at Trixie’s you can turn left at the sign that says ‘to Ovando’. You will then need to bear right through town to proceed on OH-RD).
  • The OH-RD is the only paved road that continues south from the highway. You may see signs to Brown’s Lake, Helmville, or Harry Morgan Fishing Access.
  • The road will turn from paved to chip sealed after approximately 2 miles.
  • Continue for another 2 miles, until you cross the North Fork of the Blackfoot River. The North Fork Crossing is immediately on the left, just after you cross the bridge.

328 North Fork Hill Road
Ovando, MT 59854

If you get lost, or need any help – please call!

Reviews

Overall: Show Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 17 reviews

5-star:
17
4-star:
0
3-star:
0
2-star:
0
1-star:
0

17 of 17 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5

    100% Satisfied - 10/21/2014
    By: from San Diego, CA, USA

    2014 marks my fifth year in a row staying at NFC on the Blackfoot. I rent out the entire lodge and bring a total of 16 clients to enjoy all that the lodge has to offer. From gourmet meals and great accommodations to the most knowledgeable and friendly fishing guides and staff in the business, NFC never disappoints...and my group can be a handful! And how could I forget, the fishing is world class on one of the most beautiful rivers on earth. If you're looking for a tremendous fly fishing adventure, NFC is the place to go. You won't be disappointed! Thanks to everyone at NFC for making our 5th trip so memorable, see you back at the lodge in 2016!

  • 5/5

    A rememberable Experience - 10/14/2014
    By:

    PRO Outfitters is a first rate operation and a different kind experience. The safari type tents are a wonderful alternative, very comfortable and convenient. The group of guides and our host are special and took care of our every whim. Could easily re-up for another stay.

  • 5/5

    Great time on Father-Son Trip - 8/11/2014
    By: from Atlanta, GA, USA

    Outstanding facilites, area and most importantly, great people.

  • 5/5

    First Class - 8/12/2012
    By: from Ohio, USA

    The North Fork Crossing is a First Class operation. My 2 sons and I arrived as novice fly fishermen and learned a great deal after 4 days of fishing. Our guides were super and very patient with us. And we caught a lot of fish. The lodge staff, meals, and facilities were exceptional also. We plan to come back!!!!

  • 5/5

    Better than expected - 8/8/2012
    By: from Lake Havasu City, AZ, USA

    You would think someone living near a large lake well known for fishing would know something about that. However, I was a complete novice. I had not fished since I was about twelve and I am now retired, so it was a long, long time ago. Although the experience showed that I need a lot more help to become proficient, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and I highly recommend it to anyone of any age that is interested in trying to fly fish. That one, nice sized Cutthroat near the end of the day, capped off a great learning experience, one I won't forget and one I will attempt again, should the opportunity present itself. My thanks to all Montanans, I love you guys. Take good care of your state, it's worth the time and effort.

  • 5/5

    The Montana Experience - 8/8/2012
    By: from San Mateo, CA, USA

    It was my first trip to go flyfishing in Montana. pro Outfitters just enhanced the complete experience three fold. Your guides were the difference to the complete success of out trip. Your accomodations and staff were first class and nothing short of superb.We never had a ny gliches on the trip and our overall experience was Five Star. Thank You.

  • 5/5

    A magical place - 7/27/2012
    By: from Bozeman, Mt, USA

  • 5/5

    WOW - 7/14/2012
    By:

    What a great experience first class it took all of 5 minutes to feel at home and taken care of. We were met in the parking lot by the head chef just to welcome us and point us in the right direction just a few hours before he blew use away with his dinner. The staff was friendly and courteous all this before we started what we came for- fishing (which by the way was great) the guide was experienced and helpful. Hats off to Katie and Brandon!!

  • 5/5

    Wonderful Experience - 7/14/2012
    By: from Siloam Spgs. AR

    I had a wondeerful experience on my trip. The service was excellent and the accomodations were great. The staff and guides were very friendly and helpful. the food was wonderful. I will go back again.

  • 5/5

    Great experience - 7/12/2012
    By:

    My son and I had an amazing experience. The fishing was outstanding, the guides were very experienced and friendly, the food was top notch and the accommodations and hospitality made for a trip I will take again.

PRO Outfitters' North Fork Crossing
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge
Brandon Boedecker
328 North Fork Hill Road
Ovando, MT 59854
800-858-3497
406-442-5489

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