Lone Mountain Ranch, MT

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge in Big Sky, Montana.

Lone Mountain Ranch, MT

Overview

Lone Mountain Ranch is an historic winter and summer guest ranch located in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which is one of the last remaining large, nearly intact ecosystems in the northern temperate zone of the Earth. Just 18 miles from the Yellowstone Park border, the ranch offers not only some of the finest year-round blue ribbon fly fishing anywhere in North America, but also guided horseback riding, hiking, Yellowstone tours and an Outdoor Youth Adventures program for kids 4-18 years with whitewater rafting and ziplining just down the road. Our highly experienced guide staff will help you discover the diverse fishing experiences this area has to offer. Float the legendary Madison and Yellowstone rivers in a drift boat, walk/wade the Gallatin River and streams in Yellowstone Park, or horseback ride to pristine high alpine lakes. Fine dining, comfortable log cabins and jaw-dropping classic alpine scenery compliment the array of activities we offer for the whole family. June, July, and August are great months for families and September offers an adults-only experience. While many guests spend their winter days skiing from December through March, the Gallatin is an amazing winter fishery for those days off from skiing.

Date Range

Summer season: June through mid-October.
Winter season: Mid December through late March.

What is Provided to Customer

As a Ranch guest, the cost of your trip will include the use of waders, wading boots, fly rod, reel, up to 6 flies per trip and any other terminal tackle needed for the day.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

Our location in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and permits allow us to fish very diverse waters from the Yellowstone, which is the longest free flowing undammed waterway in the lower 48 states, to alpine lakes reachable by horseback. Waters include the Blue Ribbon Rivers like the Madison, Gallatin, Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, the legendary waters of Yellowstone National Park, like the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers, famous lakes, like Hebgen and high apline lakes in the Spanish Peaks where fish rarely see anglers, and private creeks. Your day could include driving a short 10 minutes to the Gallatin River to walk/wade, driving to the Madison or Yellowstone to fish from a boat, taking horseback to a high alpine lake or walk/wading private creeks. Elevation of these waters range from 6,000 to 10,000 ft.

Typical Weather by Season


June: Great early-season fishing can be found in the many streams of Yellowstone National Park. Hatches of caddis flies, PMD's and salmon flies can be found on the Firehole and Madison Rivers. The creeks of the Lamar Valley are also a great early season option. We will also be fishing dam-released sections of some rives, due to the spring run-off. Depending on the snow pack, the Gallatin can also provide good early season action.

  • Average temperatures: Lows 30's, Highs 60's to 70's
  • Rainfall: 3”
  • Hours of daylight: 18
  • Water temperatures: 45-50 Degrees

July: Dry-fly fishing is in full swing! We have swarms of hatches on all the rivers. Mayflies, caddis flies, stoneflies, yellow sallies and spruce moths are abundant and often entice the fish to feed at the surface. The Madison offers the famous salmon fly hatch and spruce moths have been known to cloud the banks of the Gallatin.

  • Average temperatures: Lows 40's, Highs around 80
  • Rainfall: 1.5”
  • Hours of daylight: 17
  • Water temperatures: 50-60 Degrees

August: Trout cruise the banks of the rivers looking for grasshoppers, beetles and ants that fall into the water. Rainbows and browns will take these terrestrial patterns with aggression; a surface strike is sure to get anyone excited. Fishing “hoppers” in the Paradise Valley of the Yellowstone or along the banks of the mighty Missouri can make for a memorable experience. Or, stay closer to the Ranch and fish the Gallatin and Madison, which can also be very productive at this time.

  • Average temperatures: Lows 40's, Highs around 80
  • Rainfall: 1.5”
  • Hours of daylight: 16
  • Water temperatures: 50-60 Degrees

September: The rivers have generally fewer crowds, the wildlife is more abundant, the autumn scenery is stunning and the fishing is great. Terrestrials usually remain consistent, baetis hatches will occur on overcast days and fish will begin to strike at streamers. The Madison in Yellowstone National Park gives an angler a chance for trophy browns that have migrated up river from Hebgen Lake.

  • Average temperatures: Lows 30's, Highs 70's
  • Rainfall: 1.5”
  • Hours of daylight:14
  • Water temperatures: 45-55 Degrees

Winter Season: To the surprise of many, the winter can be a great time to go fly-fishing. Most of the Gallatin and Madison will remain open year round and can provide some amazing nymph fishing opportunities. The fish will eat mainly stonefly, midge and egg patterns during this time of year.

  • Average temperatures: Lows teens, Highs 30's
  • Snowfall: 200”
  • Hours of daylight: 9-12
  • Water temperatures: 35-45 Degrees

Itinerary

Sample of Typical Itinerary

You will depart the ranch at 8 am prepared with all the gear that you will need for the day. Depending on the time of year and conditions you will head off to one of the various Blue Ribbon trout streams that are located within an hour and a half drive of the ranch. After a brief stream-side tutorial from our expert guides you will begin your day of fishing. While on the water, our guides will lead you through the various aspects of the sport; casting, presentation, fly selection, reading water and most importantly hooking and landing fish! You will enjoy a nice lunch on the river and will back at the ranch in time for a fabulous dinner in our Dining Hall.

Activities

On-site Activities


Summer:

  • Horseback Riding
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Fly Fishing
  • Outdoor Youth Adventures Program
  • Yellowstone Park Tours
  • Canoeing
  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • Evening Programs
  • Live Music
  • Family Style Dinner
  • BBQ Cookout Dinner

Winter:

  • Nordic Skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Backcountry Skiing
  • Yellowstone Park Tours
  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • Evening Programs
  • Live Music
  • Sleigh Ride Dinner
  • Family Style Dinner

Off-site Activities


Summer:

  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Ziplining
  • Painting
  • Rock Climbing
  • Golfing

Winter:

  • Downhill Skiing
  • Dogsledding
  • Snowmobiling

Lodging

Lodging, Meals, and Accommodations

It is not enough to just have memorable days. The evenings are every bit as important. Stretched amongst the towering pines are scattered our collection of private log cabins. North Fork Creek winds its way through the retreat providing a soothing accompaniment. Each cabin is unique, secluded and outfitted with lodgepole pine furniture, featherbeds and patchwork quilts, a private bath, woodburning stove or fireplace and electric heat. Small cabins accommodate between 2 and 5 guests and larger cabins, like Doug Fir House and Ridgetop Lodge, can accommodate up to 18 guests. Wireless is available in all cabins and a guest computer and business facilities are available in the office and B-K guest lounge for those who find them necessary.

The dining experience at Lone Mountain Ranch is approached with unwavering care. Meals are epicurean exercises taking advantage of locally produced offerings where possible and prepared to satisfy the kind of appetite that develops after outdoor adventures. Breakfasts typically unfold with the likes of oatmeal, fresh fruit, banana pancakes and scrambled eggs served buffet style. Lunch offers a salad and soup bar as well as featured hot items like chicken parmesan. Dinner is a time to gather back as a family and share stories of the day over a three-course meal, including Crispy Panko Fried Jumbo Tiger Shrimp, Cast Iron Roasted Statler Chicken Breast and 12 oz. Grilled All Natural Angus New York Striploins. For those nights that call for something simpler, the burger or pulled pork sandwich hit the spot after a day of adventures.

All manner of dietary restrictions are personally accommodated and the options afforded our guests are frequently cited as the highlight of their stay. Family-style dinners, barbeques and ski trailside buffets frequently punctuate both the summer and winter seasons.

Species

Species You Fish for by Season

Wild rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brown trout and mountain whitefish can be caught year round.

In the summertime in our high alpine lakes and streams you will have the opportunity for golden trout, brook trout, and Arctic grayling.

Gear

What Should Customers Bring?

Guests should bring sun protection and enough clothing to be prepared for various weather conditions. A hat, sunglasses and sun block are necessities. Clothing that can be layered will make the day more comfortable and will provide a better experience. A moisture wicking base layer, lightweight pants or shorts, warm socks, a fleece or sweater and a rain jacket should be sufficient for all summer weather conditions. In the wintertime, your normal skiing or outdoor gear will be fine to be worn under waders.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What rivers do we fish?
A. The Gallatin River, Madison River, Yellowstone River, Missouri River, various waters of Yellowstone National Park and high alpine waters in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness.

Q. How many guests to a guide?
A. Up to 3 guests per guide for walk & wade trip or up to 2 guests per guide for float trips.

Q. What if I am a beginner?
A. Our guide staff has lots of experience working with beginners through advanced anglers. Regardless of experience we can help you learn and improve your skills on the water.

Q. Do I bring my own gear?
A. Guests are welcome to bring their own gear but we have everything that you would need for your trip available in our Outdoor Shop.

Q. Can we eat the fish we catch?
A. We practice catch & release on all of our local waters.

Q. How experienced are your guides?
A. Our three full-time guides have been guiding in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for at least 13 years. As a whole our fishing staff has over 100 years of angling experience.

Q. Are your guides from MT?
A. Our guides are from various part of the country, lending to various experience and areas of expertise. One is from Bozeman, MT, one from West Virginia, one from Wyoming, and one from Colorado.

Q. What clothes should we bring?
A. Guests should bring sun protection and enough clothing to be prepared for various weather conditions. A hat, sunglasses and sun block are necessities. Clothing that can be layered will make the day more comfortable and will provide a better experience. A moisture wicking base layer, light weight pants or shorts, warm socks, a fleece or sweater and a rain jacket should be sufficient for all summer weather conditions. In the wintertime your normal skiing or outdoor gear will be fine to be worn under waders.

Reviews

Lone Mountain Ranch
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge
750 Lone Mountain Ranch Road
Big Sky, MT 59716
406-995-4644

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