Spotted Bear Ranch, MT

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

Spotted Bear Ranch, MT


Our rustic Lodge and six private guest cabins provide all the amenities you need, overlooking the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Flathead River. We are remotely situated at the literal end of the road (dirt, that is), nestled in the midst of a 2+ million acre wilderness complex, that includes the Legendary Bob Marshall Wilderness. Daily floats based out of the lodge will have you hammering on our wild and willing westslope cutthroat. They love to rise up through crystal clear water to eat your dry fly! Or you can walk wade one of our smaller rivers and streams, chasing the same native cutthroat!

Date Range

Our season runs from mid-June through the 3rd week of September.

What is Provided to Customer

We provide all waders (if necessary), boots, rods, reels, terminal tackle and flies!

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

The Lodge sits at 3800', and most of the fishing is done at that elevation. Float fish our rugged, remote river comfortably from 14' self-bailing NRS Otter rafts equipped with frames and seats! Or hike our smaller rivers and streams. We utilize Suburbans and trucks to comfortably shuttle you to or from your start or finish fishing zones.

Typical Weather by Season

Days run long in the summer in Northwest Montana. Cool evenings (60's) and warm days (80's) start with beautiful sunrises at 5:00 am and gorgeous sunsets at 10:00 pm!


Sample of Typical Itinerary

Our typical trips are three or five days, but we are happy to customize shorter or longer visits! Your morning will begin with hot coffee(or tea), a chef-prepared breakfast, followed by a full-day excursion on one of our local waters with a professional guide. Lunch will be served streamside by your guide. Upon your return from fishing, you'll have a cold beverage and appetizers on the deck overlooking the river, followed by a chef-prepared dinner such as NY strip or smoked duck over a creamy pasta dish. You can shower in the morning or evening in the comfort of your own private cabin. It just has to be while one of our generators is running though, as we are 'off the grid' and sleep to the soothing sounds of the flowing river and rustling trees in the forest!


On-site Activities

We also offer horseback riding, hiking, wildlife viewing, and biking on forest service roads.

Off-site Activities

The nearest paved road is 55 miles away, so once you get here, it's time to enjoy the rivers and mountains with us!! It is your own private getaway. We limit capacity so it will feel that way.


Species You Fish for by Season

We have one of the only legal seasons in the lower 48 to target the threatened, native bull trout. These behemoths can top out at over 36" and 15 lbs.! Our native, wild and willing westslope cutthroat Trout will readily rise to the surface to engulf your gigantic foam dry fly!


What Should Customers Bring?

Give us a call and we can tell you what to bring, or send you one of our comprehensive trip planning booklets!


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you have cell service?
A. NOPE, we are too far into the mountains. We do, however, have a satellite internet connection. So if you HAVE to check in with someone, you can.


Overall: Show Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 6 reviews


6 of 6 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5

    most complete and enjoyable guide - 12/13/2014
    By: from Laguna Beach, CA, USA

    Ian Privet has been my fishing and hunting guide for my last four visits to Spotted Bear Ranch. I have been fishing and hunting all my life (76 yrs)and can honestly say that I have never had a more competent guide. Ian is truly the most caring and compassionate guide in all aspects of making certain the "customer is happy" His disposition never changes as no matter the situation or circumstances, he approaces it with a positive attitude and with complete confidence. During a few "less than desireable" situations out of his control (high water or bad weather) he nover lost his confidence or positive attitude and never quit smiling started complaining. In addition to his positive attitude and friendly personality, his character and integrity are never in question. As my high school football coach used to say " he's a winner" Oh and by the way, "Ian is a great teacher"

  • 5/5

    hail storm in montana - 12/9/2014
    By: from louisville, ky

    My wife gave me a wonderful fathers day gift, a trip to spotted bear ranch. I have been several times and the trips blend together. One trip my luggage was lost so I had the clothes on my back. But the folks were so accommodating it didn't matter. Day one we hiked into a remote area, sat through a 20 degree temp drop and a hail storm then caught 70+ fish. Another day we hiked into a remote area 'where the guides would fish' and caught 20" cut throats. The people and food and hospitality were spectacular and the memories priceless. Hope to get back this year if I can be so lucky. Thanks Ian.

  • 5/5

    Will be Back!! - 10/29/2014
    By: from Alamo, CA, USA

    I had a birthday trip of a lifetime at Spotted Bear Ranch. As a wanna-be Fly Fisher, My three days of guided fly fishing and upland hunting were more than I could have imagined. The wilderness, cozy cabins, excellent guides and meals were all top notch. I have had the chance to apply my new skills a few times since and the confusion and frustration that marked my previous fly fishing attempts was replaces by joy and SUCCESS due to this trip!! I can't wait to continue in my my new found passion and really really can't wait to get back to Spotted Bear Ranch. Already trying to whittle down our group for a trip next year.

  • 5/5

    My First - BUT NOT MY LAST - 7/24/2013
    By: from The Woodlands, TX
    Top 1000 Contributor

    This was my first trip to Spotted Bear - but certainly will not be my last. I have heard of this place for a couple of years, it was much more than words can describe. The remoteness and beauty cannot be described. You have the true feeling of being in the Wilderness but still have the convience of lodge and cabins. Ryan and his staff went out of their way to make sure all of our needs were met. My fishing partner for this trip was my 16 year old grandson. Everyone made sure he was included in things and was taken care of, even to the camp dog - Porter. Of the other guest here all but one group were repeat vistors, this says a lot for any operation. For an adventure you will enjoy try this one. And you will catch more fish than you ever thought possible in one day. Two of our three days we caught 60 plus fish - all cut throats and one Bull Trout which is legal on this river.

  • 5/5

    Wonderful Experience - 10/7/2012
    By: from West Glacier, Mt, USA

    Spotted Bear Ranch is to be commended for their enthusiastic support for Casting For Recovery. Casting For Recovery is a philanthropy which provides educational and physical opportunities for breast cancer survivors to enhance their quality of life - through fly fishing retreats. Spotted Bear Ranch donated a fly fishing excursion for two to a raffle in support of Casting For Recovery - and we had the good fortune to buy the winning raffle ticket. Our experience was top notch. Despite the fact that we weren't your typical "paying customers" they rolled out the red carpet and showed us a wonderful day of expertly guided float fly fishing. We learned a ton from our guide and he worked hard all day long to stage us in the rapids to be able to make great casts into hard to reach cutthroat trout hangouts. We hit the trout so well that our arms were sore by the end of the day. In addition, the friendly staff at the lodge, the food and the equipment were excellent. We couldn't have hoped for more and we definitely recommend that you consider Spotted Bear Ranch for an enjoyable fly fishing experience in northwest Montana.

  • 5/5

    remote adventure in the lower 48 - 9/16/2012
    By: from stuart, FL

    I stayed at Spotted Bear Ranch for the first time this past July 8-11. Ryan was very flexible and we kept in touch daily to keep abreast of the water levels which had been high but were dropping rapidly. We fished out of the lodge via daily float trips on the South Fork of the Flathead River. The fishing was excellent for both cutthroat and bulltrout. I caught over 40 cutthroat the first day,up to 18 inches!We averaged 4 to 6 bulltrout/day with 2 over 30 inches.The river changed daily as did the fishing. Our guide was very knowledgable,having been there for 4 years. The most amazing thing was the lack of other people on the river. In 3 days we saw one canoe of fishermen and one raft of River Rangers!I went to a remote fly-in lodge in Alaska one month later and was crowded out of several streams by other anglers from other lodges. The cabin was perfect for the setting, not opulent but very comfortable and rustic as well as very private.The staff was extremely attentive and courteous. The food was outstanding. The scenery and isolation is what we had hoped for, typical for the Bob Marshall Wilderness but with all the creature commforts. Access is easy considering the remoteness of the Lodge.Fly into Kalispell, MT, rent a car and drive 2 hours , most of it along gravel Forest Service roads along the Hungry Horse Reservoir. I would definitely return.I can't say enough about the experience we had, and this is from someone who has fished, hunted , and vacationed extensively in Montana. Paul Pare'

Spotted Bear Ranch
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge
Tara McCreedy
Spotted Bear Ranger District
Next to Spotted Bear Ranger Station
334 Central Avenue
Whitefish, MT 59937

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