Triple Creek Ranch, MT

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

Triple Creek Ranch, MT


Triple Creek Ranch is an exclusive Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge that caters to avid anglers who enjoy luxury accommodations, fine dining, personalized service and exceptional fishing opportunities. Located in the Bitterroot Valley of southwest Montana, the Triple Creek Ranch campus lies at the epicenter of northern Rocky Mountain fly fishing, and where the West Fork tributary of the Bitterroot River and its main channel flow. This adults-only, award-winning Guest Ranch offers all-inclusive accommodations in 23 luxurious cabins to include king beds, wood-burning fire places, a private or nearby hot tub, wet bar, stocked refrigerator, in-cabin service, Wi-Fi, all featured on-ranch activities and special events, house wines and spirits and much more. Whether fishing or just enjoying the surroundings and service, guests are assured of an exceptional authentic Western experience and memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Voted the highest rankings of any resort in North America by the readers of Travel+Leisure Magazine in July 2012 and ranked number one in service in May 2011, Triple Creek Ranch is among the world’s elite resorts.

Date Range

Closed March; November 20 through December 20, 2013.

What is Provided to Customer

Triple Creek Ranch can outfit guests for activities in all seasons. Available to borrow are, waders and boots, fly rods, ice-fishing poles, flies, winter jackets, rain slickers, dusters, snow boots, gloves, hats, cowboy hats, chaps, hand & foot warmers, bug wipes, tennis rackets and balls, Nordic and Alpine ski equipment. With advanced notice, we can order any new personal Orvia equipment you desire and have it delivered in time for your arrival at Triple Creek Ranch.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

There are many more opportunities that exist for all levels of fly fishers at this award-winning lodge. Nearby, the Salmon River, dubbed “the river of no return”, gives play to the best steelhead fishing in the Northwest and the Big Hole River offers outstanding eastern slope, cool water float fishing. Just a short but breathtaking hop over the mountains from a local airstrip flows the pristine and remote Selway River, “the least fished river in America” or try your luck on the Swan River for the chance to fish for native bull trout, determined to be a separate species from the coastal Dolly Varden. All these fly-fishing opportunities and more lie right outside the lodge door of the acclaimed Triple Creek Ranch.

Typical Weather by Season

Spring brings the steelhead run on the Salmon. If temperatures stay cool the snowmelt slowly feeds the rivers, just right for first-rate bank fishing and guided float trips on the Bitterroot River. During the Skwala fly hatch in May, the trout become active and bountiful right into summer when the climate is dry and sunshine is the norm. Summer temperatures range from the mid-70 to 90’s becoming cooler in the evening. The Bitterroot River, and its floatable tributaries the East and West Fork, is a freestone, blue ribbon river. Located between the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains, the Bitterroot River runs south to north for approx. 86 miles before emptying into the Clark Fork of the Columbia River. Snowfields from the highest mountain peaks in western Montana feed the river throughout the summer, keeping it floatable and the fishery healthy. In dry years Triple Creek Ranch guests enjoy bank fishing from private ranch property. Native west slope cutthroats and bull trout are here, as well as stream-bred rainbows, brookies, and browns. The rivers are fishable well into fall and fly fishing for steelhead on the Salmon River is exceptional this time of year. Weather can be unpredictable, anywhere from ‘Indian Summer’ days to cooler temperatures and cold nights. Clear blue skies are not uncommon, combined with colors of fall, snow-capped mountains and a few flakes in the valleys can be an invigorating outdoor fly-fishing experience for any angler. Triple Creek Ranch has three trout ponds for ice fishing in winter, a truly unique activity! Using an ice auger, one of our staff will assist with drilling a hole for an old-fashioned fishing experience. Contact an activities coordinator for fishing gear and keep warm with hot chocolate or hot apple cider while luring those trout to the surface.


On-site Activities

  • Ride horseback to explore the wilderness and take in the beauty of the seasons.
  • Swim! The outdoor heated pool is open May through October.
  • Brush up on your fly-fishing skills or learn to cast in our on-ranch casting clinics, then test your skills wading on the banks of the Bitterroot River. We have complimentary rods, waders and gear.
  • Enjoy a game of tennis with spectacular views of the West Fork of the Bitterroot River.
  • Stay in shape at the on-ranch fitness center.
  • Hike trails from 1 to 4 miles originating on the ranch. All-day hikes to classic high country lakes or one of the many Bitterroot canyons can be arranged.
  • Take a photo safari with experienced guides on a birding and nature tour, where you may experience any one of 250+ species of birds. You will tour our 26,000-acre ranch down the river and over remote mountainous terrain, where it is not unusual to spot eagles and hawks soaring through Montana’s big sky or herds of majestic elk, mule deer or the occasional moose.
  • Catch a rainbow trout from the stocked pond and have it specially prepared by the chef for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • Orvis Fly-Fishing Instruction 101, 201 and 301
  • Casting Clinics
  • Relax in a hammock among the pines.
  • Learn Native American history or trace the trail of Lewis and Clark on a self-guided car tour.
  • Go for a stroll under Montana’s Big Sky dazzling with constellations. Search for falling stars and sometimes take in the Northern Lights.
  • Spring shed hunting, similar to searching for buried treasure find antler sheds on foot or horseback.
  • Alpine ski at nearby Lost Trail Powder Mountain. Lift tickets and equipment rentals are complimentary. Nordic ski the breathtaking Continental Divide at Chief Joseph or experience the simple joy of forging one of the many trails on the property on snowshoes or cross-country skis. Be ready to cross paths with an elk, moose, deer and other wildlife along the way.
  • Skijoring is just like water skiing except on dry powdery snow! Using real horsepower, a wrangler on horseback tows skiers or snowboarders with a rope through this winter wonderland.
  • Read for pure pleasure, relax in a hot tub or doze to the sound of whispering pines. Enjoy leisurely meals and good conversation. The joy of doing nothing is part of Triple Creek Ranch’s charm, with no pressure to go anywhere or do anything.
  • Pitch horseshoes in friendly, old-fashioned competition.
  • Spring Roundup and Branding. Everyone can partake in basic ranching duties while bringing in the herd to vaccinate, rope and brand spring calves.
  • Archery allows guests to test their skill and accuracy while participating in a memorable activity that evokes images of the history and lore of Montana’s colorful past.
  • 100th Birday, enjoy an all-day quest to find 100 species of birds in one day.
  • Wine tasting
  • Participate in our all-inclusive special events throughout the year such as:
    • Holiday Events - Christmas, New Year’s, 4th of July (requires 3-night minimum stay)
    • Super Bowl Weekend
    • Valentine’s Day
    • Western Horsemanship Weekends
    • Cooking School Weekends
    • Nature Lovers’ Birding Weekends
    • Photography Class
    • Vintners’ Wine Weekends
    • Artists’ Workshop Weekends
    • Klicks For Chicks, All Women’s 100K Horseback Ride

Off-site Activities

  • White water rafting – brave the rapids of the Salmon River, just an hour from the ranch, June through September (depending upon water conditions).
  • Horseback ride off ranch, exploring the majestic Bitterroot Valley. Your Triple Creek Ranch wrangler will customize the perfect day.
  • Team penning is a fast-paced, hands-on, timed event on horseback where a team of guests/cowhands separate individual calves from the herd and move those calves to their separate pens. Any level of horsemanship can do the job.
  • Cattle Drives are June to mid-October. Whether a novice or veteran horseback rider, spend the day moving cattle to greener pastures, stopping for a picnic lunch to take in the breathtaking views of the French Basin and the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness.
  • Float and fish the day away on leisurely, guided Orvis-endorsed river trips on the Bitterroot.
  • Rent a mountain bike and travel the rugged terrain.
  • Guided Fly-Fishing River trips. Anglers will find nearby Salmon, Big Hole, Swan and Selway rivers perfect for the serious fisherman.
  • Swan Mountain Fly Fishing and Horseback Riding adventures are available weather permitting. A private plane will fly over Montana’s picturesque mountain ranges and land on a grassy airstrip in the Flathead Wilderness Management Area. Here, a guide will be waiting to escort you to alpine lakes, waterfalls and tranquil forests.
  • Scenic helicopter rides to Glacier or Yellowstone parks. Experience Trapper Peak, the tallest in the Bitterroot Mountains, from above.
  • Snowmobile along the ridge of the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountains.
  • Visit the many art galleries and specialty shops in the Bitterroot and Big Hole valleys.
  • Massages! Enjoy a massage in front of a crackling fire in the privacy of your cabin.
  • ATV – Four-wheel, all-terrain vehicles offer exciting off-road adventures.
  • Lewis & Clark Van Tours. Learn the history of the area following the trail of Lewis and Clark in a guided air-conditioned vehicle, or try it on horseback.
  • An 18-hole golf course is located in nearby Hamilton. Let us reserve a tee time for you.
  • Enjoy steelhead fishing on the Salmon River with experienced Rawhide Outfitters guides, where the hatchery steelhead returns have been very successful with a strong native run, mid-October and spring. Or, experience summer trout fly fishing and spin casting on the Salmon River in July and August.
  • Chef’s Table dining for those who love to explore and savor a variety of tastes, our culinary team offers a front row seat into their world. Choose from three supreme dining experiences, each with a specially prepared Chef’s tasting menu and the option to enhance each course with select or premium wine pairings.
  • Dog Sledding in the great Rocky Mountains: Learn how to harness and hitch your team of dogs to a sled, proper stop-and-go procedures and how to maneuver your sled as if you were actually partaking in the Iditarod Race itself.
  • Trap shooting is an excellent way to experience the thrill of hitting your target in a safe, fun, challenging and well-organized environment.


Lodging, Meals, and Accommodations

Triple Creek Ranch is an award winning luxury resort in the Bitterroot Mountain Range of the Montana Rockies. A member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux and an Orvis-endorsed fishing lodge, Triple Creek Ranch offers rustic elegance in a mountain retreat featuring private log cabins and a comfortable lodge. Here, adult travelers enjoy a romantic setting with incomparable scenery, wildlife, outdoor activities year round and a collection of original Western inspired art. Relax in world-class accommodations, dine on the freshest contemporary cuisine and sample the world's finest wines while our caring staff pampers you.

Our all-inclusive fees include luxurious accommodations, breakfast, lunch, gourmet dinners and snacks, packed lunches for outings, house wines and spirits and featured on-ranch activities.

Accommodations are in 23 individual cabins, most with private or nearby hot tubs and feature wood-burning fireplaces, king beds, fully stocked wet bar, daily fresh baked cookies, homemade trail mix and fresh fruit, air conditioning, refrigerator stocked with soft drinks and beer, Keurig one-cup maker with an assortment of hot beverages, in-cabin service, direct dial telephones with voice mail, high-speed wireless internet, satellite TV and Blu-ray player, cabin safe, daily housekeeping and nightly turndown service, baggage wranglers and much more. Our log and cedar cabins are located to afford privacy and spectacular scenery. All of the cabins offer refined regional decor and original Western genre artwork. Golf carts are available during non-snow months with all luxury cabin accommodations.

Fine dining in a relaxed, casual setting describes the Triple Creek Ranch Restaurant. Located on the second floor of the lodge, the candlelight and wood-burning fireplace work together to create a romantic ambiance in a room where the cuisine is as special as the atmosphere. Here, we are proud to offer world-class contemporary cuisine and guests are treated to wholesome breakfasts, light and healthful lunches and gourmet dinners. Dining at the Triple Creek Restaurant is a culinary and visual feast of fresh foods, fine wines and global influences with offerings ranging from traditional French dishes to contemporary cuisine infused with dashes of the Southwest, West Indies, and Central America. Cooking with seasonal locavore and fresh veggies from Triple Creek Ranch's own orchard and garden is a passion of Executive Chef, Jacob Leatherman. Wine pairings are offered from our showcase cellar, tasting menus and our private 'Chefs Table' dining with a unique insider's view of the ranch's high-tech kitchen. Food allergies or special dietary requirements are accommodated with specially prepared menus by our talented chefs.

The lounge is located on the third floor of the lodge and hosts our unique wine cellar with varieties from the best wine regions worldwide. It is a wonderful conversation or game area offering a full bar, Triple Creek signature cocktails and superb wines. Here, guests can enjoy sitting by the fireplace with views of the West Fork of the Bitterroot River or rooftop dining on one of the many surrounding decks.

During the summer months, grilled poolside lunches are served or for the outdoor adventurer, packed lunches to go.


Species You Fish for by Season

On the Bitterroot you can expect to fly fish for stream-bred trout species year-round such as, rainbow, cutthroat, cutbow, brown, brook, and bull trout. Spring and fall the steelhead run is greatly anticipated on the Salmon River and in fall, large spawning brown’s on the Bitterroot River with its East and West Fork tributaries.

“Trout feed on terrestrials: ants, crickets, grasshoppers, etc. On the Bitterroot River we don't always need a hatch for good dry-fly fishing. The trout seem to key in on large attractor patterns whenever they are feeding.” —Rick Thomas of Fly Fishing Always Outfitters

We can only estimate when the major hatches may occur on the Bitterroot River, it will always vary due to water level and weather conditions. Our high water flow normally peaks around the last of May to the first part of June. In low snow pack years this can be some of the best fishing of the year. During a year with heavy runoff, our river is normally fishable by the last week in June. In the early spring and late fall the Bitterroot, at the gauging station near Darby, is running at a flow between 180 and 500 C.F.S. (cubic feet per second). In high water it can peak out at over 10,000 C.F.S. We also have a reservoir at the head of the West Fork of the Bitterroot that regulates the stream flow in the summer months. The reservoir was built to hold water back for irrigation purposes and the increased flow in July - September is very beneficial to our fishery especially in the dry drought years. All of these factors can greatly effect how, if, and when a particular hatch may happen.

January - February:
Stoneflies: Capnia, Nemoura - Both are small black stoneflies. The fish feed on them on top on the sunny warm spring days.
Midges: There always seems to be a few Midges of some variety hatching. At closer inspection the Midges often turn out to be very small stoneflies or Mayflies. It is hard to distinguish the difference when they are so small.

March - April:
Stoneflies: Capnia, Nemoura & Skwala
The Skwalla is the first hatch the fish really key into on top.
Mayflies & Drakes: March brown drake, Grey drake, Blue wing olive
Caddisflies: Mother’s day caddis
Midges: The trout may not always key into midges, or any other hatch as far as that is concerned. In multiple hatch situations it is important to figure out what bug the trout are taking.

May - June:
Stoneflies: Salmonfly, Golden Stonefly
Mayflies & Drakes: Green Drake, Pale morning dun, Pale evening dun
Caddisfies: Mother’s day caddis
Midges: YES

July - August:
Stoneflies: Golden Stonefly, Yellow Sally, Bitterroot Stone
Mayflies & Drakes: Pale morning dun, Pale evening dun
Caddisflies: Assorted caddis can come off at almost any time
Midges: YES

September - October:
Mayflies & Drakes: Pale morning dun, Pale evening dun, Mahogany Dun, Fall brown drake, Blue wing Olive
Caddisflies: October caddis, assorted caddis can come off at almost any time
Midges: YES

November - December:
Blue wing olive and caddis can hatch into November. We have small midges and stones hatching on warmer days in December, January and February and sometimes the trout key into these insects on the surface. There are always nymphs in the water and trout feed on them throughout the winter.


What Should Customers Bring?

SPRING & EARLY SUMMER in Montana bring sunny days with crisp mornings and evenings. Daytime temperatures range between 50-70 degrees. Evening temperatures may drop to 35 degrees. Be prepared for varying conditions, we suggest layering clothing and be comfortable – you are on vacation.

Dress Code: Casual, no dinner jacket or formal wear is necessary.

Clothing: Light jackets, sweaters/sweatshirts, Jeans and shorts, casual slacks, long and short sleeved shirts, swimsuit, hats, rain gear.

Around the Ranch: Comfortable walking shoes
Hiking: Sturdy boots that support your ankles
Horseback Riding: Boots with hard, smooth soles or tennis shoes
River Rafting: Rubber soled sandals
Extras: Sunglasses, suntan lotion or sunscreen, lip balm, camera and binoculars

SUMMER in Montana brings sunny, warm days with temperatures ranging between 60–90 degrees. Evening temperatures may drop to 45 degrees. Be prepared for varying conditions by layering clothing for comfort.

Dress Code: Casual, no dinner jacket or formal wear is necessary

Clothing: Light jackets, sweaters/sweatshirts, jeans & shorts, casual slacks, long & short-sleeved shirts, swimsuit, rain gear, hats.

Around the Ranch: Comfortable walking shoes
Hiking: Sturdy boots that support your ankles
Horseback Riding: Boots with hard, smooth soles or tennis shoes
River Rafting: Rubber soled sandals
Extras: Sunglasses, suntan lotion or sunscreen, lip balm, camera and binoculars

FALL in Montana brings sunny, cool days with temperatures ranging between 50-70 degrees. Evening temperatures may drop to 35 degrees. Be prepared for varying conditions by layering clothing and being comfortable.

Dress Code: Casual, no dinner jacket or formal wear is necessary.

Clothing: Light jackets, sweaters/sweatshirts, Jeans and shorts, casual slacks, long and short sleeved shirts, swimsuit, hats, rain gear.

Around the Ranch: Comfortable walking shoes
Hiking: Sturdy boots that support your ankles
Horseback Riding: Boots with hard, smooth soles or tennis shoes
River Rafting: Rubber soled sandals
Extras: Sunglasses, suntan lotion or sunscreen, lip balm, camera and binoculars

WINTER in Montana can be sunny or overcast, cool days with temperatures ranging between 25-45 degrees. Evening temperatures may drop to 20’s or below. Expect dry snow in the mountains. Be prepared for varying conditions, layer your clothing and be comfortable.

Dress Code: Casual, no dinner jacket or formal wear is necessary.

Clothing: Warm jackets, sweaters/sweatshirts, jeans, thermal underwear, rain gear, hats/gloves, ski or snowmobile suits.

Around the Ranch: Comfortable warm walking shoes
Winter Boots: Sorel boots with removable felt liners are best
Snowshoeing: Sturdy boots with ankle support
Horseback Riding: Boots with hard, smooth soles or tennis shoes
Skiing: Triple Creek Ranch provides passes to Lost Trail Powder Mountain, which includes lift tickets, boots, skis and poles. Cross-country equipment is available at the ranch.
Extras: Sunglasses, suntan lotion or sunscreen, lip balm, camera and binoculars


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When is check in and check out?
A. Check-in is 3:00 PM and Checkout is 12:00 PM.

Q. Is the ranch all inclusive?
A. Triple Creek Ranch is an all-inclusive resort, there is no tipping on property guests may leave a gratuity upon checkout.

Q. Where is the nearest town?
A. Nearest town is Darby, 10 miles from Triple Creek Ranch.

Q. Where are the nearest airports?
A. Nearest International Airport: Missoula international Airport, MSO

Nearest Small Airport: Hamilton Airport (small private planes)

Triple Creek Ranch Provides Shuttle Service to and from MSO airport for a fee: $125 one-way, per car or $250 round-trip, per car.

Hamilton Airport fee: $75 one-way, per car or $150 Round-trip, per car.

There is a helicopter pad on property.

Triple Creek Ranch is approximately a 90-minute drive from Missoula Airport, 80 miles.

Q. Is there a minimum number of nights to stay for holidays?
A. A three-night minimum stay is required over the holidays of Christmas, New Year's and the Fourth of July. This applies to all reservations in which the arrival or departure is on the holiday.


Overall: Show Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 1 reviews


1 of 1 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5

    An Excellent, Fantastic, and Amazing Trip - 10/31/2012
    By: from Darby, Mt 59829, USA

    Pre-arrival: I made several requests prior to our arrival at Triple Creek. Including a special meal, a fly fishing trip and pick up service at the airport in Missoula. The response and follow-up have been impressive. I even noticed, at the last minute, that I had lost some cleats on one of my fishing boots and asked them in anyone in the area carried them. They checked around and got back to me within a few hours. All in all their pre-trip follow-up and memory of things we had discussed or emailed about is quite impressive. The trip: We arrived and were promptly met by our driver Nicholas. He was very nice and pleasant, helped us with our luggage and told us about Triple Creek and Montana on our ride to the ranch. On arrival we were met by the activity director who planned to show us around but first checked to see if we wanted lunch. Since all we had since breakfast was airline snacks we said yes. She escorted us to the dining room and we chose from the menu, even though it was after there lunch serving time. We had a very nice lunch with great food. She then showed us around the lodge and did a quick trip around the ranch on the way to our cabin. One piece of advice for folks thinking of staying at Triple Creek Ranch is rent a car. We decided we would not need a car, and for the most part we did not, however if you want to go to Darby and/or Hamilton to do a bit of exploring the charge from the ranch to take you there and back it outrageous… it is more than a one-way trip to the airport in Missoula. Our first full day we went horseback riding. Only my third time on a horse but I had a great time. The staff is great at making sure you have a horse you can control. We plan to go again later in our stay. The scenery is gorgeous, snow capped mountain peaks, steep valleys, wildlife, etc. The food here is fantastic, I cannot say enough about how impressive it is. Service is also amazing, I think it is some of the best service I have experienced anywhere. For example, my wife saw a hawk feather on the ground while we were riding. She really wanted to get it but since we were not about to get off of our horses mid-ride she passed it by. She mentioned it to Catherine back at the lodge and Catherine radioed the stables and our guide went out an picked it up for Elaine. That is just one example of many. Friday was fishing and drift boat day. Our guides were Boomer and his black lab, River…both were very well behaved. I was fly fishing and my wife was along to enjoy the ride and to take in the gorgeous scenery. Of course the lodge packed a wonder picnic lunch for us. I caught several small cutthroat trout and one 15-inch cutthroat. All in all a great day but we were exhausted by the end. Dinner was the request I had made before we arrived. The steak au poivre was excellent and the steak itself was some of the best I have ever had. I will summarize the rest of our stay rather than go through day by day. I went fly fishing with Boomer and River again and although we had a slow start to the day we caught quite a few fish. No record breakers, but the day was fun. We went on a photo safari through the neighboring ranch with Jared. This was interesting because you got to see wildlife and interesting plants, learn about the area and learn how to better use your camera. On our last day we went horseback riding again for a couple of hours and had lunch on the trail. We were a bit sore by the end of the ride but we recovered nicely. All in all the stay at Triple Creek was fantastic. The service was amazing the food was plentiful and extremely good and the staff were all fun. We were exhausted every day! I especially enjoyed Catherine who has a great sense of humor and put up with my being a troublemaker. The bottom line is Triple Creek is a fantastic and I cannot wait to return.

Triple Creek Ranch
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge
5551 West Fork Road
Darby, MT 59829

Steelhead Fly Fishing Celebration

Ranch owner Craig Barrett hosts this four day event fishing for the mighty steelhead on the Salmon River.

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