Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge in Fort Smith, Montana.

4.6 out of 5 Customer Rating
Item #8C6L0000
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Nick Forrester

Forrester's Bighorn River Resort


Phone icon800-665-3799 Phone icon406-666-9199 Email iconinfo@forrestersbighorn.com Link iconforrestersbighorn.com
40756 Highway 313
Fort Smith, MT 59035

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

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The Story

Where Montana keeps her promises. When you fish at Forrester's you are in for a trip of a lifetime. This dual endorsed Orvis Lodge for fly fishing and wingshooting is perfectly situated on 110 acres of riverfront acreage on the famed Bighorn River. It is the only lodge on the upper three miles of the Bighorn. Only the upper 13 miles are considered trophy trout fly fishing. When fishing with Forrester's, browns and rainbow are commonly between 15 and 18 inches, but many measure 20+ inches. Being a tailwater river the Bighorn River is fishable year-round - it never freezes! The lodge and cabins are owner built and have been managed on-site by Nick and Francine Forrester for more than 23 years. Come relax, we will take care of the rest.

Date Range

With the Bighorn River being a tailwater fishery, we have great fishing all year round. However, our peak season is April 1 through the middle of November.

What is Provided to Customer

Whether you need all of your fishing equipment provided or just need a few things to get you by, we have a package to cater to all your needs.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

The Bighorn River has limited stream access, so the preferred choice of fishing is from a drift boat. Our experienced, Orvis-Endorsed Guides will stop at key spots for wade fishing complete with tips of the trade. This river is a tailwater so it is not affected by spring runoff, and can be fished year round. The Bighorn River is very fisherman friendly so whether you are a novice or a pro-angler, this river never disappoints.

Typical Weather by Season

Spring: mid-March to end of May 50 degrees in the middle of day and 30 degrees at night.

Summer: June 60-70 degrees. July to end of August 80-90 degrees with an occasional afternoon shower to cool things off.

Fall: 60-70 degrees to end of October. November being 50-60 degrees. Water temps around 30 degrees.

On-site Activities

Fly Fishing

Off-site Activities

Battle of the Little Bighorn (Custer Battlefield) is a 30-minute drive from the lodge. Other site seeing adventures are abundant in the area. True "Big Sky Country"!

What Should Customers Bring?

Seasonal rain gear, sunscreen, polarized sunglasses, hat of your choice, camera to capture the memories. In spring, long-sleeved shirt. In summer, shorts and other warm weather clothing is appropriate.

Sample of Typical Itinerary

Although we can cater to any size package, our most popular stay is three days and four nights.

3-days fishing & 4-nights lodging - $3,270 per person based on double occupancy rates. Check our website for more package deal options and payment terms.

Lodging, Meals, and Accommodations

Forrester's is a traditional log lodge located on the prime stretch of the famed Bighorn River. Seven individual cabin units with double beds, full-bath and their own personal deck overlooking the river. The meals served are prepared by our internationally trained chef.

Species You Fish for by Season

We fish for brown and rainbow trout. Early spring is midge fishing. Late spring, baetis hatch on cloudy days. Mid-summer, pale morning dun hatches as well as hoppers. Early fall is hoppers, caddis and tricos.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Where is the nearest airport?
A. Billings, Montana (BIL) is our nearest airport, (90 miles one way to the resort). Car rental is the typical transportation to and from our lodge although we can do work with a limo service if requested.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from I'll be back again Just back from my third trip to Forrester's and it just keeps getting better. How can it get any better ? Fantastic fishing over 100 trout per day per boat, slept like a baby in a super comfortable cabin and put on 5 pounds in four days. I'll definitely be back again.
Date published: 2012-10-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Its the Real Deal!! Our group just had 3 days fishing,4 wonderful nights at Forrester's. We have all fished together for years at many lodges around the world, always trying to stay in the very best all-around accomodations. Forrester's is in that very select group of resorts that don't leave a stone unturned in their effort to provide the optimum customer service experience. The staff and management are all extremely friendly and always wanting to help, the food is unsurpassed by any lodge experience we have ever had, guides were simply outstanding and easy to be with, cabins and the lodge were outstanding, clean, comfortable, and convenient. The proximity to the Bighorn River is excellent and the fishery on the Bighorn is superb. Never in the Lower 48 have any of us had any better fishing than we had on the Bighorn. On our slowest fishing day, my wife and I landed 53 trout ranging from 16 to over 19 inches. The entire experience on a scale of 1to 10 was certainly a perfect 10 in all categories.
Date published: 2012-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This Place Is Off The Chains! Phenomenal food, including the field lunches! Awesome upland bird hunting experience....exclusive hunting leases....not overrun with the same parties day after day. Incredible attention to detail and customer service. This place needs a sixth star!!
Date published: 2020-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great upland bird experience The lodge staff and guides were excellent. We were celebrating my father's 70th birthday and everyone ensured we enjoyed the hunt. The guides Wayne and Hal were accommodating, put us on the birds, and ensured our field experience was enjoyable. Jennifer was great and made sure we had everything we needed at the lodge and in our cabins. Nick and Francine were excellent hosts coordinating all the amenities.
Date published: 2019-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Above expectations We booked the Bighorn River Resort after comparing fishing lodges in Montana. It sounded all inclusive and we could not have been happier with our choice. Our hostess and staff were all friendly, helpful and accommodating. The cabins were cool and nice with porches with great scenic views. The meals were all so good and five star and so beautifully presented that I lack words to do them justice. Really really stupendously. And the fly fishing, the reason we were there, was also great. Our guides,Sean and Wayne were fun, friendly and knowledgeable and had top of the line equipment. We caught lots of rainbows and browns with a smattering of whites. The fish were big and fat and healthy and I personally got great instruction from Wayne. My husband and I along with sister and her husband recommend the Forrester's Bighorn River Resort. You will not be disappointed.
Date published: 2019-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent hospitality from everyone! I attended a group overnight stay and fly fishing event. From the moment we arrived we were immediately welcomed and felt at home. The service was excellent. The meals were 4+stars! The cabins were extremely comfortable and had upscale teas, coffees, toiletries. Slept like a log in their comfortable cabins. Tyrell was our fishing guide and my boat partner had not been fly fishing for more than 15 years. He was absolutely fantastic as an instructor and had patience far beyond any fly fishing guide I had ever had experienced. I would highly recommend him for anyone who is not comfortable with fly fishing. He made the trip a very memorable for my boat partner. Although I am not a beginner fly fishing person, I, too struggled with having a good day. He changed tackle and by the end of the day I had pulled in 6 beautiful brown and rainbow trouts.
Date published: 2019-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Experience!!! I just left Forresters for the 3rd time. Each time I go it gets better. The people, the food, the birds, the fishing, the guids, the dogs, the accommodations, all get 5 stars. There is nothing I could say negative about this place. We had a group of 9 people this time and everyone loved it. Being on the river for a cast and blast or in the field chasing birds will leave you in awe of God’s creation. Montana is beautiful country and I look forward to returning to Forrester’s soon.
Date published: 2018-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from World Class Outfit! Strongly Recommended! My Father and I spent 5 days there hunting and fishing with Forresters. This place is absolutely world class! Francine and Nick are super nice and extremely attentive and will ensure you have everything you need - down to the last detail. The guides (Cash, Sean, and Ray) were truly experts in their craft. Oh, and the food was amazing! I would strongly recommend them.
Date published: 2018-10-11
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