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

4.2 out of 5 Customer Rating
Item #8C640000
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Brandon Boedecker

Pro Outfitters' North Fork Crossing


Phone icon406-442-5489 Email iconpro@prooutfitters.com Link iconprooutfitters.com
328 North Fork Hill Road
Ovando, MT 59854

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

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!

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.

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. 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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spectacular Experience Just about a perfect all-around experience. The facilities were top-notch, the food was outstanding, and Keith, Vicky and Morgan couldn't have been better hosts. We boated tons of fish on both float days with the able guidance of Ben on our first day, and Bryce on our second. We'll definitely be back.
Date published: 2020-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fish On! Spent 2 nights and 2 floats here - it was as good as you could ever want. Ask for Ben and his son Bryce by name for your trips, they will put you on fish. On the second float day we netted almost 60 fish between 3 fishermen in less than ideal weather. Additionally, they are great company and understand how to take care of their clients. The Lodge is gorgeous, food is wonderful and the service is top notch. Keith, the chef, is a magician. We've already booked our return trip.
Date published: 2020-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Above expectations Above expectations Truly a great little gem and a wonderful Montana experience. Guides were fantastic, the service was outstanding friendly and accommodating. The food is above average
Date published: 2020-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome experience from start to finish The float trips were great and the guides did a very good job with 3 first time fly fishermen. We caught several good sized fish and had plenty of action for late August. The tents were very comfortable and clean. While it is good to get away from everything it would be nice to have stronger Wi-Fi at the lodge to make sure nothing is going on back in the world.
Date published: 2020-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brother's Trip of a Lifetime...THANK YOU! PRO Outfitters was responsible for giving us an experience that my four brothers and a couple of friends will remember as the best trip of our lives. Five stars is not nearly enough... and I can not say "THANK YOU" enough to the entire staff and guides for the experience. It truly was a blessed experience in what has to be God's Country. Thank you again to all the great people at PRO Outfitters.
Date published: 2019-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Time ! Comfortable facilities, abundantly delicious food (& drink) and great fishing...in my case, largely due to the excellent guides! I'd do this again in a heartbeat.
Date published: 2019-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome, Just Plain Awesome! Staying with PRO for a few days was just what the soul needed. Great accommodations. I never thought staying in a Yurt would be so plush. The guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. Each day was topped off with an amazing meal to die for. Highly recommended!!!
Date published: 2018-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Trip This was my first trip with Pro and I cannot wait to go back. Brandon and his team do a great job. The lodge and accommodations are awesome, fishing was great and I can't wait to get back there.
Date published: 2018-12-21
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