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

3.4 out of 5 Customer Rating
Item #8C660000
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Tara McCreedy

Spotted Bear Ranch


Phone icon406-270-5235 Email iconinfo@spottedbear.com Link iconspottedbear.com

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

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!

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!

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.

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!

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!

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Experience 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.
Date published: 2012-10-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible exoerience We’ve come to Spotted Bear 3 years in a row and it gets better every year. We’ve requested the same guide Tucker Who I’ll say is the best guide I’ve ever fished. Aside from bring a fish magnet His enthusiasm for Everything about the entire experience is obvious and does it with a fun and patient demeanor. Tom and the entire crew are so welcoming and attentive and the chef is world class. I’m anazed every year how they pull it off so far from civilization.
Date published: 2020-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great experience Went fishing with hill and all I can say if a bull trout is on your list these guys will help you get it checked off will be fishing again very soon
Date published: 2020-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a place! My son and I had a great experience at Spotted Bear. We fished three days, including a hike and wade on the Spotted Bear River, and float trips on both the upper and lower South Fork. All was wonderful and Jay was the best and hardest working guide ever! The food and hospitality were outstanding and the facility is just such a peaceful, comfortable place. I'll never forget the natural beauty of those rivers.
Date published: 2019-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best fishing trip ever This was our second trip to spotted bear and it was off the charts. We’ve been fishing out west for 15 years and spotted bear is now our go to. Chris/Tara and staff are the perfect host. We fished for 5 days floating and wade walking and our guide tucker was knowledgeable,patient and a cutty whisperer!
Date published: 2019-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Fishing We just returned from our second trip to Spotted Bear Ranch and are already talking about when we can go back next year! Chris and Tara and their team do a wonderful job of making you feel right at home. Wonderful cabins, delicious food and fabulous fishing, once again! Incredible fishing with our guide Tucker!
Date published: 2019-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing visit! Spotted Bear Ranch is an amazing place to visit. A rare combination of phenomenal cuttthroat trout fishing, gorgeous landscapes and some of the nicest folks managing/guiding make for a truly special place. I just returned and I am already looking at my calendar to see when I can head back for another trip. Special thanks to Kevin, Jesse and Hudson for the awesome guided trips.
Date published: 2019-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from National Treasure My second trip to Spotted Bear Ranch in two years exceeded all expectations. The water is gin clear, the bull and cutthroat trout fishing was excellent, and the staff is beyond reproach. Chris and his team of guides are a pleasure, and make all of it look very easy. I plan on returning every chance I get.
Date published: 2019-07-16
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