.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

12/13/09

Destinations: Fly Fishing The Ruby River Montana
Sticking with streams that are close to Yellowstone National Park, here is one
just over the hill from the Madison River, so to speak. The river isn't a terrible
long distance from West Yellowstone and in Montana terms, only a short ways -
the Ruby River.

The first time I laid eyes on the Ruby River, I was looking across a "for sale"
sign. I didn't notice what the sign said at first but when I read the details, it was
the land much of the river flowed through. My first thoughts were, I would buy it,
provided whoever owned it would finance it for me on my terms. I never called
the number. Common sense told me they wouldn't like my offer, so I just
proceeded to fish it free without having to buy it.

Seriously, there was a lot of land for sale and I really don't know the outcome, or
if it sold or not. I do know there was a lot of publicity about land owners blocking
anglers from fishing the stream. I did see the funny looking barbed wire fences
that ran up over the bridge bulkheads.

Much of the land surrounding the Ruby River is privately owned and it appears
to consist mostly of large ranches. The only traffic I have ever seen on the dirt
road that follows the river above Ruby Reservoir was always headed for or
leaving from a horse back trip at one of the ranches. That's about a forty mile
dirt road if I remember right. You wouldn't want to transverse it in your Rolls
Royce.

The upper part of the Ruby on National Forest Land has been void of humans
the few times we have been there. We seemed to have the entire river to
ourselves. We have managed to catch a lot of trout there, although they were
rather small.

Fishing below the dam is the best from a big fish standpoint. It is known to have
some nice brown trout, but do many other rivers in Southwestern Montana.
There's a fairly good amount of space directly below the dam. You can also
wade in the river from anywhere you can legally get in it, and as far as you want
to go under Montana law. I just don't like to carry our camera equipment along
via the streambed. One slip and there goes a few grand.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh