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