Nestled in the beautiful Ruby Valley is a spectacular, small river called Ruby River that has excellent fishing. This river is located about 30 minutes from Ennis and an hour from Bozeman and is wellworth the trip. It may be small, but you can pull some huge trout from this river. It’s not nearly as well-known as some of the other Montana rivers, but it’s got a reputation for excellent fly fishing. The brown trout here generally average 14-18 inches, but it isn’t unusual for someone to catch a 20-inch whopper. The highest catch rates happen in the upper part of the river. From Ruby Reservoir to Alder, you’ll find mostly brown trout. There are a few rainbow trout in this area as well. The section from Alder to Twin Bridges is difficult to access, which keeps most people away. You can enjoy excellent fishing in the Ruby River all year.
Knowing where to fish on the Ruby River is key to increasing your catch rate and having a productive fishing experience. Below we’ll explore the best stretches along Ruby River for trout fishing.
Ruby Reservoir to Alder
The stretch of river just below the Ruby River supports a variety of hatches and trout that feed on these hatches. Midge, caddis and PMD hatches begin spring and tapper off toward early summer. Brown trout are most common in this stretch of the Ruby River with a some rainbows. There are four public access points, two in the upper 4 miles and two more in the lower 6 miles.
Alder to Twin Bridges
Beyond Alder, Ruby River flows primarily through private property. Due to its inaccessibility, this section of the river has very low fishing pressure year round. If you’re able to gain access, you won’t be disappointed. Streamers work well along this stretch.
Knowing when to fish the Ruby is just as important as now where to fish.
In the Spring, fish below the dam to take advantage of midge and caddis hatches. Streamer fishing works well for targeting large Browns. Aggressive brown trout like to hold inside the cut banks and deep pools. Nymph fishing using black and grey midge patterns using imitation larvae is effective.
During runoff from late May through late June, the reservoir releases a lot of water. Because this makes the current fast and hard to manage, it is not ideal fishing season.
Insects are active all summer from July through September. Streamers work well on cloudy days. Try dead drifting a streamer during cloud cover for best results. Attractor nymphs, dries and PMD imitations are also effective.
During fall, from October to November, brown trout begin spawning. Using egg bait patterns is effective, as is streamer fishing when overcast. Take advantage of occasional midge hatches that bring trout to the surface. Using flies that “match the hatch” is most effective.
Over the winter, from December to March, when the temperatures reach above fifty degrees, nymphing along the Ruby River is an effective fishing technique. Use olive, black and grey midge larvae or pupae imitations for best results.