Montana Road Trip Expedition II Update III

Dear Parents, 

The Montana Road trip continues to roll on. The last time you heard from us, we were chasing salmon flies on the Madison, and after finding success, we quickly packed up to head to Missouri, where we set a new LFFE record for the largest brown trout, measuring 25 inches! The group has really found their groove on and off the water, and we are excited to see what their last day of fishing brings. 

Patience and persistence, two of the most important skills for fly fishing paid off big on the Madison. After a few days of spotty fishing while searching for the salmon flies we finally found fish devouring the big bugs on the surface of the water. The excitement of watching big fish explode out of the water in pursuit of your 3 inch foam fly is something some anglers wait a lifetime for. We are really happy that everyone had the chance to experience this legendary hatch, and I don't think it is a day of fishing any of them will soon forget. 

After floating the Madison, the crew packed up camp and headed to the mighty Missouri River near Craig, Mt. Unlike the shallow Madison River, the Missouri below Holter dam is a big deal river. The cold water released from the bottom of the dam has helped create the perfect habitat for trout and one of the best tailwater fisheries in the state. With all six of our boats in tow, we hit the river for two full days of floating that did not disappoint. Instead of the big salmon flies of the Madison, Missouri River trout prefer small nymphs and scuds, but our group quickly adapted. Within one hundred feet of the boat launch, we were hooked up, and the group started to realize how awesome this river was. A few hours later, one of the participants pulled in a 25-inch brown trout. The new LFFE record helped amplify the stoke, and the group continues to fish hard. 

The long days on the water build up quite the appetite; luckily our campsite is right on the river. In the evenings, we retreat back to camp, where we feasted on brats and chicken stir fry for the last two nights. Tomorrow we will spend one more morning on the river before we drive to Bozeman for our banquet dinner. After the banquet dinner, we will set up camp one last time. We will spend the last night at Bozeman Hot Springs Campground, reliving the trip as we soak in the natural springs. 

It is hard to believe our trip is coming to an end. The group has really bonded, and we have enjoyed watching them grow and learn over the last two weeks. It will be hard to see them go, but we hope to see them on the water again soon. 




Henry, Coleman, Gilman, and co

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions was started in 2010 as a graduate thesis for my Master's Degree in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. The operating premise was simple - by coupling amazing wilderness fly fishing camps for teens with environmental education and service learning we can help inspire future generations of fly fishing conservationists. We have been growing our unique list of trips and experiences ever since.

When it comes to choosing a summer program for your teen the options are endless. For the teen who loves to fish, be outside, and has a strong sense of adventure we have made the choice easy. We are the leader in teen fly fishing adventures and are dedicated to providing the best backcountry fly fishing experience with opportunities for teens to engage in leadership training, community service, and backcountry camping.


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Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

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Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions
2540 King Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

(828) 577-8204