Montana Road Trip Update

Hello from the Montana road trip! 

The Montana Road trip is flying by. We can't believe our trip is already winding down, but we still have some great fishing to look forward to.

After spending a few days on the famous Upper Madison River, the group packed up camp and headed further west to fish some smaller water. Although smaller, this river was packed full of nice fish, and we managed to catch a bunch of fish, including some true trophies. Unfortunately, Montana, liked much of the West, is experiencing record drought coupled with record heat. The combination is less than ideal for Montana's wild trout, which depend on the typically cold water. However, this has not stopped our crew from fishing hard and catching some huge fish. 

 Our typical day at camp consists of getting up early to fish the morning PMD hatch, followed by a nice lunch on the river or at our campsite overlooking a pristine Resovoir. During the hot afternoons, we give the trout a break and float around in the reservoir, enjoy ice cream, or play some intense spike ball matches. We have been eating an early dinner for the last few days, just in time to make our way to our nightly dry fly sessions, where we have had tremendous success fishing with Chubby Chernobyls and Parachute Adams to large rising trout.

Yesterday brought almost unprecedented news of new restrictions being put in place on many of Montana's most famous rivers. The restrictions are an effort to help protect the wild trout of Montana, which are highly sensitive to temperature increases. Many rivers have been shut down to fishing altogether, and the Yellowstone and Madison have been "hoot oweled," which means you can not fish after 2 pm. This has not happened since the 90s. This had us discussing every possible fishing option for our last few days. We highly considered the 2-hour drive for a trip to the Bechler River in the Idaho section of Yellowstone, but ultimately the group decided they would rather spend their time focused on targeting the potentially massive fish of the Upper Madison. 

On the 25th, we cap off the trip with a float on the Upper Yellowstone. We will be putting on extra early so we can still get our full day float in before the 2 pm cutoff. From there, we will head to Bozeman Hot Springs Campground with plenty of time for laundry, showers, a soak in the hot springs, and a well earned banquet dinner. 

We have caught some great fish, had days with high numbers, and seen some beautiful water, but the greatest part of our trip has been the people. After more than one week together, our group continues to grow closer. They always keep a positive attitude and continue to strengthen friendships old and new.


See you soon, 


Pat, Yantis, Jeff, and Connor. 


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

Contact Us

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

(828) 577-8204