Montana Fly Fishing
Ruby Reservoir

Ruby Reservoir

Ruby Reservoir in Southwest Montana
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Ruby Reservoir is found in southwest Montana, in the vicinity of Ruby, Montana. In 1994, somewhat incredulously, the reservoir was completely drained down to its last drop. Such an event, need less to say, killed off all the fish in the reservoir and hurt the trout populations in the lower half of the Ruby River.

Since then, at least some water is always left in Ruby Reservoir, in order to prevent another massive fish kill. While some water is now left behind in the reservoir, it is still heavily drawn down during the summer for irrigation demands, leaving very exposed banks and making boat landings tricky.

Thankfully, Ruby Reservoir is quite small, measuring out to only about 1000 acres when full. As a result, it is an excellent reservoir to put in with a canoe, inflatable kayak, pontoon boat, or a float tube (if the winds are not too strong).

Ruby Reservoir is planted with rainbow trout each year, and since the disaster of 1994, rainbow trout populations have made a steady recovery. Additionally, as Ruby Reservoir is part of the Ruby River, some large brown trout can be found at the inlet, although a boat will be needed to access this part of the reservoir.

Access to the reservoir is excellent, with a paved road following the eastern bank of the reservoir for its entire distance, allowing for easy boat launchings of inflatable boats as well as providing excellent camping opportunities (which is good, since the nearest services are some distance away).

Conditions on the reservoir can at times be very windy, making fly fishing a challenge. It can also make things an adventure for float tubers, which is why an inflatable canoe or kayak is the best choice of vessel for this lake.

Fishing Ruby Reservoir is a nice diversion for any angler who plans on fly fishing the Ruby River. The Ruby River, with its difficult access, finicky brown trout and narrow width, can be a painstaking river to fish. As a result, the wide-open fishing opportunities on Ruby Reservoir, especially at the inlet to the lake, can provide a welcome relief when conditions are good - particularly in the spring and early summer before the reservoir gets drawn down for irrigation.

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