the Jefferson River
Eagle Inflatable Kayaks -
An inflatable kayak is a wonderful way to both float and fish the
many rivers in Montana. You can also learn more about inflatable
kayaks in our Inflatable
Kayak Guide, too. I own a Sea Eagle Kayak and highly
The Jefferson River provides an easy float for anglers of any ability.
No rapids are found anywhere on the river and the current moves slowly
for most of its length.
The fastest flows on the Jefferson River, which aren't especially fast,
are found in the upper section, between Twin Bridges and Cardwell. Below
this section, a canoe may be the best boat to use, as frequent paddling
may be needed to get anywhere.
Low water can also pose problems for floaters, especially on the last
twenty miles of the Jefferson River. Irrigation for all the hayfields
that line the river take up much of the rivers water. A number of braids
and channels also exist on this lower stretch. Taking a wrong turn during
low water can lead to long pulls of your boat over the streambed.
Several diversion dams exist along the Jefferson River that, depending
on river flows, may need to be portaged. The first dam is located at
the Parsons Bridge Access Site, twenty miles downstream from Twin Bridges.
The second dam is found eight miles further downstream.
Miles on the Jefferson River
Listed below are selected
river miles for the Jefferson River in Montana.
Origin near Twin Bridges: 84
Canyon FAS: 70.7
Star FAS: 66
Parsons Bridge: 60
Castle FAS: 50.3
Bridge FAS: 44.2
Bridge FAS: 40.5
Bridg FAS: 35.5
and Clark Caverns State Park: 30.3
Bridge FAS (end Canyon section): 21.6
Bridge FAS: 18.5
Interstate 90 Bridge: 4
River Headwaters State Park: 0
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