Montana Fly Fishing
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Boats for Fishing
the Ruby River
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The Ruby River is an easy float for all skill levels, although the many fences, its narrow width, shallow depth and irrigation hazards can make for some interesting and frustrating portages.
Good floating, when water levels are at least fairly high, can begin at the confluence of the East Fork Ruby River and the West Fork Ruby River. This section of the river is located on National Forest land, so access is easy. A campground called Cow Camp provides the best access.
In order to float this stretch, or any stretch of the Ruby River for that matter, don't even consider using a large boat or raft. About the only boat that can be used for floating the Ruby River successfully and easily is an inflatable kayak, as these narrow vessels are easy to turn, don't take up the entire rivers width and only draw a couple of inches of depth. While a standard canoe can work, the frequent shallow depth of the Ruby will often require dragging the canoe across lots of the river bottom.
For most of its length, the Ruby River has a moderate current, with some slow water stretches found primarily in the rivers last couple of miles.
Any floater travelling down the entire length of the Ruby River will have to traverse Ruby Reservoir. Happily, this reservoir is relatively small, allowing for an easy paddle across it. Since any floater of the Ruby should be using a small inflatable, the portage of the dam should also be relatively easy, if somewhat time consuming.
As one floats further downstream from Ruby Dam, expect the Ruby River r to get narrower and shallower due to irrigation withdrawls. Even in an inflatable kayak, portages will be needed around some low water stretches, many fences and irrigation pipes and dams.
Listed below are selected river miles for the Ruby River in Montana. You can get additional information about some of these fishing access sites by visiting the Montana FWP Site.
Origin at Divide Creek: 103
Cow Camp Campground: 92
Cottonwood Camp: 86
Ledford Creek Bridge Access Site: 69
Sweetwater Creek Bridge Access Site: 56
Ruby Reservoir Inlet: 51
Ruby Dam FAS: 45.2
Vigilante FAS: 43.7
Coy Brown Bridge FAS: 40.6
Alder Bridge FAS: 38.4
Silver Springs Bridge FAS: 19.3
County Bridge: 14
County Bridge: 7
County Bridge: 2
Confluence with Jefferson River in Twin Bridges: 0
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