The Ruby River begins in the Gravelly Range of southwest Montana. The
river flows down these mountains into a broad, arid valley, where it
flows into Ruby
Reservoir. Below Ruby Reservoir, the river flows in a
valley that lies between the Ruby Range to the south and the very scenic
Tobacco Root mountains to the north. The river ends with the confluence
of the Jefferson River at Twin Bridges.
The Ruby River has very difficult access in comparison to other Montana
rivers. Except for the very upper stretch of the river, which lies in
National Forest land, the river flows primarily through private property.
And for whatever reason, many of the landowners along the Ruby River
tend to be less than cordial to anglers who are fly fishing, in stark
contrast to other regions of the state. Gaining access to the Ruby River
by roads is also quite difficult above Ruby Reservoir, as only a few
roads cross the river. Finally, the river itself is located in a remote
section of the state.
However, for those willing to tackle the difficulty of accessing it,
the Ruby River provides very good fly fishing with lots of solitude for
those who are floating or for the wade angler willing to venture away
from the few public access sites.
The Ruby River itself tends to be quite narrow and very meandering,
with bushy banks that can make casting difficult. The river also has
undercut banks and some deep holes.
Due to the difficulty of access and the fact that the Ruby River is
found within striking distance of better-known rivers such as the Big
Hole, Beaverhead and the Madison, the Ruby River does not get extensively
high fly fishing pressure. However, the best fly fishing will be found
away from the fishing access sites, particularly in the upper portion
of the river where access sites tend to be few and far between.
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