Five Rivers Lodge River Guide - The Ruby River
The Ruby River begins in the Gravelly Range of southwest Montana and flows into Ruby Reservoir. Below the reservoir, it flows into a valley that lies between the Ruby Range to the south and the Tobacco Root mountains to the north. The river ends at the confluence of the Jefferson River at Twin Bridges, Montana.
Compared to the other rivers, the Ruby River has the most difficult access for a few reasons: it primarily flows through private lands, the narrow and meandering waters are lined with extremely dense brush, only a few roads cross the river, and it is located in a remote part of the state.
The upper stretch, above the Ruby Reservoir, runs clear and through the pristine and mountainous backdrop. It has excellent flyfishing for rainbows, grayling and cutthroats. Narrow and winding, this section passes through national forest lands where access is best.
Once the Ruby river leaves the national forest lands, access becomes very difficult. Be prepared to fish and wade in the river, not along the riverbanks, as many landowners have erected tall fences right up to the bridge accesses and along the dense brushy banks.
Below the Ruby Dam, one will find prime brown trout waters. And while access is a little easier than the stretch above the dam, thick brush again lines the banks making flyfishing from the shore nearly impossible.
Due to extensive irrigation withdrawals, the Ruby River looses much of its water as it travels downstream from the dam. Further down from the dam, it more resembles a spring creek, requiring care as to avoid spooking the fish. Considered to be one of the state’s prime grasshopper fishing waters, the Ruby’s hopper fishing on this lower stretch goes from late June through the first frost of the year.