Western Trout

Values in Western Trout Fishing

Max Salzburg November 28, 2023

When exploring western trout fishing trips there are a great many options, and these are the ones where your dollars will go the furthest. 

There are float trips, full lodge programs, guiding only programs, and a blend of everything in between. There are some destinations that offer a very high level of service along with great fishing and destinations that offer comfortable accommodations and hearty meals but they are not boutique or gourmet and the focus is strongly on the fishing program. Here are some of our favorite destinations that might not offer mints on the pillows, but offer a great experience and can get anglers more days of fishing for a lower rate. For this post I am going to compare some of our favorite value packages so that guests can get the best “bang for the buck”.

Kingfisher Lodge, Montana: The Bighorn River in southeast Montana boasts upwards of 4,000 fish per mile and stable year-round flows due to it being a tailwater. The fish tend to be in the 14- to 18-inch class, but there are trophy fish roaming about. The lodge is simple but comfortable and the meals are hearty and delicious. 

2024 Rate: $2,475 per person based on double occupancy for a 5 night/ 4 day package

North Platte Lodge, Wyoming: The North Platte River in central Wyoming is an angling experience unlike any other. From the Miracle Mile to the town of Glenrock the North Platte is one of the world’s most productive tailwaters where fish average in the 16- to 18-inch class with true trophy fish in the system. The lodge is comfortable, clean, and welcoming while the meals are casual and filling.

2024 Rate: $2,700 per person based on double occupancy for a 5 night/ 4 day package

Big Sky Anglers / Golden Stone Inn, Montana: Located at the gateway to Yellowstone National Park, Big Sky Anglers has developed a truly amazing program in West Yellowstone. They offer some of the closest access to fly fishing the park along with iconic rivers such as the Henry’s Fork and the Yellowstone. The guides are experts in their field at single hand fishing along with trout Spey. Guests here will be on their own for dinners, but the dining options in West Yellowstone are numerous and just blocks from the Golden Stone Inn.

2024 Rate: $2,999.50 per person based on double occupancy for a 5 night/ 4 day package

Elk River Guiding, British Columbia: For guests that want to handle their own accommodations and meals in the hip, outdoor town of Fernie, British Columbia. Elk River Guiding can set up amazing float or walk and wade trips in the unpressured trout angling areas of British Columbia and Alberta. The options are impressive with over 20 different venues of beats and rivers in the area. Different rates apply to floats or walk and wade rivers, but the outfitter at Elk River Guiding can help set up a trip that is high in diversity, adventure and options for high catch rate mountain rivers or trophy fish hunting on some of the area’s larger rivers.

2024 Rate: Approximately CAD $2,000 per person for a 4 day package

Deschutes River Float, Oregon: Every trout angler in the world should experience the Deschutes River in Oregon once in their life. The redside trout are large and strong and plentiful. Our outfitting partner, Renton River Adventures, is one of the finest outfitters in Oregon with a long history of providing a top notch experience, comfortable camps, and amazing riverside meals. One great thing about trout fishing on the Deschutes is that anglers can fish in the months of May and October adding time to their trout fishing season.

2024 Rate: $2,640 per person based on double occupancy for a 3 night/ 4 day package

Owyhee River Basecamp, Oregon: Experience an eastern Oregon gem of a river with an experienced and fun outfitter. The Owyhee River may be Oregon’s finest brown trout fishery. The accommodations and meals are simple, but the walk and wade fishing can be lights out early and late in the season.

2024 Rate: $1,550 per person based on double occupancy for a 2 night/ 2 ½ day package

Bow River Camp, Alberta: For guests that want to experience Alberta’s remarkable Bow River with a fantastic outfitter the Bow River Camp is for you.  For the month of August master guide, fly tyer, and chef Aaron Coldwell sets up a comfortable tent camp on private property 25-miles downstream of Calgary.  The camp is simple, but the fishing can be world-class with options for dry fly fishing and trout Spey fishing.

2024 Rate: $2,500 per person based on double occupancy for a 2 night/ 3 day package

Black Canyon of the Gunnison River Float, Colorado:  Floating through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River can be one of the top fly fishing trips in the lower 48. Amazing scenery, excellent fishing, and abundant wildlife all await guests on this special and exciting float trip adventure.

2024 Rate: $2,750 per person based on double occupancy for a 2 night/ 3 day float with 2 nights at the lodge on the front and back end of the trip.

McKenzie River, Oregon with Matt Ramsey: Matt Ramsey is one of the finest fishing guides we have ever crossed paths with. He guides the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers just outside of Eugene, Oregon. Matt is patient, kind, a great communicator, and an amazing guide. Matt holds the distinction of one of the only guides that our own Ken Morrish pays to fish with every year. Guests will be on their own for accommodation and meals, but there are lots of options in the Eugene area.

2024 Rate: $650 per day for one or two anglers

Williamson River, Oregon with Paul McDonald: The Williamson River is a river unlike most trout rivers in the west. The fishing for large trout actually improves the hotter the air temperature is. The river terminates in Klamath Lake which is Oregon’s largest lake with an average depth of 12-feet. As the lake warms the fish migrate up river to colder waters of the Williamson. It is here that guests catch trout that often exceed 20-inches. Guests will need to book accommodation in the small town of Chiloquin, Oregon but there are options that we can help with.

2024 Rate: $600 per day for one or two anglers (minimum of 2 consecutive days)

We Can Help You Find The Right Destination

Our Western Trout Destination Manager is Max Salzburg