Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout
Destination Type
Luxury Lodge
Fishing Style
Drift Boat, Dry Fly, Sightfishing, Wading
May - October
Fishing Days
2 - 6
Why We Go
  • Fish private sections of the Ruby River and Clear Creek only minutes from the lodge
  • Enjoy gourmet meals and fine cocktails with other lodge guests each night
  • Relax in a private cabin with a deck overlooking the Ruby River
  • Site fish for aggressive trout on a totally private stretch of water
  • Take in views of snow-capped mountains along both sides of the pastoral Ruby Valley

How better to complement a river named for a jewel than by building a lodge along its bank that is itself a gem? Ruby Springs Lodge is without question one of the West’s most elegant and understated facilities. Located on five private miles of the Ruby River just outside Alder, Montana, Ruby Springs Lodge offers endless angling options in all directions. Anglers can float the Madison, Jefferson, Beaverhead, and Big Hole rivers as well as walk and wade two intimate spring creeks, the Ruby, and two spring-fed ponds. Guides at the lodge are seasoned, full-time professionals who excel at working with clients of all skill levels.

With six exceedingly tasteful cabins situated mere yards from its namesake river, guests enjoy king or twin beds, fireplaces, open floor plans, bright inviting full baths, and private screened porches. Gourmet breakfasts and elegant dinners accompanied by fine wines are served in the comfort of the modern, yet rustic main lodge. Arguably, the only thing more beautiful than the facility is all that surrounds it.

Activities for non-anglers include skeet shooting at the lodge’s private range, guided horseback rides, naturalist guided hiking trips, golf, and sightseeing in the nearby historic towns of Nevada City and Bannack. For those who feel there is no need to sacrifice the good life for good fishing, Ruby Springs will surpass your expectations!

Fishing Program

Ruby Springs Lodge is located on 3,500 acres just outside of Alder Montana and offers their guests exclusive access to 12 ½ miles of private water on the Ruby river. The Ruby is considered by many to be one of the best small water trout fisheries in the state of Montana. You will have access to the more technical section of the river right outside your cabin as well as a more forgiving section downstream. In addition, Ruby Springs Lodge fishes some of the greatest rivers of the West including the Madison, Big Hole, Beaverhead, and the Jefferson. With the exception of the Ruby, you will access the rivers via drift boat.

Ruby River - Within five minutes from the lodge, there are over ten miles of private access to the Ruby River and its tributaries. Upstream from the lodge is the Canyon property, which boasts 2,200 fish per mile—the highest population on the entire river. The section is popular with beginning and intermediate anglers. Another angling option is the “home water” of the lodge, which runs right past the cabins. Because of the smaller river channel, the fishing here can be challenging, but very satisfying for more advanced anglers. On both sections, there are good hatches of pale morning duns in June and July, caddis and terrific hopper fishing throughout the summer, and Baetis (blue-wing olive) hatches in the fall.

Big Hole River - If you dreamed up a trout river, it might look like the Big Hole. Towering cliffs in places, quiet meadow stretches, wildlife, and lots of feisty trout. Probably the most exciting dry fly fishing for trout anywhere is found on this river in June, with the emergence of the Salmonfly. This is a great time to fish this river, but the dry fly fishing continues into the summer with Caddis, Tricos, and hoppers too. Streamer fishing in both the spring and fall can be excellent as well.

Beaverhead River - The stats speak for themselves: average fish, 16”; 3,800 fish per mile; one fish of 4 pounds or better every twenty feet of bank. The Beaverhead River is the best trophy trout river in the region—and possibly beyond. It’s surprisingly small, but deep, fast, and full of big fish. Small nymphs work well on this river, catching amazingly big fish for such small food. June and July provide good dry fly fishing with caddis and pale morning duns, as well as the famous crane fly in August. Blue wing olives hatch in the fall, and the streamer fishing at this time can be frightening.

Madison River - The Madison River is the most consistently productive river in this program. There are great hatches of salmonflies, caddis, and mayflies, and anglers can successfully fish using virtually any method of fly fishing. It’s a gorgeous river with rainbows, browns, the occasional brook trout and even the rare grayling. Being only thirty minutes from the lodge and in a beautiful and scenic valley, it’s one of our most popular fisheries.

Jefferson River - During the spring and fall, this unheralded river can produce some wonderful fishing, not to mention solitude, wildlife, and beauty. The streamer fishing can be red hot, and there’s even dry fly fishing at certain times of year.

Private Waters - Anglers who would like to fish one of a variety of nearby private waters, such as Clear Creek or other small streams, can request that the lodge arrange for these trips with advance notice. There are also two spring-fed ponds on the premises for casting practice or instruction.


The main lodge has a beautiful stone fireplace, elegant woodwork, a screened-in cigar porch and is decorated in a tasteful modern rustic style. Each of the seven private cabins is set a few yards from the meandering Ruby River. Cabin amenities include optional king or twin beds facing a fireplace within a large, open floor plan, a fully stocked refrigerator, a bright and inviting full bath, oversized tubs and heated tile floors, private deck, and a screened porch.

Each evening of your stay begins with a cocktail and appetizer in the River Room at the lodge. Following cocktail hour, guests are treated to a gourmet dinner complete with an appropriate wine selection from their cellar. Each morning, they personally deliver a wake-up basket filled with coffee, tea or juice. When you are ready to greet the day, stroll down the boardwalk to enjoy a hearty, cooked-to-order Montana breakfast. For lunch, you will either experience a delicious streamside picnic on one of the nearby blue-ribbon float trip fisheries—or you will enjoy a day wading their private water, taking a break back at the lodge for an expertly-prepared patio lunch.

Additional Experiences

Additional activities include guided horseback rides into the pristine Ruby Mountains, golf at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Old Works Golf Course, naturalist-guided hiking trips on miles of wilderness trails, sightseeing and photography trips to Virginia City and a historical day trip to Big Hole Battlefield Bannack (Montana’s first territorial capital).

Massages are also available in your cabin for an additional charge.


Day 1: Arrive Ruby Springs Lodge

Days 2 - 5: Four Full days of guided fishing

Day 6: Depart lodge

Rates & Details

2024 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 6 night/5 day package: $7,800
  • 5 night/4 day package: $6,500
  • 4 night/3 day package: $5,200
  • 3 night/2 day package: $3,900

Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, fully-stocked bar, guided fishing, flies, lodging tax. The lodge can also provide any tackle that you might need.

Not Included: Transportation to/from the lodge, fishing license, airport shuttle (if needed), staff and guide gratuities

Species: Rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout

Season: May - October

Capacity: 14 anglers

Fly Water Q&A

What are the top reasons to go?

  • Fish private sections of the Ruby River and Clear Creek only minutes from the lodge
  • Enjoy gourmet meals and fine cocktails with other lodge guests each night
  • Relax in a private cabin with a large deck overlooking a pristine side channel of the Ruby River
  • Site fish to trout on a totally private stretch of water
  • Take in views of snow capped mountains along both
    sides of the pastoral Ruby Valley

Who is best suited to this destination? Guests who enjoy accommodations as lovely as the fishing is good! Ruby Springs Lodge is as much about the tradition at the lodge as it is about the time spent on the river. The service, meals and experience are of the highest standard and guests who enjoy this type of travel will like this lodge. The lodge works very well for couples and corporate groups, or groups of friends as the cabins provide private space and the main dining area is a very social setting. The fishing is primarily walk and wade with easy access and is very close to the lodge, so this works well for guests who need to spend some time resting throughout the day, or for the hard charging angler who wants to spend as much time as possible on the river.

Where is the lodge? The lodge is located in a small town called Alder, just outside of Twin Bridges, Montana.

How do I get there? Guests will fly into Bozeman, MT and rent a car. There is also a private airport in Twin Bridges and Dillon, and guests can request shuttle service from the lodge if they choose either of these options. The drive from Bozeman is about an hour and a half long, and very scenic.

When should I go? The lodge opens in April and the angler willing to brave any last minute snow storms that may blow in will have opportunities at larger trout with streamers through mid-May.

In July and August guests will have more opportunities to fish dry flies to rising trout and will have warmer weather for jovial evenings spent on the patio. Fishing is consistent through July, with all five accessible rivers usually fishing well.

August usually sees the warmest weather and most people, and later in the month provides a nice opportunity to fish the Jefferson River.

By mid-September things start cooling down in the evenings again, and the fishing picks back up. Fishing for brown trout with streamers can be effective in October for guests open to potential snow storms.

How will I fish? Anglers will fish two per guide. The access that the lodge has to the Ruby River is best fished on foot, and guides can drive anglers right to the fishing spot. Anglers may also choose to walk up as much of the river as they desire. For other rivers like the Big Hole, Jefferson, Beaverhead and Madison, anglers will float two per guide in a drift boat.

Is there wade fishing? The Ruby River will primarily be waded, as well as Clear Creek which also winds through the property. There are side channels and islands that can be waded nicely on the Big Hole and Jefferson, but are best accessed by boat.

Where will I fish?
The Ruby River is the primary fishery, but guests should
also expect to spend at least one day on one of the other local rivers such as
the Beaverhead, Big Hole, Madison, or Jefferson.

The lodge has private access to five miles of the Ruby River and fishes other public access points as well. There are also access public access points to all sections of the Beaverhead, Big Hole, Madison and Jefferson that the lodge will use, so in most cases guests will not fish the same section of river twice.

There are also four ponds on the property with very large trout that make for a great place to bring in some large and aggressive fish, as well as a wonderful place to practice casting.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? Access points to the Ruby River are a few minutes away and most access points to the other rivers are closer to thirty minutes away. The farthest access point is an hour and a half away and is seldom fished unless fishing conditions are very good.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? Anglers will mostly catch brown trout and rainbow trout, although cutbows, white fish and the occasional cutthroat are possible.

How many fish will I catch? Guests should expect five to ten fish a day, but numbers can me better than that depending on the fishing method and conditions.

Will I see other anglers? Other anglers on the private sections of the Ruby River will always be other guests of the lodge. On the other rivers with public access guests should expect to see other anglers, especially in the summer. Seeing seven or so other boats throughout the day is common in the high season depending on the river.

What are the guides like? The guides are dedicated, very knowledgeable of the area and for the most part have been with the lodge for many years. They are loyal to this fishery and excited to see guests have successful and educational fishing days. Those guides that have been with the lodge for fifteen or more years have dedicated return guests and should be booked early.

What are the physical demands? There are no physical demands of this location. The wading on the Ruby River is easy and it can be fished from shore in most sections. Guests looking for a more physically demanding day can choose to wade deeper into the sections they are fishing.

Are there any special skills required? There are no special skills required, this place is a good place for novice and experienced anglers alike.

Does the lodge provide equipment The lodge provides rods, reels, terminal tackle and flies, and boots and waders. There is a small shop on site with clothing to purchase.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? A 9-foot, 6-weight rod with a weight-forward floating line will work well on any of the rivers in this area, the Ruby can also be great with a 3- or 4-weight rod.

What are the top flies? San Juan worm, prince nymph, rubber legs, hopper patterns, pale morning dun, trico

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? There are many different venues to fish should one river be experiencing runoff or dangerously warm conditions for the trout. Anglers should be prepared to fish through all weather conditions, including wind, rain, snow and freezing temperatures.

What is a typical day like? Guests will have a wake up basket delivered to their cabin door at the time of their choosing with coffee and a muffin. Breakfast will start as early as 6:00 AM and guides will typically pick guests up at 7:30 AM. Guests fishing the Ruby River will often come back to the lodge for lunch, and guests at venues farther away will have a lunch on the river.

The fishing day usually ends around 4:00 PM, with guests returning to the lodge between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM for an hour or so to clean up in time for cocktail hour at 6:30 PM. Dinner will be served at 7:30 PM. Guests tend to relax around the fire by the river for after dinner drinks or go into the River Room to enjoy a game on the big screen.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere and style of the
The lodge is cozy and the general vibe is that guests get to enjoy it at their own pace. There is plenty of space and guests wishing to find some quiet time have a number of locations to enjoy the setting, and those feeling more social will have the ability to spend time chatting with other guests and the incredibly attentive staff throughout their stay.

Is there an on-site owner, manager or other point-person
at the lodge?
The manager, David Frederickson, is onsite until early evening, and after that the servers will be the point people. This is the type of place where most of the staff will know your name and be incredibly helpful should there be anything extra you need.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? Guests will take breakfast and dinner in the dining room or on the patio if the weather permits, and cocktail hour and appetizers are served in the lounge and accompanying deck, also called the River Room.

What is the alcohol policy? The lodge has an all-inclusive and open alcohol policy, guests may serve themselves at the open bar in the River Room and may ask the servers tending the bar to make whatever cocktail they desire.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? The five cabins nearest the main lodge come with either two twin beds or one king bed, large ensuite bathroom and private deck overlooking the river. Cabin six is a one-bedroom cabin with a private sitting area, more space and two full bathrooms. Cabin seven is a two-bedroom cabin with large living room, plasma TV, full wet bar and two full bathrooms with private deck. All cabins are connected by a lit wooden walkway and guests will be offered a golf cart to get to and from the dining area and River Room.

Is there internet and/or cell service? There is intermittent cell service and Wifi available throughout the lodge and rooms.

Are there other activities? This is a lovely place to relax with a book, and for those who prefer not to fish there is hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, skeet shooting, bird hunting, visiting Virginia City ghost town, and yoga classes available. Please inquire about these activities when booking your stay.

Are there any other expenses? Guests should plan on guide gratuities ($150 - $200 per guide per day), staff gratuities (10% of nightly rate, $220 -$300/night), a Montana fishing license, massages ($135 for an hour) and if they are not renting a car at the airport, shuttles ($110 round trip per person).

Do I need a visa? A visa is not needed for this trip.

Are there any health concerns, dangers or annoyances? Weather in the Rockies can be unpredictable and guests are encouraged to bring layers for cool mornings and evenings with an option for lighter clothes during the heat of the day. Rain and snow are a possibility in most months of the year. Wind can be an issue around fall, and in early summer there may be some mosquitos at boat ramps.

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