On The Water
Missoula, Montana is a paradise for water lovers, with an abundance of rivers, lakes, and streams that offer a wide range of recreational opportunities. The Clark Fork River, a prominent waterway in the area, flows through the heart of downtown Missoula and provides excellent opportunities for fishing, kayaking, rafting, and floating. The nearby Blackfoot River, made famous by the novel and movie “A River Runs Through It,” offers clear waters and breathtaking scenery for those seeking a more tranquil experience. Additionally, numerous smaller streams and creeks dot the region, providing hidden gems for fly fishing enthusiasts. With the easy accessibility of these waterways, whether it’s a short drive or a quick hike, adventure seekers can quickly immerse themselves in the beauty of Missoula’s outdoor playground.
Named one of North America’s top ten trout fishing towns by Forbes Magazine, Missoula is known as a fly-fishing destination. The region boasts pristine rivers and streams with blue-ribbon designations and is known for healthy populations of fish. Here you will find rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout, as well as mountain whitefish. These diverse river systems provide excellent opportunities for both fly fishing and conventional angling.
Whether you prefer wading in small mountain streams or lazily drifting along larger rivers, the area offers a range of fishing experiences suitable for all skill levels. From challenging sections with tricky currents to calm stretches where beginners can hone their skills, Missoula has something to offer every angler.
Our friends at Blackfoot River Outfitters have a variety of options ranging from single day, to multi-night trips. Check out their offerings here.
Missoula offers a variety of rafting opportunities for all levels of thrill-seekers. Whether you’re craving rapids that will leave you drenched or a peaceful excursion surrounded by awe-inspiring natural beauty, our region has it all.
Make your trip even easier with a local guide, who can deal with planning and transportation so that you can relax and have fun.
Kayaking & Surfing
Brennan’s Wave is a man-made rapid on the Clark Fork River in downtown Missoula, where kayakers and surfers can get out on the water. If you want to get in on the action at Brennan’s wave, check in with local surf shop, Zoo Town Surfers, for lessons.
Tubing & Scenic Floats
Missoula offers fantastic opportunities for tubing and floating, allowing you to enjoy a leisurely experience on the water. The Clark Fork River, which winds its way through downtown Missoula, is a popular tubing destination. With its gentle currents and scenic surroundings, it provides an ideal setting for of all ages. Rent a tubes from a local outfitter and spend a lazy afternoon floating along the river, soaking up the sun, and taking in the beautiful landscapes.
Be sure to check local regulations and conditions before embarking on your tubing adventure for a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Check to make sure that the river is flowing at a safe level and never go out on the water alone.
- Wear waterproof shoes with backs, like Chaco’s or Teva’s.
- Bring a river trash bag.
- Glass is strictly prohibited on the river. Plastic and cans only!
- The sun makes a difference: the river gets cold once the sun goes down so plan your float accordingly.
- Schedule a shuttle or uber at the take out. Another popular option is to leave a vehicle at the take out site.
- Keep an eye out for wildlife! Eagles and osprey fish the Clark Fork, and deer and other critters can often be seen along the banks.
- Practice safe sun and use sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.