About the Dearborn River
Originating in the Scapegoat Wilderness high in the Lewis and Clark Range of the Rocky Mountains, the Dearborn is a relatively unknown river when compared with nearby waters such as the Missouri, Blackfoot, or Yellowstone Rivers. This is arguably the most scenic river in Montana. And certainly one of the less crowded.
We are only able to float this river during a brief run-off window, usually occurring in May and June. After this, the water levels are too low to navigate with a raft, leaving only limited wade fishing access. The most popular section of this river will take you on a 19 mile float from the Highway 287 bridge, through a magnificent canyon, before its confluence with the Missouri River downstream of Craig, Montana. It is not uncommon to launch your raft in the morning, and not see another person until the confluence.
Fishing can be good to great on the Dearborn, depending on run-off conditions, weather and water clarity. A healthy population of cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout call this river home. Attractor dries and droppers, or perhaps a streamer are the common methods here.