Cutting through the vast open hill-country of southeast Montana flows the fabled Bighorn River. With upwards of 4000 trout per mile and reliably stable year-round flows, the Bighorn has become a tailwater fishery by which others are measured. While high catch rates of fish in the 14 to18-inch class form the cornerstone of the angling experience, the river is also special in that it offers anglers of all skill levels the ability to fish a wide variety of tactics. Ranging from side drifting indicators from the boat to wade fishing back channels on foot and sight fishing to large trout feeding on small dry flies, this river has something for every angler. Combine this with the hands-on hosting of Jenny and Brock Boedecker and you have a classic and hard-to-beat venue where stays of varying lengths are welcome.
Kingfisher Lodge is a simple yet tastefully appointed lodge well known for truly exceptional cuisine. On arrival and departure days, guests enjoy convenient walk-in access to the Bighorn River where they can fish unguided. Guided days will include full days floating on the Bighorn and exploring the many channels either on foot or by boat. Most evenings, after fishing, guests and guides share a ceremonial drink at their casual outdoor Lean Boat Bar. All and all this is a consistent and productive Montana operation where quality fishing and attention to detail are a given.
Kingfisher Lodge is located in southeastern Montana, approximately 85 miles southeast of Billings.
Kingfisher Lodge’s fishing program is based around fly fishing the Bighorn River. The river is primarily accessed by drift boat but offers many walk-and-wade opportunities if desired. Typically anglers are picked up between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM and return to the lodge between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Thoughtfully prepared lunches will be served streamside.
The Bighorn River is a beautiful clear tailwater that flows out of Yellowtail Dam on Bighorn Lake. The lodge is situated a few miles below the dam for convenient access to the meandering river. In spring and fall, anglers will see blue-winged olives and other forms of baetis, and in the summer months, anglers will see PMDs and little yellow stoneflies. Toward the end of summer, the infamous trico hatch kicks into high gear and provides one of the sport’s most compelling challenges.
Guests who opt not to fish can relax at the lodge, bird watch or take a day trip to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.
Kingfisher Lodge Accommodations and Meals:
Kingfisher Lodge offers eight rooms, each with two queen beds, private bathroom and mini fridge. All rooms are a few paces from the common area where guests will enjoy meals and beverages. Casual outdoor seating and the Lean Boat Bar provide a great common place for guests to relax and chat about their day.
The menu is curated by trained chef Jenny Boedecker and meals are prepared fresh daily. A hot breakfast will be available each morning, along with standard continental offerings. Lunches are consistently rated the best in the area and will be made fresh each morning before being packed in your boat. After a cocktail hour where guests can snack on appetizers, an inspired dinner will be served in the main lodge. Big Horn County is a dry county and the lodge is unable to provide alcoholic beverages so guests are responsible for bringing their own.
Kingfisher Lodge Sample Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive Kingfisher Lodge after 12:00 PM. Get settled in and tour the property.
Days 2-5: Four full days of guided fishing on Bighorn River.
Day 6: Check out by 11:00 AM and depart for home or points beyond.
2020 Rates: $2,255 plus tax per person for a 5 night/4 day package based on double occupancy
Included: Accommodations, meals, guided fishing, flies and terminal tackle
Not Included: Round-trip airfare and transportation to the lodge, alcohol, fishing licenses, staff and guide gratuities.
Species: Rainbow trout, brown trout
Season: March to November
Capacity: 16 guests
Map: Kingfisher Lodge