Dearborn River Montana – Located just east of Roger’s Pass and the Continental Divide, this is a beautiful river for floaters and anglers. It has a limited float window and is usually too low by July. The river flows through remote canyons and some beautiful country before entering the Missouri River between Craig and Cascade.
Flows And Weather
Dearborn River near Craig MT
- Flow: 98.5 ft³/s
- Water Level: 3.82 ft
Rapids and Floating the Dearborn River
Class – II-III
High – 1000cfs
Low – 350cfs
Not known for big rapids but it moves fast and has technical rowing through boulder gardens and around obstacles. There are a few drops as well. Flows below 350 are difficult and can be impassable. Creeping over 400 but remaining below 1000 cfs is ideal for floating and fishing. Anything over 1000 is getting a bit dicey. You can do it but have a solid raft and some skills. A cool trip involves floating into the Missouri river where you can continue fishing. Drop in off the highway bridge on 287. It’s 19 miles from the highway.
As an alternative, you can launch from highway 434 and float to highway 200. This is ideal for kayaks and experienced rowers.
Headhunters Fly Shop – Call well ahead to make sure they will run it. 406-235-3447
Trout Shop – Same. 406-235-4474
Fishing the Dearborn river in Montana is a real treat. The deep canyons, cold water and potential for big fish is present. The majority of brown and rainbow trout are in the 10-14 inch rang but big fish migrate in and out of the Missouri River.
Float fishing is the best way to reach the remote waters as a good portion of the land surrounding the river is private. Wade fisherman can still do really well, especially in the fall when the river is easy to cross and wade through.