The Gallatin River is a tributary of the Missouri River. It’s one of three rivers, along with the Jefferson and Madison rivers that converge near Three Forks, Montana to form the Missouri River. The river was named in 1805 by Meriwether Lewis. The western form was named for President Thomas Jefferson and the central fork for then Secretary of State James Madison.
The Gallatin offers excellent dry fly fishing on a river that receives relatively low fishing pressure in beautiful scenic surroundings. The fish are not finicky eaters either, which makes the Gallatin River an excellent place for learning how to fly fish.
Along its upper stretches, the river is not very deep allowing it to be fully waded from shore to shore. The trout on the river consist of brown, rainbow trout, and mountain white fish and average around 12 inches, with 16 inches considered a large trout - although some lunkers exceeding 20 inches are found. Grayling and cutthroat trout are also found in the Gallatin River. Parts of the Gallatin are designated Blue Ribbon while others are considered Red Ribbon. Portions of A River Runs Through It were filmed on the Gallatin River.