Quick Facts

  • Price: Starting at $4,540 // 5 Nights / 4 Days Fishing
  • Species: Brown, Rainbow, Cutthroat, and Whitefish
  • Seasonality: APRIL – OCTOBER
  • Location: Clyde Park, Montana

Clyde Park, Montana

Clyde Park is fifty miles east of Bozeman, Montana. The Bozeman airport receives daily direct flights from all over the country. After flying to Bozeman, guests either rent a car or take a shuttle for just an hour long ride to Shields River Lodge.

Brown Trout, Rainbows, Cutthroat, and Whitefish

Shields River Lodge is located on 283-acres of pristine Southwestern Montana and boasts one mile of frontage on the Shields River. Full day float trips through the beautiful Paradise Valley on the Yellowstone River is the lodge’s bread and butter but there are several other options for full day float trips as well. Another great option for a little more technical fishing is the prolific spring creeks in Paradise Valley. After your full day of guided fishing, a quick evening wade session on the Shields River is a must while staying at the lodge.

The Shields River Lodge is open from April through October

With the exception of runoff in late May to early June, the fishing is excellent any time the lodge is open. June and July normally bring the best traditional dry fly action, while terrestrials and various nymphing techniques work well during late summer and early fall. The streamer fishing is good throughout the season but perhaps the best odds to get a giant on the streamer is right after runoff while the water is still high and off color, or at the very end of the season as the fish gorge themselves before winter. (See WHEN TO GO for more details).

Is the Shields River Lodge right for you?

The Shields River Lodge is one of our favorites for entertaining clients, couple retreats, and bringing the whole family with its luxurious accommodations, upscale cuisine, and over the top service. Whether you have years of experience or are a first timer, whether you prefer floating big water or wading intimate creeks, it’s a destination for fly fishermen of all skill levels and fishing style preferences. If you’re looking for an authentic upscale Montana Lodge experience with fishing to match, then SRL is for you.

Pricing at SRL varies with room type (“Traditional,” “Premier,” or “Luxury), length of stay, and whether guests share a room or sleep single. Most rooms at SRL have one king bed, while two have two kings.

Please see RATES for more details, but as an example, 5 nights/4 days fishing based on a shared room and guide in a Premier Room is $4,350 plus tax.

Additional expenses include but are not limited to airfare to/from Bozeman, Montana; transportation from Bozeman 1 hour to the lodge; wader/wading boot rental; fishing license; guide gratuities ($100 a day per boat is customary).

Our Travel Services are Free!

You the client don’t pay a penny for our travel services! Our destination recommendations, organization, and pre-trip planning services are completely free of charge – and oftentimes less expensive than booking directly with a lodge or outfitter. We can assist with every question, concern, or special request related to your adventure at zero cost!

Destination Details

If you had to create the ultimate Montana fishing lodge, it would include over-the-top luxury accommodations, gourmet cuisine, a diverse fishing program on a variety of waters (including private water), and a great guide staff. Throw in spectacular views and great lodge amenities. Traveling there should be a breeze. Finally, add a highly effective ownership and management team that strives for perfection.

In a nutshell, that describes Shields River Lodge perfectly. It is an upscale lodge in Clyde Park, Montana, less than an hour from Bozeman. SRL has a mile of private water on the Shields River, and easy access to the Yellowstone and a number of other waters in the area. It has unmatched views of the Crazy Mountains. Best of all, SRL’s fisheries are away from the combat fishing that has become the norm in the Three Forks/Ennis/Twin Bridges areas southwest of Bozeman. In short, SRL offers just about everything you could ask for in a U.S. trout fishing lodge.

Destination Description

Owned and operated by Chris  and Bob Whitley, the lodge was originally built in 1998 and was transformed into the incredible fly fishing lodge it is today in 2020. The Whitley’s have spent their entire lives developing high-end resorts and golf courses, which very much shows in the attention to detail at Shields River Lodge.

The lodge is located on 283-acres of pristine Southwestern Montana land and boasts one mile of frontage on the Shields River, a well kept fly fishing secret and a guide favorite. It is located just outside the small, historic town of Clyde Park and provides breathtaking 360° views of the Absaroka, Bridger and Crazy Mountain ranges. Guests are treated to five-star service, deluxe, private accommodations all with ensuite baths, legendary meals prepared by the Executive Chef, and fishing on blue ribbon waters with some of the best guides in the region.

Shields River Lodge is a perfect opportunity for couples, as it offers almost limitless non-angler amenities and activities, including massage, yoga, fitness gym and walking trails throughout the property. (more details below) At day’s end, guests can be found enjoying their favorite beverage on the expansive decks, enjoying an outdoor fire and unforgettable sunsets, or playing a game of Horseshoes or Kubb. The lodge ambiance and its staff offer all that’s needed for a once-in-a-lifetime, relaxing and fun Montana experience.

The Fishing

The Fishing

The Lodge’s head outfitter and guides are rated as some of the very best in the state and are certain to provide you with an unforgettable fishing experience. Fishing itineraries can be customized based on requested water, seasonal conditions and angler ability.

Shields River

Shields River Lodge’s home water is the Shields River. It flows over 60 miles and is a tributary of the Yellowstone River. The Shields River originates in the Crazy Mountains in northern Park County, Montana and it joins the Yellowstone River 13 miles south of Shields River Lodge and 7 miles northeast of Livingston. The lodge’s private one mile section of river is home to excellent cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout fishing. While staying at the lodge we highly recommend fishing the Shields at least one day with a guide or on your own for a morning or afternoon session.

Yellowstone River

The famous Yellowstone River is the longest free-flowing and undammed river in the lower 48 States.The upper and lower Yellowstone offer 200 miles of quality trout waters and it’s known to many as the ultimate Montana fly fishing experience. The diversity, changing water character and high-quality fishing make it a favorite of our guests and our experienced guides. This river is known for its breathtaking scenery and excellent rainbow and cutthroat fishing. However, there are trophy size brown trout that are caught on a regular basis. With its large size and endless slippery rocks, it predominantly fished with the use of a drift boat or raft.

The Paradise Valley Spring Creeks

(Depuy’s, Armstrong’s, Nelson’s)

The Paradise Valley, east of Livingston, Montana, is home to three of the most prolific spring creek fisheries in the western United States. The natural setting is stunningly picturesque, and offers phenomenal, yet technical fishing. The nutrient-rich spring creek waters are home to rising trout and the creeks are invaluable spawning habitat for Yellowstone River cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout. The spring creek water flows from the ground at consistent 53 degrees which is ideal for fly fishing year-round.

Other Waters in the Area

Other waters in the area that can be fished while staying at the Shields River Lodge include the Gallatin River, Boulder River, and Madison River. While these rivers are a bit further away from the lodge, if the conditions are good and you’re staying for a longer period of time, we recommend branching out to get the full Montana Experience.


The Shields River Lodge is just outside of Clyde Park, about fifty miles northeast of Bozeman, Montana. The Bozeman airport is the busiest in the state, accounting for around 30% of all passengers flying to Montana. As such, Bozeman receives flights from all over the country, including daily direct flights from DFW and IAH.

From the Bozeman airport, it is a one hour drive to the SRL. Most guests rent a car at the Bozeman airport to make the drive. Private shuttles are also easily arranged and work well for large groups.

So, traveling to the SRL is very straightforward. Most guests will have a leisurely travel day where they leave home at a reasonable hour, land in Bozeman and drive to the lodge in plenty of time for dinner the same evening.


The lodge is located just outside of Clyde Park, Montana, and sits up on a bluff overlooking the Shields River and the incredible Absaroka, Bridger, and Crazy Mountain ranges. Everything about the lodge is luxurious and spacious from the large living spaces with giant Montana logs and the intricate stone fireplace in the main living room. There are nine luxurious and spacious bedrooms, all offering king size beds, deluxe private bathrooms, and large windows looking out over the wild and vast Montana landscape. The Shields River Lodge has the ability and resources to accommodate all groups – dedicated fly fisherman, couples, families, corporate groups, and has tons of offerings for non-anglers.

Luxury Rooms

The largest rooms in the lodge, each luxury suite features a king-sized bed, comfortable seating areas, and desks to write postcards home about the day’s biggest catch! Relax and recharge in your spacious, well-stocked modern en-suite bathroom with a jacuzzi tub and separate walk-in shower. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee on your patio overlooking expansive views of the Shields Valley, Absaroka Mountain Range, and the Crazy Mountains.

Premier Rooms

Slightly larger than Traditional rooms that also feature king-sized beds, en-suite bathrooms, seating areas, incredible valley views, and a large outdoor balcony. Two of the Premier rooms at the lodge have two king beds.

Traditional Rooms

Cozy, tastefully decorated rooms that feature a king-sized bed and en-suite bathroom. Comfortable seating areas, writing desks, and plenty of space.


The food at the Shields River Lodge is some of the best you’ll find at any dedicated fishing lodge in the rockies. Executive Chef Donald MacArthur will blow you away with every meal. After attending New York’s acclaimed French Culinary Institute and multiple high-end restaurants in New York, the call of the west proved too much to resist and Chef Donald made the move to the rockies. At the Shields River Lodge, Chef Don leads an extraordinary team that continues to source the finest ingredients and prepares them with subtle nuance and expert technique.

Starting with breakfast, everything is made to order with options of eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, pancakes, french toast, etc…  Riverside lunches supplied by your guide include various sandwich options, chips, pasta salads, cookies and a cold beverage to wash it all down. Dinner usually starts around 7:00pm but can vary depending on when you want to eat! Dinner includes a three course meal with a set menu. Enjoy your appetizer to start things off and some of the main courses include steaks, fresh fish, pasta, and pork loins. DESERTS..

Weekly Capacity

The lodge has nine rooms and can hold up to 18 guests at a time, but typically operates with around 10. Typically two guests share a guide, but single fishing is available as well.

When to Go


April – May

Early season in Montana can often be overlooked and is an excellent time to go. The weather usually consists of cold mornings with large temperature swings as you move into the afternoon. The fish are hungry after a long winter and as the water temperatures start to rise trout become more active. Although the dry fly fishing isn’t stellar during this time of year the nymphing and streamer fishing can be quite productive. (Runoff typically peaks late May/early June) Fishing the spring creeks this time of year is ideal.


After runoff subsides, the trout are active and ready for the summer feast! Late June brings some of the more prolific insect hatches and dry fly action. This also perhaps your best opportunity to catch a giant streamer fishing. Water levels are still high and the big fish are pushed up against the banks. There are some great fishing options during runoff if you are interested in some technical wade fishing. The famous spring creeks of Paradise Valley that feed the Yellowstone River have steady flows and water temperatures year round and the fish are always feeding.

July – August

Temperatures and fishing conditions in July and August are normally ideal, with prolific hatches and good action on terrestrials later in the summer. From float fishing on some of the larger rivers systems to wade fishing the smaller rivers and spring creeks, this time of year offers the most variety of fishing options.

September – October

Perhaps the most beautiful time of year to visit the Shields River Lodge. The autumn colors have settled in and there is usually snow on the mountain tops. As the weather cools down the larger fish become more active as they gorge themselves before the truly cold weather sets in.

Sample Itinerary

Travel Day

Fly to Bozeman, Montana. Rent a car at the airport or take a private shuttle one hour to the Shields River Lodge in Clyde Park. Check-in is at 3:00pm but the lodge is very flexible and will work with your schedule.

Fishing Days

CoffeCoffee will be hot around 6:00am if you are an early riser and the lodge has plenty of areas to relax, check your emails and enjoy a cup of coffee. Breakfast is usually served around 7:00am to give you plenty of time to leave the lodge at 8:00am for a full day of fishing. Lunch is usually served on the water and provided by your guide. Dinner is typically served at 7:00pm.

Departure Day

Check out time is anytime before noon but again they are very flexible and will Return to Bozeman and fly home (or to your next destination).

Non-Angling Activities

SRL may be the best Montana lodge we have found for families, couples, and non-angling group members. On top of the luxurious lodging experience and fishing at Shields River Lodge, there are also tons of non-angling activities to keep everyone entertained.

Onsite Activities

There is a full workout facility and hiking trails on the property for guests that are looking for some exercise during their stay. If you are looking for a nice relaxing spa day, the lodge offers yoga classes, meditation sessions and massage. There are great reading nooks around the lodge, and several games including horseshoes and Kubb.

Offsite Tours & Activities

The lodge concierge is happy to assist guests with arranging activities such as rafting, natural hot springs, horseback riding, shopping, museum trips, art gallery hopping and exploring the western culture of Bozeman and Livingston.

Yellowstone National Park

The lodge is located just an hour drive north of Yellowstone National Park, and a full day exploring some of the best wildlife in the US is another great non-angling option. With 3,500 square miles of wilderness, the recreational possibilities are endless. See the famous Old Faithful Geyser shoot 150 ft in the air or checkout the jaw dropping Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The SRL staff are all very knowledgeable and can help you enjoy an incredible day in the park!


2021 Rates

SRL has nine total rooms: two rooms with two king beds, and seven with one king. This makes it great for couples, but, keep in mind that typically anglers at SRL sleep single and share guides.

SRL’s rooms are also split into “Traditonal,” “Premier,” and “Luxury” rooms, each at different price points. The pricing below is for shared and single Traditional rooms and does not include hotel and sales tax.

(Based on shared room/ shared guide)

4 nights / 3 Days Fishing:$3,025.00 per person
5 nights / 4 Days Fishing:$3,850.00 per person
6 nights / 5 Days Fishing:$4,625.00 per person

(Based on single room/ shared guide)

4 nights / 3 Days Fishing:$3,575.00 per person
5 nights / 4 Days Fishing:$4,538.00 per person
6 nights / 5 Days Fishing:$5,500.00 per person

SRL has nine total rooms: two rooms with two king beds, and seven with one king. This makes it great for couples, but, keep in mind that typically anglers at SRL sleep single and share guides.

SRL’s rooms are also split into “Traditonal,” “Premier,” and “Luxury” rooms, each at different price points. The pricing below is for shared and single Traditional rooms and does not include hotel and sales tax.

What’s Included

Accommodations, guided fishing, all meals and beverages, and use of lodge facilities.ll meals at the lodge including: , lodging, fishing guides and most of necessary fishing gear. The lodge staff does NOT accept gratuities.

What’s not Included

Roundtrip airfare to/from Bozeman, Montana; ground transportation between Bozeman airport and the lodge; massage, yoga instruction, and other wellness programs offered by the lodge; taxes | most people rent a car but a shuttle can be arranged; wader/boot rental; fishing license; guide gratuities (around$80 – $120 a day per boat)

Lodge Terms and Conditions

Tailwaters Travel must adhere to the cancellation policies of the guides, outfitters and lodges which it represents. Shields River Lodge’s policy follows: A non-refundable fifty-percent (50%) deposit is required at the time of booking to confirm all reservations. All trips must be paid in full 30 days prior to departure day. SRL upholds a strict cancellation policy. Your deposit, less a $100 cancellation fee, will be happily refunded if cancellation is made at least 90 days prior to arrival. After that, we regret that no refund is possible for non-guided fishing days, non-arrival or early departure. SRL welcomes children ages twelve and older.

Contact Our Travel Department