I was recently asked what is the Best Fly Rod for Fishing Montana. Thats a tough questions because I love fly rods and if I had the ability I would probably have one of ever model. From small 2 and 3 weights on brushy creeks to 9 foot 5 weight for dry fly fishing the Missouri to 10ft 6 weights fo heavy nymph rigs. All rods and designs have their place when and where they excel.
A Guide Rod is a different scenario though. I always lean toward rods that are versatile but at the same time excel at many different things. That is incredibly difficult while trout fishing where a rig can be a size 20 dry fly all the way to a heavy streamer on a sink tip. Rods like this are very rare but the Orvis H3 F 9 foot 6 inch 6 weight does it all while feeling good in the hands of both amateur and pro.
Orvis Helios 3F
I originally bought this rods to throw indicator nymph rigs. Paired with the Orvis hydros Nymph line this rod trows beautiful. This line / Rod Combo performs better than many 10 footers and is much easier to handle a fish at the boat with the slightly shorter rod. The 9’6” with a fighting butt balances very well and is not fatiguing like a full 10 footer can be over a long day. This also handles short leash nymph rigs under a palsa style indicator with ease.
Fly Lines for H3
Paired with an all around trout line such as a the Rio Gold this rod still handles nymph rigs with ease but also has the ability to throw a wide range of dry flies and dry dropper rigs. The Rio Gold is my go to for larger dries such as the CHUBBY CHERNOBYL or the standard hoppers / dropper rig
While this rod will fish very well with a dedicated streamer line I most often use a 7 foot Rio trout versi leader off the end of the fly line. This fishes the small and medium size streamers that I most often fish. With a very short switch I can go from throwing dries or nymphs to swinging a streamer thru deep pools.
This really is my favorite rod for fishing with clients out of a boat. The old saying “jack of all trades master of none” really does not apply to the Orvis H3. In my opinion the H3 is The Best Fly Rod for Fishing Montana!