Last week, the Interior Department announced plans to purchase THOUSANDS of acres in Montana’s Lower Blackfoot Watershed. To many fly anglers, this stretch of water is famous for being the setting for one of our most famous fly fishing stories, “A River Runs Through It”, by Norman Maclean. The novel, and fly fishing in general, was made famous when Robert Redford made the novella into an amazing film featuring Brad Pitt, which has been credited with aiding in the rise of fly fishing as we know it now.

Fly Fishing Little Blackfoot River

According to a press release from the Interior Department:

“Secretary David Bernhardt said the plan is to work in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy to buy 13,000 acres of private land and eventually open it to anglers, campers, floaters, and others while also keeping forest management projects.

‘From the very beginning of my tenure, public access is a critical component to how we manage lands. Acquiring these lands dramatically increases access to public lands available for recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, hunting, mountain biking, and snowmobiling,’ said Bernhardt.”

Once the acreage is acquired the new lands will be managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

According to an article in The Washington Examiner:

“It plans to use money from Sportsman’s Access funds allocated by Congress from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It plans to spend $3 million to acquire approximately 4,800 acres of the 13,000 acres later this year.”

We had the pleasure of fishing the Little Blackfoot River in Montana while on location at The Ranch at Paws Up and could not be more excited that more anglers will be able to publically access this amazing trout fishery!

Source:, United States Department of the Interior.

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