More than any other part of the state, this country of broad valleys, rugged mountains, lush ranches, and trout-laden rivers is what people expect to find in Montana—and it doesn’t disappoint.
From the Yellowstone River , the longest undammed river in the Lower 48, to the Beartooth Highway , declared by the late Charles Kuralt to be one of the most spectacular drives in the United States, to the serene history-laden Missouri headwaters, this is country that cuts deep into the soul.
The Missouri headwaters , where the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers merge and create the Missouri, anchor the northwestern corner of this region. In the northeastern corner, the Crazy Mountains rise wildly from the plains. The Beartooth and Yellowstone Plateaus are at the southern edge. Rivers roll off south-central Montana’s mountain ranges—the Beartooths, the Absarokas, the Gallatins, the Madisons, the Gravellys, and the Tobacco Roots—and course north to the Missouri.
Anglers are lured to the Madison , Gallatin , and Yellowstone Rivers  by trout. People do run rivers, hunt, and mountain bike here, but the fishing draws pilgrims from around the world. The hatches of salmon flies and caddis flies are as closely watched as the seasons, and most everyone knows brown from rainbow from cutthroat.