At the Yellowstone Valley Ranch (38401 Hwy. 89 S., 406/333-4787 or 800/626-3526, www.yellowstonevalleyranch.com , $3,195 per person, double occupancy for six nights, all inclusive), 14 miles south of Livingston , anglers stay in tastefully decorated cabins perched just above the Yellowstone River , affording wonderful river views and good fishing.
This is emphatically a fly-fishing lodge, where anglers spend their days with some of the Paradise Valley’s  best guides. Beginning fly-fishers are welcome, and benefit from the two-to-one guest/guide ratio. Shorter stays are also possible, and nonfishing companions get a much-reduced rate.
Mountain Sky Guest Ranch (406/587-1244 or 800/548-3392, www.mtnsky.com , June–late Aug., $3,185–3,955 per adult for one week all inclusive, $2,065–3,185 per child) is a family-oriented guest ranch set up in Big Creek with great views of Emigrant Peak, across the Paradise Valley in the Absaroka Range.
Riding is one of the core activities here, but fishing, tennis courts, a pool, hot tub, and sauna are also available, and there’s a well-developed program for kids, from infants to teens. Each guest is matched with a horse to ride for the week’s stay, and either breakfast rides or 9 a.m. rides are scheduled daily. Ranch staff run van trips into Yellowstone National Park for hikes and wildlife viewing and can assist anglers on ranch streams and ponds.
The food at Mountain Sky is first rate, and the “rustic” cabins are a far cry from the typical Montana rustic cabin (there are also modern cabins available).
It’s best to book far in advance. During the late spring and early fall, it’s possible to stay for less than a week, at $285–325 per person per night.