Plan Your Trip

Plan Your Montana Fly Fishing Trip

While fly fishing gear can vary depending on the time of year you are visiting us here are a few staples that you should remember to check off your list before your trip:

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Fishing Licenses

Montana fishing license

We highly recommend visiting the state website and purchasing your license PRIOR to you trip.

Montana FWP Online Fishing License

Yellowstone National Park fishing license (if needed)

These are only available in person at local area fly shops.

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Rods & Reels

Included on all trips, but if you prefer yours we recommend a 9 foot 6 wt. This is perfect for almost everything, but if you have a combination of two rods to fish with; like a 5 wt for spring creeks and a 6wt for big rivers and windy days it is even better) This is a broad subject that depends on the angler’s preferences and the type of water fished. Please contact us if you have specific questions.

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Wading Boots

Felt soles are still allowed in Montana. Studded boots are not allowed in drift boat or rafts as they damage the boats. Please remove all studs prior to your float fishing days.

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Cash

Some retail locations charge more for credit card transactions on fishing licenses, some establishments do not accept credit cards and guides always appreciate cash gratuities

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Waders

Breathable waders are the only way to go. If prefer not to travel with your own they are available locally to rent by the day at reasonable prices.

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Water Shoes or Sandals

For wet wading on warmer days

Long underwear or fleece pants

For under your waders in cooler months

Fishing vest, fanny pack, or net

all optional

Layers of clothing and warm socks

For both hot and cool weather

A Waterproof Bag

For personal items you bring in the boat

Sunscreen

Use water resistant sunscreens

Hat

This not only provides better vision it protects you against hooks and fly lines

Sunglasses

Quality polarized sunglasses are a must

Phone/Camera

For that big one!

Frequently Asked Questions

At Montana Fly Fishing Guides, LLC we pride ourselves on being a full service Montana fly fishing outfitter. Our goal is to develop long lasting relationships with anglers, helping them to not only enjoy the sport of fly fishing, but to progress in their individual skills. Many of our anglers return annually, but newer anglers often have plenty of questions. We are happy to answer questions directly through phone or email, but feel free to browse our most common questions and answers.

What’s Included in your fly fishing trips?
Our Montana fly fishing trips include professional fly fishing instruction, rods & reels (if needed), all flies, riverside box lunch (full days not half days), nonalcoholic beverages and free transportation to and from your place of lodging or pre-arranged meeting location.
What’s NOT Included in the fly fishing trips?
Our fly fishing trips do not include personal fishing gear (waders, wading boots/shoes), private water rod fees, Montana State fishing license, Yellowstone National Park fishing licenses and guide gratuity are not included. If you need fishing gear please let us know and we’ll be happy to help you make the appropriate accommodations.
Montana Fishing Licenses
Montana Fishing Licenses
All anglers 12 and over must purchase the $10 conservation license, a $15 aquatic invasive species stamp, followed by your fishing license. Non Resident Licenses are sold in consecutive 2 day increments for $25, 10 day licenses for $56 and season licenses are $86 for the season.
We highly recommend that you purchase your license prior to your arrival online or in the days prior to your trip at a local fly shop. To purchase online visit the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Automated Licensing Site (link is https://app.mt.gov/als/index/index.html)

Yellowstone National Park Fishing Licenses
Yellowstone National Park fishing licenses cannot be purchased online but most local fly shops will have them. A 3 day YNP license is $18, 10 day $25, and Season $40.
What’s the Best Airport to Fly Into?
As we guide a huge area of Montana that depends on where you’re planning on fishing. Those traveling to the Livingston or Yellowstone Park area should fly into Bozeman / Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) located about 40 minutes West of Livingston. If you’re fishing on the Missouri River there are several options. Missouri River anglers can fly through Bozeman and rent a vehicle for the scenic 2 hour drive. The other options are to fly into either Helena (HLN) or Great Falls (GTF) and drive the remaining 45 minutes to their lodging on the Missouri River.
Where do I Meet my Guide(s)?
We are a full service Montana fly fishing outfitter and focus on guiding, not gear. So we don’t have a fly shop. However, we usually meet anglers at their local lodging or a local fly shop. These details are pre-arranged and will be in your confirmation receipt upon booking.
What about Bad Weather or Tough Fishing?
We have built our reputation on years of developing repeat clientele. We want to see our guests for years to come. Having said that fishing is fishing - we don't sell catching. We sell a great experience on the water, developing fishing skills, increasing our anglers knowledge and working hard for you on the water. If the weather or waters are un-fishable then we look for alternatives on a case by case basis. There are rarely days that we cannot find suitable fishing options so there are rarely a need for refunds. However, we are happy to do so if conditions permit.
How Much Should I Tip my Guide?
Guide gratuities are standard practice, however we leave it solely to the discretion of our anglers. Our Montana fly fishing guides routinely average $90-$120/day per guide on a full day trip - adjust accordingly for half day trips. Gratuities are a valuable part of a guide's annual income and remember that when fishing is tough your guide probably worked harder than when fishing is easy.
Rates
Peak Season
June - October:
Full Day $500/guide
Half Day $400/guide

Early Season
March - May (some rivers excluded)
Full Day $425/guide
Half Day $325/guide - not offered on all rivers

Each guide can accommodate 1 or 2 anglers. We do not offer 3rd angler float trips as the drift boats and rafts are not designed for additional people. Three angler walk/wade trips are discouraged, but we will accommodate by request for an additional $150.
Private water rod fees and special permit areas like Yellowstone National Park have additional charges that are not included in our daily guide rates.

Deposit
Prior to 30 days: a 25% deposit is required to secure a reservation.
Within 30 days: a 100% deposit is required to secure a reservation.
Balance is due within 30 days of the trip.
Cancellation Policy
Prior to 30 days of arrival: the deposit is refundable less a $75 processing fee when accompanied by written (email) cancellation.

Within 30 days of arrival: The entirety of your balance will be retained by Montana Fly Fishing Guides, LLC. as a cancellation fee. This fee goes to cover the costs of our guides, as we are unlikely to rebook the trip on such short notice. If we are able to rebook your specific guide for your specific cancelled dates we will refund your money less a $75 processing fee.
Because of our reliance on advanced bookings and operation in good faith, we make no exceptions to our cancellation policy. If you are at all concerned with a cancellation possibility, we encourage you to purchase trip insurance.
When to visit

Why Choose Montana Fly Fishing Guides?

In your search to plan your next Montana fly fishing vacation it's important to identify a qualified, reliable and safe fishing outfitter to enjoy your time on the water. Not to mention, feeling comfortable spending your hard earned dollar with this outfitter. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself and your outfitter. Our answers are listed below.

We are a fully licensed and insured Montana fishing outfitter #10184
We are professionals and this is our business. We are a fully licensed and insured Montana fishing outfitter #10184. We operate under several state and federal permits including Madison River Special Recreation Permit #2 and the Yellowstone National Park Commercial Use Authorization #CUA14-222. On a less legal note we don't pound nails in the off season, have a trust fund, or employ part time guides. We work all year either fishing, booking trips, and keeping our guests informed about the upcoming season.
We’ve spent over a decade picking out a great guide staff
Obviously, there are a lot of other qualified outfitters and guides in the area. However, we feel we've put together a team that focuses on being; fun, approachable, instructive, professional, informative, and are exceptional fly fishing guides.
Variety of fishing opportunities right out our back door
There are few places in the world that offer such a wide variety of fishing opportunities right out our back door. Where else can you; fish 120 miles of blue ribbon trout water (Yellowstone River), world famous spring creeks (Armstrong, DePuy, Milesnick & Nelson), raft fast flowing freestone rivers (Boulder & Stillwater), or look for gulpers on a trophy trout lake?
Contact us anytime
Contact us for more information about one of the many great fly fishing opportunities in Montana. We'd be happy to customize a trip for your needs.

CONTACT US

When is the Best Time to Fish Montana?

We say the best time to be here is whenever you can. In all seriousness, most anglers can find excellent fishing between late March all the way through early November. Depending on your preferred style of fishing (dries, freestones, spring creeks... etc.), we suggest you contact us so we can provide you with the most up to date information, then we'll give you a recommendation based on our conversation and 20 years of expertise. 

See our When is the Best Time to fish Montana page for detailed descriptions of seasons and times that suit your fishing preferences.