For anglers currently booked, and those looking to book in 2020…
In light of current COVID-19 events, we want to share with you our perspective and updates regarding bookings this year. We are doing our best to adjust accordingly and with good judgement, based on our own past experiences. We also encourage everyone to adhere to the guidelines, just as we are personally doing. This isn’t about politics, it’s about science and basic math – the sooner we get this under control the sooner we can go back to normal.
We’ve spoken with many respected fishing outfitters throughout SW Montana. While we are all concerned about how to stay healthy and provide for our families, it is our collective sense that this will eventually pass. When exactly that day is, only time will tell. When it does come, we anticipate that many people will want get outdoors, and return to the rivers. This means a possible boom of anglers coming to SW Montana, as other worries subside.
In fact, we can infer historic relevancy to this with two notable economic downturns experienced here in SW Montana: 1) the recession in the 2000s, and 2) the 2016 PKD closure of the Yellowstone area fishery. During those stressful times, we only experienced slight dips in guided trips (<5% average).
We understand that this is a different situation, but plain and simple people want to come to Montana to fish and get back to nature whenever possible.
While we all are at the mercy of uncertainty, as well as, social and personal responsibility, it is our goal to accommodate anglers in the best way that we possibly can.
Below is our adjusted cancellation policy for trips 2020, with what we know as of today. Rest assured, as conditions change we will continue to adjust accordingly.
Bookings in Spring (March, April, May):
- We will be in contact with you directly if your trip falls within this timeframe.
- As a special accommodation, we will allow anglers the opportunity to reschedule their spring trips to another mutually available date in the 2020 or 2021 calendar year.
- Obviously, this situation is very fluid and we will adjust accordingly as things change during these next few weeks.
Bookings in Summer/Fall (June, July, August, September, October):
As professionals in the fly fishing industry for 25 years, we highly recommend:
- If you have a summer or fall guided trip already reserved, you should keep it on the books. Things could get busy, and we don’t want you to lose out.
- If you are considering a guided trip in June, July, August, September or October, book it when you feel comfortable.
- Please note we will adhere to our 30 day cancellation policy as of May 1, 2020, if conditions do not change dramatically.
Like everyone, we don’t know how this will eventually play out. I personally believe that panic and worry is not how anyone wants to live life, especially our guides and just about every angler I know. However, we are taking the guidelines and recommendations seriously.
Our regular, returning anglers, can attest to the fact that the Montana Fly Fishing Guides team is made up of men and women who are fully dedicated to their occupations. Our guides rely on advanced bookings to plan their yearly income. Most guides earn the majority of their yearly income in just a few months of very hard work.
As an outfitter, we need to balance the requirements of our anglers with the responsibility of supporting our guides income, including the ability to let them make alternate arrangements for income, if needed, to support their families. It’s a delicate balancing act. Please know that our highest priority is to provide you with the most dedicated, capable and professional guides.
Thank you for understanding, and we respectfully ask that you consider your bookings or cancellations carefully.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Remember to keep clam and fish on!
Eric, Nikki and the entire MFG guide staff