Frequently Asked Questions about Montana Fishing Trips
What Should I wear?
What tackle should I bring?
What about flies, fishing licenses, & other accessories?
What if I don't own the tackle I need?
What about other area attractions?
Coming prepared to spend the day on the water in Montana means being ready for all types of weather. Southwest Montana can have dramatic temperature swings within a single day. For the best comfort, we recommend you dress in multiple layers.
Early and late season fishing can have cold days, so either neoprene or breathable Gore-Tex waders in conjunction with felt soled wading boots are indispensable. However, 90-degree days in July and August would be unbearable with waders while fishing from the driftboat! Unless fishing a cold spring creek, most of our guides choose to "wet wade" in shorts and felt-soled wading boots.
Both a rain jacket and rain pants (if you're not wearing waders) are advisable. A polar fleece jacket or vest, a lightweight long sleeved shirt, and a good wide brimmed hat are good choices for your day fishing. Polarized glasses are a must for cutting down the sun's glare upon the water, as they allow the angler much better vision for spotting fish in the water as well as sighting one's fly.
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Rods If possible, bring two rods per person. A second rod is good to have as you can set one up with a dry fly and one with a nymph. It is also helpful to have a second rod as a backup in case one rod breaks.
A 9 foot, #4 or #5 weight medium fast action rod. The vast majority of fishing in Montana is done with this rod. With a moderately stiff flex pattern, this is an excellent all-purpose rod for dry flies and light nymphing. The added length of a 9 foot rod allows the caster to mend a bit easier, especially from the driftboat.
A 9 foot, #6 or #7 weight fast action rod. A rod of this design is sometimes needed for casting larger dry flies in windy conditions, heavy stonefly nymphs, or with a sink tip line for large streamer patterns. Just in case, your guide will be well equipped if you break a rod, damage a reel, etc. A satisfactory replacement "loaner" will be available if you need it.
Lines and Reels
Fly lines should typically be a floating "weight forward" taper. A sink tip line may be useful for fishing streamers, but is not necessary. Most flyfishers choose a reel for its simplicity and ease of use, and it is a matter of personal taste. Be sure that your reel has adequate backing (100 yds) and is in good working order.
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If you are new to the sport or don't want to travel with a lot of gear, you can rent fly rods, reels, and waders from us. We operate from our world class fully outfitted flyshop! Just let us know in advance and we'll have all the necessary equipment set aside for you. The daily rental fee for waders and boots or a rod/reel setup is $30.00 per day apiece, $60.00 in combination. Rental boots only is $15.00. If you have a hankering for purchasing a new flyrod but don't know what to get, we'll be happy to help. We have an excellent assortment of all the top of the line demo equipment available to "try before you buy". And we'll even take one day's demo cost off the price of the rod if you decide to purchase from us after trying it out.
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In a day of fishing, fly-fishers typically use multiple patterns/sizes of flies. It's not far-fetched to use or lose two dozen flies between two people in a day of fishing. And, having enough of just the right ones can be a guessing game. You definitely don't want to be caught short. Angler's West Flyfishing Outfitters stocks over 1200 fly bins full of top quality, hand tied flies featuring several local fly tying legends personal patterns. We have what we feel is the best selection in all of Paradise Valley and are willing and able to help you make the right selections taking the guess work out of the equation. Fishing in Yellowstone National Park or several valleys over on the Madison or Missouri rivers? How about the persnickety trout in the spring creeks? Heading to a high mountain lake for the weekend backpacking? We've got the right bugs!
A Montana fishing license is required to fish our area rivers and lakes. A separate license is required in Yellowstone National Park. In order to fish Montana, anglers 12 years old and older must purchase a Conservation Stamp ($10.00) valid for a year (Mar-Feb), an Aquatic Invasive Species Pass (AISP) $15.00, and add either two-day increments ($25.00), a 10 day license($56.00), or a season($86.00). Anglers under 12 may fish without a license but must be accompanied by an adult that does have a valid MT fishing license. A permit is required to fish in Yellowstone. Anglers 16 years of age and older are required to purchase either a $18.00 3-day, $25 ten-day or $40 season permit. Anglers younger than 16 years of age may obtain a non-fee permit or may fish without a permit when supervised by a licensed adult.
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If you would like information about the area, such as help with lodging or restaurant choices, please don't hesitate to ask us. We will be happy to help.
We also can recommend activities for any non-fisher folk in your party. Mountain biking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, hiking, shopping, and cultural events are only a few of the possibilities.
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