Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your guided trip. Maybe we can answer a few of your questions below.
Weather in Montana can change rapidly and you should be prepared for a variety of situations. We recommend during the warmer months of summer you bring light weight breathable shirts and a light weight pant to protect you from the sun. Along with that, a light weight rain jacket, and maybe a vest for the morning chill. Most days, this will be all you need. During the spring and fall we recommend you add a fleece or puffy type jacket with rain pants, a warm hat and gloves.
You will always want a ball cap or two and a good pair of polarized sunglasses. If you desire to have waders and don’t own a pair or don’t want to travel with them, our local fly shops have rental waders for you for the day. Most of the time we really don’t need them.
Here in SW Montana we have excellent fly fishing opportunities from April thru October. The season can be extended be a couple weeks on either end depending on the year.
Spring (April – May):
Fishing this time of year is excellent. The fish are coming off of the long Montana winter and are eager to eat. Mayflies and midge hatches dominate the early part of this season followed of by the famous Mother’s Day caddis hatch. We will mostly be nymph fishing until the hatches begin during this time of the year. Rainbows are fully engaged in the spring spawn and very aggressive. Angling pressure on the rivers is low and can make for a very enjoyable fishing experience.
Early To Mid Summer (June – July)
Fishing this time of the year has hit it peak. The weather is amazing the rivers a plump full of water from the recent spring runoff and the fish are feeding aggressively on the bounty of big bugs that Mother Nature is providing. This is stonefly season. Salmon Flies, Golden Stones as well as PMD mayflies are the main target for hungry trout. Lots and of dry fly action to be had through out the day. This is also one of the busiest times of year on the river. Not to worry though, we know how to avoid the crowds. Book early for this season it’s amazing.
Mid Summer to early fall (August- Early September)
The big hatches of the early summer are starting to give way to Trico plumes early in the morning and terrestrial fishing in the mid day followed up by caddis hatches in the late afternoon and evening. The weather is typically cool mornings followed by hot dry afternoons. The rivers are dropping and the fish are staging in the faster more oxygenated riffles. Dry fly fishing can be good this time of the year on hoppers and ants, but we start to employ other tactics to fool the now wary trophy sized Browns and rainbows that call these rivers home. Dead drifting streamer patters will produce some hefty trout during this time of the year. Along with nymph fishing small mayflies and caddis patterns. Angling pressure is way down making this a great time to fish.
Fall (mid September – October)
Gone are the hot days of summer along with the crowds on the river. The first signs of the fast approaching winter are upon us. Frosty mornings with snow capped peaks and the spectacular colors of fall, make this a season not to be missed. The big Browns are preparing to spawn and are more susceptible to a well placed streamer on the banks. Big rainbows will prowl the shallow flats in search of an easy meal. This is our favorite time of year to fish. It is now a quality over quantity type of a fishery. If you ever wanted that picture of a trophy brown trout this is the season.
The fifth season. (Winter months of November-March.)
Although not technically our fishing season here in Montana the winter months have some excellent fishing opportunities. We have many mild weather spells though out the winter months where daytime high temps can reach the 40’s and 50’s. When prepared with the proper clothing this is a great way to spend a day on the water. If you are visiting the Big Sky area on a ski trip and the legs can’t take any more of our world famous cold smoke powder. Give us a shout and let’s see if if we can get a 1/2 day of fishing in. It might just surprise you.
On all of our full day trips you will be provided with a very nice lunch, non alcoholic beverages, flies, use of our rods and all of the necessary terminal tackle to fish for the day. We also include transportation to and from the fishing destinations from a pre-determined meeting location set up by your guide for the day. Casting and fishing instructions are included as needed.
Half day trips provide all of the above except lunch. The guides usually have some light snacks.
We always recommend that if you have never fly fished before you start out with a half day trip. It will give you just enough time on the water and instructions to give you a very good taste of the sport, without the frustration and fatigue that often comes with beginning anglers and a full day trip.
Fishing in the morning and an afternoon tee time? Thats another great candidate for a half day trip, or if you want to bring the kids along. Not many kids can handle an 8 hour fishing trip. Trust us on this one, we have kids that love to fish and after about 4 hours they are smoked!
For those of you who just can’t get enough, we suggest our full day fishing trip. It’s a lot of casting and standing. You will get to see a larger section of the river as well as fish a variety of techniques throughout the day. Rarely do we have anglers that have much left in the tank after one of our full day fly fishing excursions.
Absolutely, if you are visiting Ennis and fishing the Madison River with us we strongly recommend you visit The Madison River Fishing Company. They are our good friends and we have a great working relationship with them. The staff is top notch and can help you with anything you might need. They have great attitudes and great gear is what they are all about.
If you are in Craig Montana and fishing the Missouri River with us, The Trout Shop is a staple. They have everything you will need for a day or lifetime on the water. Including beer, wine and cigars. They are a model of what every fly shop should strive to be. Friendly, accommodating and knowledgable. Nobody wants to be ridiculed by this season’s latest trout bum because you don’t know what a pseudo’s color phase is, and have no idea how to tie a spider hitch.
We get this question a lot and quite honestly we always feel a little awkward about the answer. Guides do expect to get some tip money for their efforts. If you feel that your guide has done an excellent job for you during your trip regardless of the catch, a tip of $100 or more will be greatly appreciated.
If your guide has gone above and beyond the call of duty, whether that be an act of heroism on the water, a fish of a lifetime, greatest day of fishing ever, extended hours of fishing, etc, you get the point. Guides love big tips and remember them. Plus its a good way to assure that you will be getting the prime dates and the extra special treatment the next time you book with us.
That’s a great question that has many variables. We do not guarantee that any certain number of fish will be caught on our guided trips. However, everyone usually catches fish. Fly fishing requires a certain minimum skill set to have some success. We will guarantee that your guide will do everything in their power to provide you with a safe and enjoyable day on the water. All the while providing you with the necessary, friendly instruction for you to have success. We provide the expertise and opportunity for you to catch as many fish as the river will give up that day. Some days it’s many, other days only a few. Trout can be finicky and unpredictable at times. We promise you this, no one in the boat wants you to catch fish more than your guide.
When booking a Fly Fishing adventure with the SFF crew on the Madison River, we recommend that you stay in the quaint little Western town of Ennis, Montana. Home to about 1,000 residents, mostly fisherman and ranchers. Ennis has several great dining options and nice lodging options for you to choose from. Tip back a couple of suds at the Gravel bar and prowl through the Trout Stalkers fly shop next door. Then head on up to Virginia city for the best steak dinner you will find anywhere at the Wells Fargo. There is more than enough to do here to keep you busy for a while. See our lodging page for more options.
There are many flight options, both domestic and international into the newly expanded Gallatin field airport located in Bozeman, just 1 hr away.
If you are coming down from the Big Sky area for the day, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Jen Clayton at (406) 219-0830 to see about obtaining a Jack Creek road pass for the day.
When booking a Fly Fishing adventure with the SFF crew on the Missouri River, we recommend you stay in the coolest little fishing town this side of the divide, Craig, Montana. With a great restaurant and a couple bars, you can take in all the local color and discuss intricacies of the day on the Missouri River with local guides and anglers alike. Daily flights into Helena Regional or Gallatin field in Bozeman will put you within a 2 hr drive of Craig Montana. See our lodging page for more options.
Contact us and we will be happy to help arrange any of the logistics involved with getting you to one of our great little Montana fishing towns.
Yes, all anglers over the age of 12 will need a Montana fishing license for each day they fish. Click here to buy your license – https://app.mt.gov/als/index/index.html
A 50% per day deposit must be received with in 7 days of booking to confirm your reservation. In the event of a cancellation, the deposit is fully refundable less a $100 processing fee if the written cancellation is received prior to 60 days of the arrival date. For cancellations within 60-30 days of arrival, the deposit is non-refundable. Requests to move a scheduled trip date are the same as cancelling and re-booking. We will try to accommodate as much as possible. The balance of the trip is due within 30 days of the trip. If a cancellation must be made within 30 days of arrival, no refund will be made on payments. Because much of our business relies heavily on advanced bookings, we cannot make any exceptions to our cancellation policy.
Weather in Montana can change a lot from day to day and we fish rain or shine throughout the entire season. We do not cancel due to adverse weather conditions, and no refunds will be given as such.
Trip insurance is very reasonable and recommend if you have concerns about our policies.