FAQ's & Additional Info

Pre-Trip FAQ's

Booking a fly-fishing guided trip can be confusing as the experience is quite different than traditional "charter" fishing trips and other guided, outdoor activities. Here is a list of the most common questions we hear during the booking process which will hopefully help in your planning process. Please e-mail us with any additional questions or for clarification as well.

Are children allowed on guided fly fishing trips? O

Children are welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult in each boat. Children 12 and under are required to wear a life vest at all times while in the boats. Realistically, the experience is best suited for children over 10, but we have taken children out as young as 5 years old. Be sure to let us know that you have children as part of your group when making your booking.

Can we keep a few fish on a guided fly fishing trip? O

No, we only practice catch and release fishing on our guided fly fishing trips.

Can we request a specific river or stream? O

Yes, be sure to let us know if you have a preference, but we recommend being flexible as weather and water conditions can change quickly. The variety of options around Bozeman ensure that we almost always have a few good options for the day when conditions change.

The guides typically choose the destination the morning of each trip based on weather, water conditions, time constraints, and crowds - so be sure to let the guide know if there is someplace that you prefer or would like to avoid as well.

Can we use spin tackle on a guided trip? O

No, we do not offer guided trips using conventional tackle - we only offer catch and release fly-fishing trips as that is our expertise.

Do you cancel trips because of weather? O

Generally speaking, we do not cancel trips due to weather unless conditions are unsafe. We generally plan to go out in a wide range of conditions including rain and even snow - so be sure to check the weather prior to your trip to ensure that you dress accordingly. Sometimes, days are cut short due to afternoon thunderstorms due to safety but we do not offer partial refunds or credits in those situations. View our deposit policy.

How long are guided fly fishing trips around Bozeman? O

The length of the day depends on the fishing destination, water conditions, fish activity, and angler requests. The standard full day guide trip is usually a 7-9-hour experience with 5-7 hours on the water - we can shorten these days up for folks on more limited schedules

Half-day trips are 4 hours in duration from start to finish and are only offered with early morning starts when available. We can accommodate any time restraints on your end with advance notice.

I have never fished before in my life; can I do this? O

Absolutely! All of our guides are patient instructors and work with anglers of all skill levels, everyday. Guests are often amazed at how quickly they pick up the basics of fly fishing with a few minutes of training at the start of the day.

Should I book a guided wade or float fly-fishing trip in the Bozeman area? O

We recommend float trips as this is the best way to fly-fish around Bozeman as they enable our guides to take full advantage of the varied local fisheries to ensure our guests the best experience. Our local Montana fly-fishing rivers with easy wading access are often very crowded near the access points, requiring long walks on slippery and unstable river bottoms to get away from other anglers. Floating gives our guides plenty of choices, each day, so that they can be flexible when conditions change from day to day (which is quite common). We have been offering guided Montana fly-fishing trips in Bozeman for 23 years and have now "phased out" wade-only trips during our peak-season ( June - September) the experience is not consistently as productive or enjoyable for our guests. The truly unique aspect of Bozeman fly fishing is the diversity and abundance of wild trout fisheries within an hour's drive - these are all best suited for fishing from a drift boat.

Our guide to client ratio is always 1:1 or 1:2 - we cater to larger groups of up to 20 anglers with advanced notice. Floating allows these groups to spend the day near one another and have lunches together while also ensuring that everyone has access to good water throughout the day.

We have a group of 3 and we would all like to fish together, how does that work? O

Typically, Montana fly-fishing guide services can handle 1-2 anglers per guide, for safety reasons and to ensure a quality experience. Fly-fishing instruction requires a "hands-on" approach from the guide, the effectiveness of which diminishes quickly when they are working with more than 1-2 anglers, simultaneously. The boats used for drifting and fly-fishing are small (16 feet long) drift-boats that a total of 3 people with an interior layout that includes one seat in both in the front and the back of the boat for anglers. The guide rows the boat, downstream, to maintain a position the favorable trout-holding water while coaching the anglers and safely navigating the diverse waterways.

Each guide trip is setup for 1-2 anglers in terms of reservations and pricing, meaning the price is the same whether there is 1 or 2 anglers in the booking. Group trips that consist of 3-10 anglers are common and easily accommodated. We recognize that groups usually like to spend the day near one another on the river so our guides will all float the same stretch of river together on group bookings.

We do not put more than 2 anglers together with one guide as we have learned that the quality of the experience is not up to our standards. Additionally, our guides are responsible for client safety and 3 anglers is simply too many people for a single guide to be responsible for while rowing a boat or wading across a river.

What do I need to bring with me? O

Generally speaking, bring personal gear like a raincoat, sunglasses, warm layer, hat, some snacks, and any special medications (epi-pen, insulin, etc.) that you may require. The guides provide use of gear and all terminal tackle such as leader, tippet, and flies for during your guided fly-fishing experience.

Guides provide deli-style lunches and a small selection of non-alcoholic drinks as well. They will go through a few lunch options with you during their check-in call or text which typically takes place the evening prior to your trip.

Feel free to bring your own rods, reels, wader, wading boots and flies along if you have them as well. Our gear list will give you some guidance and feel free to e-mail us ahead of time for specific gear recommendations.

What is included in the guided fly fishing rates? O

Use of all gear (waders, boots, rods, reels, terminal tackle, and flies), drinks, transfer to and from the fishing destination, and lunches on full-day trips. Fishing license and private water fees are not included in the standard rates.

What is the per-person price of guided fly-fishing trips in Bozeman? O

The daily ($595) and half-day ($525) apply to groups of 1 or 2 anglers per guide.

What is the standard gratuity for a Bozeman fly fishing guide? O

Guides cover their own expenses such as gas, shuttles, lunches, drinks, ice, flies, boats, insurance, and equipment. The standard gratuity is $125-$150 per day/per guide (1-2 anglers) for a job well done. Cash paid directly to the guide at the end of your trip is the standard practice.

What kind of boats do we fish from? O

Specially designed drift boats are 16’ long fiberglass with one seat in the front and one in the back. The guide rows the boat from a seat in the middle of the boat. We also use rafts with similar custom-built frames with similar layouts to out drift boats.

What should my fitness level be in order to participate on a guided fly fishing trip? O

Wade fishing requires that the angler is in good condition with excellent balance. Float trips are less demanding physically, but anglers need to be able to sit comfortably for several hours and to be able to stand up/sit down without assistance. We are able to accommodate anglers with disabilities and poor mobility with advance notice. Most of our trips are float trips with some optional opportunities to get out and wade fish throughout the day when situations present themselves.

Additional Information

A Few Words on Montana Crowds

Crowding is a big concern to everybody these days. As more and more people move to the region and competition for our water resources grows, we have become increasingly sensitive to this “hot topic.”

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Bozeman Information

Bozeman is a small, college town situated in the Gallatin Valley of southwest Montana.

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Bozeman Rental Fly Fishing Gear

Rental gear selection from Fins & Feathers includes rods, reels, waders, and wading boots - all rentals are booked online, in advance and then we have them ready to go when you are ready to pick them up.

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Customer Service

Customer service is the “Great Equalizer” when it comes to deciding on where to make your next fly-fishing or fly-tying purchase these days. Fins & Feathers of Bozeman is a “real-life” brick and mortar specialty fly shop that has been in business for 20 years.

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Drift Boat Fishing

Drift boats are a very effective way to cover a large amount of water that is oftentimes inaccessible to wading fishermen.

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Fall Fly Fishing

Fall Fishing Fall is a great time to fish here in Montana. Summer tourist season winds down and gone are the crowds of summer. Brown Trout become aggressive, and fall Baetis hatches bring fish to the surface.

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Fish We Catch

Some of the fish species in Montana that we catch.

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Fly Fishing: The Seasons

Brief overviews of what fly fishing are like during the four seasons in Montana.

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General Fishing Information - South Western Montana

Montana fly fishing is world renowned because of the overwhelming abundance of quality, wild trout rivers, lakes, and streams.

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General Stream Access Laws

Montana has a great stream access law that allows recreationists to access most streams in the state. Where streams or rivers flow through private land you are allowed to be fishing in the stream as long as you enter through a legal access point and stay within the ordinary high-water mark.

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General Techniques

Fly-fishers are more experienced today than ever before and this allows our guides to make attempts to provide each angler with an experience that is unique to their own expectations.

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Greycliffs Ranch Activities

Some information on activities that are at Greycliffs Ranch.

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Guide Trip FAQs

We recommend that you touch base at 877-790-5303 or email us one week prior to your scheduled trip departure.

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Montana Fishing License Information

We sell Montana Fishing/Hunting Licenses here in the shop.

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Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how uses and protects any information that you give when you use this website.

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Recommended Gear

To help you get the most out of your trip to Bozeman, here is a list of recommended gear. This is by no means and complete list but covers most of the bases.

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Rod Fees for Private Water

All private waters are catch and release only Reservations Required Limited Rods

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Spring Creek Infomation

Local spring creeks are well known for producing reliable hatches and surface-feeding fish for most of the year.

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Three-Person Guided Fly Fishing Trips

We often get asked about adding a third person to a guided trip with one of our Bozeman fly fishing guides.

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Troutchaser’s Cabin Details

Troutchaser's Cabin information.

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Types of Fisheries in Montana

The topography and geology of Southwest Montana have created a wide range of fisheries ranging from tiny alpine lakes to the vast western rivers like the Missouri and Yellowstone.

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Winter Fishing

Winter can offer good fly fishing without the crowds or selective trout of summer. Fishing can be really good when the weather warms up enough to melt off the ice and slush.

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Yellowstone National Park Fishing Information

Yellowstone National Park is a Mecca of fly-fishing in the Rocky Mountains. The waters that leave the park form the nation's most famous trout rivers.

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