What type of rod should I bring?
If you only bring one rod, the best all around rod for most Montana fishing trips is a 9 foot 6wt with 6wt weight forward line. A 9 foot 5 wt is a great second rod for dry flies and can also be used as a primary rod, but doesn't handle large nymph rigs or wind as well as a 6wt.. 4 weights are nice dry fly rods and great spring creek rods but it shouldn't be your primary rod. 7wts make great streamer rods, but a 6wt will also work. If you have two rods that you like bring both so we can rig them up with different setups on float trips. If you don't have a rod, we will provide one.
What time of year is best?
We guide trips from April through October. Every month of the season has its perks and there is always good fishing to be had. Different fisheries are better at different times of the year, but since we fish so many different rivers, streams, spring creeks, lakes and private ranches something is always fishing well. For a more detailed description of typical fishing scenarios see the Seasons of Montana Fishing link.
What type of flies should I bring?
Flies are included and provided by your guide on most trips. When flies are not included, your guide will take you to a shop and provide guidance on what you will need for the day. If you are a fly tier or have flies at home that you like to use, feel free to bring them along and see if your guide feels they will be productive.
What type of leader and tippet?
As with flies, leaders are provided by your guide on most Montana Angler trips. Tippet is always included. In the early season we use a lot of 9' 2 and 3x leaders. Later we use more 9' 4x leaders. 5x is exclusively for spring creeks around here and we don't mess with 6x. This can change by the day and by the river and each guide has their own preferences.
What kind of clothes should I bring?
Bring rain gear no matter what the weather report forecasts. If you don't have rain gear, we will have extras (but can't guarantee they fit just right). Also bring a fleece or other type of jacket (even in August). In the spring and fall bring winter hats and gloves and have warm fleece or heavy duty long johns to wear under waders. When storms hit it gets cold fast, even in the summer.
What about lunch?
We will take care of lunch. If you have specific dietary concerns please let us know ahead of time.
What about waders?
Bring them. Often we don't wear them, especially if it is in the middle of the summer. On many trips we do a lot of wading, and you will want them (even if we are in the boat). They also make great rain pants! If you don't have waders, you can rent them here. We do a lot of wet wading in July and August. I prefer wading boots over neoprene socks (but wool socks will also do). Wading in sandals is not recommended. If you plan on buying waders for your trip, I recommend the gore-tex type with separate lace up wading boots. Simms is the most trusted and bombproof brand but there are other good companies as well. I don't recommend studded boots for the boats but if you already have them we can throw a mat under your casting deck.
How much should I tip my guide?
Gratuities for Montana fly fishing guides average $130 per day for a day trip and $140 per day on overnights. This is an important part of a guide's income so please consider a nice tip if you feel like your guide worked hard to give you a great experience.