Guided Fishing Trips by Montana Fishing Outfitters
Thanks for visiting us at Montana Fishing Outfitters
We are here to help you make your Montana fly fishing trip come to reality. We consider Montana to be the premier trout fishing destination in the country, and MFO to be Montana’s most unique guide service because we offer top-notch angling adventures with our team of top-shelf fly fishing guides throughout the Big Sky state. From our home water, the trout-filled Missouri River in central Montana, to the classic Blackfoot River in western Montana to the picturesque Yellowstone River in Paradise Valley, we get around.
We have been chasing trout across Montana since the mid-90s, but Montana Fishing Outfitters was founded from a lifetime of angling across the country and around the world. Our roots are in Montana, it's where we love to live, and we look forward to sharing our passion for all things fly fishing with you; amazing Big Sky landscapes, fantastic rivers, days afloat with good friends, and we’ll definitely catch some trout too!
We've got a wide variety of blue-ribbon trout waters, professional and courteous fly fishing guides, and detail-minded personal customer service just waiting for your arrival. Let us help make your Montana fly fishing trip happen this year and you will not be disappointed.
Being outside in the middle of January without gloves on is a bonus, floating the Missouri River holding a fly rod in a gloveless hand almost feels like cheating. In a way, it probably is; but it’s hard to pass up a few nice days on the river. Especially with last year’s epically long and brisk winter season.
As we near the end of August there is still some summer left in our season, but fall is definitely creeping into the picture. The days are shorter, the mornings are chilly, and some wet weather patterns are starting to appear (high of 52 degrees and 90% chance of precip on Monday, snow accumulation above 7,500 feet, for example). But with afternoon highs in the 70s and 80s most days, it is still flip-flop and sunscreen season in Montana, and we will soak it in as long as it lasts.
Most days the fishing is as good as you are, especially when you're throwing small dryflies at rising fish on our home water, the Missouri River. But wherever you go in Montana nowadays, you are likely fishing to fish that have seen a fly or two already this season, so you need to be better than the last person who tried to fool that trout. As a general rule of thumb, it is not the fly, or the rod, or the sun, or the wind, or the leader, or the arrow that catches the trout. It's you, the angler, the Indian. Shoot your arrows straight at the target and you'll definitely catch more trout.
When your Smith River crew consists of seven adults and six kids between the ages of 5 and 9, but you already have over 100 trips down the canyon combined, you know you are ready for an exciting adventure. The match of youthful exuberance and experienced moderation finds it's sweet spot on a 60 mile river float.
Our weather and water conditions continue to be pretty interesting this year in Montanaland, and the big news is that run-off is tapering down more quickly than expected on many of our blue-ribbon rivers are they are coming into excellent shape for some of our most exciting hatch cycles of the season. This is great news for all our anglers who will be arriving in the next few weeks to fish in the Helena, Missoula and Bozeman areas.
Here's a quick breakdown of what we're seeing and hope to expect for the rest of June in Troutopia:
It has been an epic start to our early season and the front end of our annual run-off here in troutopia. Some rivers have already seen near record-breaking flows, while the high water destiny of other watersheds remain unknown. One river in particular, the Blackfoot, already topped out at 19,000cfs; which nearly missed the historical record set in 1964. At this time, we are currently looking forward to the dropping flows and the fantastic fishing ahead. Eventually the bobbers will come off and we will be spending the majority of our time fastening dry flies to the end of our line.
Yesterday, Garrett and I attended the annual meeting of the Upper Missouri Water Advisory Group. It’s essentially a gathering of all the bean counters that work in the watershed of the upper Mo, everyone from fishery biologists to the Bureau of Reclamation and Northwestern Energy attends. As guides and outfitters there is a lot of information in an afternoon long meeting that is irrelevant to our fishing season. However, the two most important topics we want to share with our anglers are predicted streamflows for the Mo and the latest fish counts. Here is the short version.
Beware the Ides of March in Montana, when your fishing guide's English degree collides with his passion for trout.
In related news, winter has returned after a brief but glorious taste of spring.
With our first guide trip of the season under the belt it's time to give a report on the status of our favorite tailwater fishery, the Missouri River. Usually by the second week of March the Missouri is open for business, albeit early season business. On Friday I found four inches of slush blanketing the Craig boat ramp parking lot, about half of the boat launches unusable due to snow and ice, and a day that started sunny and warm but brought us a couple of snow squalls that produced some heavy snow and wind. This pretty much sums up our winter in Montana - serious and unrelenting.
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky, than good. We’ve all heard this old adage before and when it comes to fishing there are certainly times it holds true. I was reminded of this fact a few weeks ago when a good friend of mine came to visit for a day on the water and then a day of skiing. Which all sounds great, until you consider the fact that these two activities require the exact opposite weather conditions for pure joy.
One of my early fishing guide mentors had a favorite saying, usually issued while witnessing the belabored acts of an obvious nitwit. "Amateurs teaching amateurs to be amateurs", Johnny would say, with a slight head shake. It was always good for a laugh and made of distinct point of whatever knuckleheaded thing they happened to be doing; jack-knifing trailers down the boat ramp, high centering a loaded raft on the only exposed rock in the river, flailing away with a bird's nest tangle in their flyline. It was always amateurs teaching amateurs to be amateurs.