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.
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.
I'm always looking for new ways to get the word out about our business. We rely on repeat and direct referral clients to provide the bulk of our angler base, and the magic of the internet connects us with most of the rest, but I am always searching for new ways to connect.
One drove up to my house this fall. It was an open bed pick-up truck with a few empty beer kegs rolling around. Our friend Dash from MAP Brewing had stopped by after one of the many, many beer festivals these micro-brew types like to attend. So I slapped a sticker on a keg or two and off they went back to Bozeman.
This time of year the daily morning coffee routine requires a quick examination into the Internet side of the fly fishing world. Blogs, social media outlets, the weather forecast, and most importantly snow pack all have special tabs for quick access on the browser during the winter season. In reality, checking the snow pack on a daily basis isn’t something that demands our attentive observation every morning, but the desire for a great water year is enticing enough and it keeps our anticipation levels high for the season to come.
As I write this short fishing report, snow is falling outside and the feeling of winter is definitely still here. However, this past week some tolerable weather was enticing enough for my semi-hearty soul to make a trek out to the Missouri, paying a visit to several trout I haven’t seen since October. Even though surrendering to the overwhelming call of a warm couch and binging another season of Stranger Things on Netflix is tempting, the feeling of a bent rod seemingly made sense in the face of cabin fever.
In reflecting on last year's fishing season, there was one particular window of time on the Missouri River that stood out for me. It was special. It was magical. It wasn't supposed to be happening but it was anyway, and the folks who were in the right place at the right time got to see some absolutely troutstanding fishing. I have been telling tales about it most days since.
I can hardly believe that last year marked my 4th season as a guide in Montana. Yesterday seems like it was my first guide trip and I had to get creative when answering the question, “So, how long have you been doing this?” by anglers in my boat.