What do I need to bring to the river?
Sunscreen (water reflects the sun), sunscreen (we’re usually fishing at least 4,500 feet above sea level), valid Montana fishing license (can be purchased online and printed or saved on your phone), brimmed hat, polarized sunglasses, rain jacket (I have backup jackets but they're big and bulky), camera ('phone'), comfy shoes or strapped sandals (depending on season), and clothing suiting the anticipated weather. If you use medication or carry an EPI pen, please bring it. If you like to enjoy alcoholic beverages on the river, it’s up to you to provide them… no glass! Dry storage is provided for extra clothing and small items.
How long a day are we in for?
Most full-day trips end up being about 8 hours door to door. Montana is big and often times we drive an hour or so to access the river. Short day float trips will be around 6 hours. Half day wade trips are about 4 hours. It’s your vacation, so if a shorter day is needed, just ask. While fishing isn't particularly physical, if it's not something you're used to, expect to be tired at the end of the day.
What's for lunch?
What’s the weather going to be like on August 14th, 2019?
Hopefully you’ve already seen the humor in this one. A mid-summer day in Montana can be cold and wet or very hot and dry. During spring and fall snow is always a possibility. Forecasts and climate data are not great indicators so be prepared and don’t be afraid to reach out to me for guidance.
Will I catch anything?
This one is a real can of worms (no pun intended). In hundreds of days of guiding I’ve seen total rookies catch many fish in a day and experienced anglers catch 1 and everything in-between. It’s called ‘fishing’ and not ‘catching’ for a reason. Keep an open mind and you’ll never be disappointed with a day spent on the water. That being said, odds are good you’ll be doing the latter.
So what will I catch?
Trout... and whitefish. Most of the fish we catch are brown trout and rainbow trout although good numbers of cutthroat trout (our true 'native') can be found on the Yellowstone River and other small streams. Mountain whitefish are common if we are using sub-surface techniques and are also a native species.
Do we have to fish the whole time?
Again, it is your vacation - if you want to fish until your arm cramps or take a break every hour and look at the mountains for a while, that is up to you and fine by me.
Do I have to fly fish?
Nope. As long as we’re using artificial lures and single barbless hooks, I have no problem chucking gear. It’s very effective and a hell of a lot of fun.
Can we keep what we catch?
No. There are a lot of fishing guides in Montana and only so many fish. If we each killed just one a day the impact would be great. Besides, trout have cooties.