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Big Sky Anglers

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitter


Phone icon406-646-7801 Email iconinfo@bigskyanglers.com Link iconbigskyanglers.com
West Yellowstone, MT

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

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The Story

Join the experts at Orvis-endorsed outfitter Big Sky Anglers on your fly-fishing trip in Montana. We're a group of fly-fishers dedicated to sharing great experiences with other fly-fishers. We have guided these and international waters for over 25 years, and we fish all over the globe. West Yellowstone is where we call home, and with good reason—we are proud to live in an area that still has places we'd like to tick off our own bucket lists! We hope to share this great area with you!

Our team of hardworking, experienced, and professional fly-fishing guides is well versed in all levels of instruction. We are passionate about our own angling and excited to share it with others. You can expect both quality and patient instruction from our staff, as well as to have a great time while fishing with us!

We work hard to align our customers' skills, preferences, and hopes for the day with the right waters and opportunities. This is a large region, and we thrive on helping people navigate it. We believe this area truly has something for every type of fly angler, from the rank beginner to the lifelong fly-fisher.

We also believe in using these diverse waterways to seize opportunities for instruction and further skill development. We believe through helping anglers build skills, we can continually expose them to new experiences and angling opportunities. Whether you wish to build your skills to one day stalk trophy trout on the Henry's Fork's Railroad Ranch, or to brush up on your double haul for your next saltwater trip, we will work hard to incorporate these goals into your day's fishing with us.

Season:

Our area has year-round fishing opportunities, but generally our high season begins mid-May with pre-runoff conditions and finishes in the beginning of November when Yellowstone National Park (YNP) closes. Yellowstone National Park's fishing season runs from the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend through the first Sunday in November. While many of the area rivers are in peak runoff from the end of May - mid-June, the Henry's Fork in Idaho and the Firehole River in YNP are in prime shape, so we have continuously fishable water throughout spring and early summer.

Species:

  • Yellowstone cutthroat trout
  • Westslope cutthroat trout
  • Brown trout
  • Rainbow trout
  • Brook trout

Region/Terrain:

The Greater Yellowstone ecosystem encompasses a wide variety of landscapes and terrain. High mountain peaks, broad river valleys, dense forests, and wide-open landscapes are all around the corner from one another. Within an hour's drive from West Yellowstone at 6,600 feet, you could travel up or down another 1,000 feet in elevation, be on one of the largest spring creeks in North America, floating down the Madison river in it's iconic Big Sky valley, be fishing an alpine lake, or be standing knee deep in a trout stream you can only just cast across, with a bison wallowing in the distance. Remote canyons and backcountry rivers, as well as great roadside accessibility, all add to the depth of this area. The wildlife viewing opportunities in Yellowstone include the chance at catching a glimpse of some of North America's large mammals like bison, elk, moose, grizzly and black bears, and wolves.

Typical Weather:

Our weather, as in most mountain climates, is quick to change, and it's important to remember that snow is a possibility at any time of year. It can also be surprisingly hot and the sun intense in the summer due to our high altitude at 6,600 feet. Generally, we expect cool temperatures and somewhat wet weather through the middle of June, with daytime highs ranging from the high 40s to the low 70s. Summer sets in mid-June with long days and warmer temperatures that eventually stretch into the 80s in July and the middle of August. Thunderstorms are the most common during this time frame. By the end of August and into September, our nights are freezing, and daytime temperatures are swinging up to the 80s on warm days. On cool days expect highs in the 50s and high 40s. By mid-September, there is a distinct autumn feel to the area. October brings low temps and the likelihood of snow; this is a great time to bring all your layers!

Rates:

Rates start from: $599/day for 2 anglers. You can find all pricing information at: https://bigskyanglers.com/guided-fly-fishing-trips/full-day-guided-fly-fishing/

What is Provided:

On our guided fly-fishing trips we include:

  • All guiding services
  • Terminal tackle (flies/leaders/tippet, etc)
  • Lunches
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Needed equipment (rods/reels/lines and waders/boots).

Not included are the cost of fishing licenses, Park entrance fees, and any gratuity.

Gear Recommendations:

We use 5- and 6- wt., 8 1/2 to 9-foot fly rods most typically. Floating lines are used 95% of the time. Occasionally, a short sink tip or sinking line will be used for lake or streamer fishing. Good rain gear is a must at any time of year; a waterproof rain jacket and a warm layer should be packed each day. In May, June, September, and October, a puffy layer, stocking cap, and fingerless gloves are a good idea. We generally bring waders and make the decision whether to wet wade or not on the day of the trip. Felt soles are now illegal in Yellowstone National Park's waters. Rubber soles must be used.

What to Bring (Additional):

  • Brimmed hat
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Binoculars
  • Bird Guidebook
  • Wildflower guidebook

Other:

The closest servicing airports are:
West Yellowstone (WYS)
Bozeman (2 hrs' drive) (BZN)
Idaho Falls (2 hrs' drive) (IDA)
Salt Lake City (4.5 hrs' drive) (SLC)

The Big Sky Anglers flyshop and lodging facility, the Golden Stone Inn are pet friendly environments.

Our flyshop is located right in the heart of West Yellowstone.

The Golden Stone Inn provides our guests with a comfortable, quiet and private lodging option in West Yellowstone while located within a short walk of downtown's restaurants and shops. High speed, wireless internet available.

Additional Activities:

Big Sky Anglers has a full-service fly shop and lodging facility, the Golden Stone Inn, also located in West Yellowstone. Ask us about our angling packages. We can also help to arrange an interpretive and educational Yellowstone Park tour for those wishing to take a break from a day's fishing and delve into the wonders of our nation's first National Park.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trips with BSA Guides My sons and I leave the East Coast to fish the Western mountain rivers and streams for a week each summer. We started out wanting to fish the famous Madison River, we found Big Sky Anglers on the internet, and after just one summer we realized that we had found something special in these guides. We were frequent fly fishers on our small east-coast streams, but BSA opened our eyes to the new techniques and patterns of the Montana and Idaho rivers and small streams. The guides at BSA listened to what we wanted, and he found ways to match us up perfectly. Whether drift-boating on the Madison in Montana or the Henry's Fork in Idaho, or making day-hikes into Yellowstone Park for wading those famous streams, our BSA guides have made great new recommendations for us each summer’s trip. They understand the different levels of abilities we each bring, and they work easily with the limitations that being a 77-year-old grandpop imposes on a group of much younger guys! (When you fly-fish at my age, you don’t just consider how to get into a river, but also if you can get OUT!) After a few years of guiding us, BSA suggested that we time our future trips to meet the salmon fly hatch on the Madison. This change has opened another new experience for us on West Coast streams. Occurring earlier in the fishing season, this June/July event means cooler streams and higher water levels, but also aggressive fish attacking huge bugs! Now we bring whole new fly boxes full of these larger patterns. We have been fishing the Yellowstone / Idaho / Montana region for ten years now, and we always center our trip around the availability of the great guides at BSA, who are now familiar with us. They are an amazing source of knowledge, with natural teaching skills and boundless enthusiasm. They seem to have radar to detect what we really need in teaching and technique. And those guys advising in the fly shop are simply the best, providing new suggestions for streams and techniques for us every year. And, for those days when we are out hunting for new adventures on our own, BSA has given us great suggestions for streams and access locations which match my own physical limitations. Seems that we can keep on learning forever from these guides at BSA. And by the way… yes, we ALWAYS catch great fish when BSA is guiding us!
Date published: 2021-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun and feedback Went with a group with a variety of skill and experience levels. I was very impressed at how our guides tailored their approach to each of us to help us build skills, slay fish and have an amazing time! I would recommend these guys to anyone!!
Date published: 2021-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Professional, knowledgeable, premium service I have fished with Big Sky Anglers every year since 2015. Madison River, Henry's Fork, and the Missouri River. It's my big, annual guys' trip, usually the only one of the year, so frankly, a lot is at stake, but BSA is worthy of the trust. BSA takes me both wading and on a drift boat, typically in July. A great time on the river is not just being told where to cast; it is also about the amenities and service. Bottomless coolers of ice-cold drinks. Giant ziplock bags of premium snacks. Fresh leaders and flies (many of them original and unique to BSA) accompanied by unflappable patience when you tangle your leader or hang your fly in a tree (again). Personalities range from quiet to talkative to mildly intense. All the BSA guides look you in the eye when they talk because everything comes from the heart. They mean what they say and say what they mean. BSA guides understand that your primary mission is to experience the joy of fishing, not get all down or self-conscious about your fly casting technique. Still, they are so skillful in the artform of delivering a fly to a fish's gaping mouth and setting the hook that I have markedly improved as a fly fisherman over the last five years. That is the icing on the cake for me. I have so many BSA stories to tell, but you are not a captive audience like my family, so I will not clog up the internet with another fish story. Suffice it to say that many of my most memorable moments fishing have been with a BSA guide. Tip: talk to one of the owners at BSA like Joe, Jonathan, or Justin. Be upfront about what you like, do not want, and what kind of experience you seek. Trust their judgment. They will match you with the best guide and fishing experience for your personality and your situation.
Date published: 2021-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best guides in the business I have fishing with Big Sky Anglers for many years. Every year we make life long memories. They have access to the best water and know when to be there through out the year. The Henry fork,the Madison, Hebdon lake and my favorite the Yellowstone park trips. We have been blessed to fish all over the west but never found better guides than Big Sky offers The shop is awesome with everything you need.
Date published: 2021-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing trip! Would highly recommend! I had the pleasure of booking a trip with Chris Daniel through big Sky anglers. We had an incredible time floating the local rivers. Chris was knowledgeable, patient, and fun guide to have. Would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a trip in southwestern Montana
Date published: 2021-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Epic adventures with Big Sky and Chris Daniel! When I called to book a day with Chris Daniel at Big Sky, I had no knowledge of the sport, no equipment, and a lot of hesitation having never been a part of the fly fishing world. Chris handled my call like the pro he is, answered all my questions, settled me in on what to expect, and left me with excited anticipation of my day on the river with him. I booked a full day on the Madison in July of 2020. I showed up with pair of boots and neoprene socks, though Big Sky Anglers supplies this too if you roll in empty handed, and Chris handled everything else. My buddy and I met Chris at the shop in the morning and proceeded to have the most wonderful day! Because I was brand new, Chris provided full service support for me. My buddy had some previous experience, so Chris tailored the first part of our morning to both of our levels - for me it was an introduction and HOW TO (send it, mend it, follow, repeat) and for my buddy it was a refresher with advanced tips. Chris is intimately familiar with the Madison, and this was made clear early on when I hooked my first fish mid-way through the primer! We wanted to be both in and out of the boat throughout the day, and Chris perfectly accommodated our ask with several riverside stops in the first half of the day and long floats (with instruction and support throughout) later on. This was a well planned call, by the second half of the day I think it was better that we spent more time floating. Chris kept us fed and watered throughout, and was a perfect compliment to our conversations. He shared stories, answered questions, and provided strict, direct, and sometimes painful instruction (only because we demanded it from him, we wanted to get better and didn’t have time for sugar coating!) Chris new the right places to cast to, what flies were working on the river and what to change to if they weren’t. By the end of the day, we’d lost count of the number of fish we landed and both agreed that the day had been epic! During the same trip, we also booked another full day adventure with another provider on the Yellowstone, and while that day was good and enjoyable, it was seriously nothing compared to our experience with Chris and Big Sky Anglers. Who knew I would hit gold with our first guided fly fishing trip! I returned in August for a second helping, this time with my 12yo daughter. I booked 2 days with Chris through Big Sky with a full day private tour in Yellowstone between our fishing fun. And guess what: Chris is a Yellowstone guide too! Despite what others at Big Sky Anglers may have told me, 3 full days with Chris was not too much! Jokes aside, the fishing this time around was at least as good if not better, my daughter had her own epic adventure (care of Chris’ age appropriate joking and engagement with her), and our Yellowstone tour hit all of the big stops. Quick sidebar on Yellowstone with Chris and Big Sky - it was a perfect fill day between 2 fishing days and should be considered especially if there are non-fishing family with you. We decided to be tourists in the park and not fish, and I am glad we did. Chris avoided all the crowds and gave us an amazing day of the truly awesome natural world that Yellowstone provides. My 12yo says the Yellowstone day was her favorite, and I am convinced it is totally because of Chris. Our day was filled with stunning views of natural wonders, but Chris had a story everywhere we went that engaged both of us. Chris picked up on our interest and our tour quickly evolved into the Yellowstone Death Tour (something I am still urging Chris and Big Sky to actually market!). We were treated so well that we felt like we were the only ones in the park. So if you are considering Big Sky Anglers, I say that you should stop looking and book. You won’t regret it. If Chris is booked for your dates, having talked to many more people at Big Sky I believe that anyone out of this outfitter will be able to make your dreams come true! We’re making plans to return in 2021 and can’t wait to see what Chris has lined up for us!
Date published: 2021-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best guides, great experience!! I had the best day fishing ever with guide Chris Daniels! I had such a great time, I went to Patagonia on a Big Sky Anglers hosted trip. It exceeded every expectation, and having Chris to show me the ropes was priceless. I’m already booked for the Green Drake Hatch on the Henry’s Fork in June of 2021. The BIg Sky Angler guides are in high demand, so book early and book with confidence; if you go out with Big Sky Anglers, you are getting the best! I even bought a Sage rod/reel combo from BSA, and they set me up with everything I needed. Everything arrived in great condition, and I know they had to pull some strings go get me the exact Orvis rod/reel I wanted. I will keep going to them for all my fly fishing needs. The pics are just a couple from my trips with BSA.
Date published: 2021-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Shop and Guide in West Yellowstone I have fished with Chris Daniel out of BSA for a number of years and have had a great trip every time getting into great fish, and have had a fun day each time. We have fished in the park on the Madison, wade fished between Hegben and Quake lake, floated the lower Madison, and the Box Canyon on Henry's Fork. Chris has great skills and patience and has taught me a lot over the years, made me a better 'caster' and has gotten me started in spey fishing. He has also helped me with fly tying. I highly recommend Chris and the shop.
Date published: 2021-01-06
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