Montana Angler Fly Fishing, MT
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Expedition in Bozeman, Montana
100% Customer Satisfaction
has been our commitment since 1856. It’s who we are. If you aren’t happy with a product or service, we want to know about it. And we’ll make it right. That’s the Orvis Way.
At our all-inclusive lodging options we provide comfortable beds, excellent multi-course meals, beverages, and world-class views. Just show up and let us take care of the rest!
On our all-inclusive camp programs our staff provides all camping gear including pillows, sleeping bags, large sleeping tents, Montana Canvas wall tents for dining, portable wood burning stoves for cool weather, mobile shower systems, all kitchen equipment, and all meals and beverages.
What is Provided:
We provide rods and all terminal tackle on our trips including flies and leaders. On our numerous all-inclusive packages, waders are included (on day trips they can be rented). Day trips include riverside lunches and our overnight programs include all meals and beverages. On backcountry and river camping trips, we provide all camping equipment including cots, freshly laundered sleeping pads, tents, a staffed kitchen and dining tent, and shower tent. Accommodations on our ranch stays are in comfortable cabins with a separate dining lodges. All of our expedition programs are all inclusive so you can just show up, fish, and relax!
Although we provide all equipment when needed, our guests that are avid anglers often prefer to bring their own gear. We use 9 ft. 5-6 wt. rods most frequently. 4 wt. rods are nice on spring creeks while 7-wt. rods can be used for streamer fishing. A 6-wt. fly rod is the most versatile rod on all of our waters. We generally use weight-forward floating lines on most waters although a sinking head is occasionally handy for streamer fishing.
Fly selection varies greatly depending on the time of year and fishery. We recommend contacting our office staff if you like to fish your own flies (we provide them on all trips). Our detailed packing list on our website also provides more guidance for guests interested in a specific program or time of year.
What to Bring (Additional):
We provide nearly everything on most of our trips. Personal items including cameras, sunglasses, and layered clothing are all you need to show up with!
April and early May
Early spring offers some of the most explosive dry fly fishing of the season as blizzard hatches of Mother's Day Caddis fill the air. Thick hatches of blue winged olives or March brown mayflies can be equally important. In addition to great match the hatch fishing early spring also offers some of the best trophy fishing of the year stripping big streamers for river browns or leaches for massive rainbows on private ranches. Early spring weather in the Rockies can range from t-shirt weather to a late snow so anglers should prepare with layered clothing.
Mid May to mid June
Rivers begin rising in mid May as Montana's snowpack begins to melt. While some rivers become too high to safely fish, others are moderated by dams and produce the highest catch rates of the season. Water temperatures are on the rise and the prime feeding windows begin can last for ours. This is a great time to rack up high catch rates. Anglers focus on tailwaters, spring creeks and private lakes with few other anglers to contend with. Late spring weather is generally very pleasant but late Pacific storms can produce a steady drizzle when they roll in so anglers should be prepared for both rain and shine.
Mid June to mid July
Early summer produces another bonanza of aquatic insect hatches. The famous salmon fly hatch gains much of the attention as massive 3' insects land clumsily on the water where big browns and rainbows are on patrol. Spring creeks come alive as thick hatches of pale morning duns entice sophisticated trout to go on a feeding spree and let there guard down. Add in multiple caddis species, yellow sallies, and golden stones and many Montana rivers literally become a fly soup. Stillwaters can produce equally exciting fishing as well fed trophy trout patrol private lakes while hunting hatching damsel fly nymphs and adults. Weather is typically perfect with cool mornings and sunny afternoons.
Mid July to mid September
As aquatic hatches wind down trout begin to focus on terrestrials such as ants, beetles and hoppers. While float fishing remains good on the big rivers this is also the peak season for incredible attractor dry fly fishing on many of Montana Angler Fly Fishing's exclusive private ranch waters. Throwing hoppers to deep undercut banks on classic meadow streams or scrambling over boulders in remote canyons can provide for a memorable and rewarding day. This is also a great time to enjoy a classic float camping trip or perhaps ride into the mountains to target gin clear back country streams. Weather is typically cool in the morning and warm and sunny in the afternoon. Afternoon showers are always a possibility in the late summer anywhere in Montana.
Late September to mid November
This is the time of year to swing for the fences and target trout as long as your arm. Big brown trout begin moving out of lakes and into streams and rivers. Giant browns that were in rivers all year long but were nearly impossible to catch begin to let their guard down as the become more aggressive leading up to the spawn. Dry fly fishing is still an option with late season terrestrials providing great hopper action on warm days and fall baetis mayflies producing pods of rising trout on cloudy days.
We target wild trout in our local spring creeks, mountain streams, rivers, and lakes. Each fishery has its own unique composition of fish species and we may encounter browns, rainbows, cutthroats or brook trout depending on where we are fishing on a given day. On our larger rivers browns and rainbows are most common. On our smaller streams we often find native cutthroat trout as well as brook trout.
Southwest and Central Montana offers an incredible variety of fishing opportunities. Guests have opportunities to fish the Yellowstone, Madison, Smith, Boulder, Stillwater, Bighorn, Missouri, Jefferson, Ruby, Gallatin, East Gallatin, Slough Creek, Soda Butte, Lamar, Gardner and more. In addition to larger rivers Montana Angler offers an extensive private water leasing program where guests can gain exclusive access to large ranches with lightly fished streams, lakes and spring creeks.
April and May:
Spring weather can be beautiful. The mountains are still covered in snow and the valleys begin to turn green in May. On nice days the sun shines and the sky is crystal blue with highs in the 50s to 70s F. Spring can bring in Pacific storms that tend to produce unsettled weather for two or three days at a time. When these storms roll in it often drizzles off an on during the day with temps in the high 40s or low 50s. Wet snows are possible even in the valleys in the spring. It is important to bring layers and rain gear (our guides have extras!) in case one of these storms arrive. Fishing can be outstanding in the spring when the skies turn grey!
June is a major transition month. Storms are still moving in and the beginning of June still has potential to have some sustained wet weather. Montana isn't nearly as wet as the east coast or northwest however. By mid-June high pressure begins to set in and precipitation is limited to passing thunderstorms and the occasional front.
July and August:
July and August bring gorgeous summer weather. This is a dry time of the year and precipitation is generally limited to the occasional passing thunderstorm. Once in a blue moon a front moves in and brings sustained drizzles for a day or so but these are rare (but bring awesome fishing!). Average highs are in the 80s F in the summer but we occasionally get heat waves. Temperatures in the 90s are considered hot and temperatures in the low 100s are very rare but possible.
September is a transition month. It's dry and the daily temps are usually very pleasant with highs in the low 80s and 70s F. Occasionally, an early fall storm moves in to bring chilly weather. Valley snow is very rare in September.
A transition month. It is still very dry but as fronts move in a day of rain or snow is possible. Temperatures at the beginning of the month are usually very pleasant. On most years, October produces great fall weather during the entire month but on some years early winter storms move in late in the month. Fishing is awesome in October but make sure to bring warm layers just in case. The weather never shuts down the fishing but it is important to be prepared so that you are still comfortable if cold weather arrives early.
Montana offers no shortage of outdoor recreation. Let us know if you need advice on setting up wildlife tours, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, National Park tours, etc. Several of our local towns also offer art galleries, shopping, museums, etc.
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