Booking a trip with one of our Montana fly fishing guides may be one of the best things you do all year! Whether you are looking to float the Yellowstone River, wade fish one of the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks or hike and strike in Yellowstone National Park, you’ll enjoy spending a day on the water with one of Montana’s best fly fishing guides. Here at the Yellowstone Angler, we act as booking agents, not only for some of the best fly fishing guides in Montana but also for Montana outfitters who operate under their own license.
Other options that have become quite popular with returning clients are the many private lakes and streams we have access to. We have always strived to find or create new and interesting properties to fish that other outfitters may not know about or have access to. Fishing one of these smaller wade-fishing streams or one of the private lake out of a boat is a great way to create variety on a 3-4 day trip.
Fly fishing in Yellowstone National Park has also become a popular destination for returning clients. We have many “hike and strike” rivers and streams that require anywhere from a 50-foot hike to a 10-mile round trip hike. Seeing and fishing in YNP is a special treat that all anglers should try at least once.
Most of the time the guides utilize McKenzie style drift boats, the finest craft for float fishing the Yellowstone and other large rivers in Montana like the Madison River, the Missouri River, the Bighorn River, and others. On some of the smaller, rockier streams that are more difficult to navigate, the guides use inflatable rafts that are comfortably equipped for anglers. Depending on the river and the conditions, we’ll often stop to wade fish the better riffles and runs. You can choose between a quick lunch (typically some kind of sandwich), or you can choose to relax while our guides prepare a gourmet streamside lunch while you enjoy the spectacular views of the Absaroka Mountains and Montana’s Paradise Valley.
The best way to book your trip is to call us at 406-222-7130 and we can discuss your trip in detail. Logan Brown is our guide booking manager and the best person to talk to, but any of us here at the shop can help you set up your trip. Even if you are not quite ready to book a trip, please call us as we are always happy to talk fishing and can hopefully steer you in a good direction of where to go to achieve your fishing goals. You can also e-mail us at [email protected] or send a letter by snail mail to Yellowstone Angler, P.O. Box 629, Livingston, Montana 59047.
Give us an idea of the time period you are thinking about, the number of people, and the number of days you would like to utilize guides for float or wade trips. It is important to book as early as possible, especially if you would like to fish with your favorite outfitters or guides, or need spring creek reservations which are very limited. We’ll do our best to line you up with the outfitter or guide you request but keep in mind that returning clients retain the option to rebook their favorite outfitter or guide for the next year (for the same approximate dates). If clients do not exercise this option at the end of their trip or make other arrangements, we must book the outfitters and guides on a first-come, first-served basis.
We will be happy to work up an itinerary that is perfect for you, and try to make all the necessary reservations for you on private waters we fish including the spring creeks, Burns Lake, and other local private lakes. During prime time, it helps if you can be a little flexible with your schedule. Be sure to ask us about our favorite local accommodations.
Once we set up a tentative itinerary for your trip, we’ll send this back to you by e-mail or letter. If this itinerary looks okay you are set, otherwise, we’ll try to make whatever revisions you request. Once we have your guided days set, we’ll ask for a card number and charge you a deposit of $150 per guide per day. You can also send us a check or money order if you like. Then you can pay the balance here at the end of your trip with a credit card, check or cash- whatever you would prefer.
Float Trips: Major “blue ribbon” rivers including the Yellowstone, Bighorn, Madison, Missouri, Jefferson, Gallatin, Ruby, Boulder, and Stillwater River. Most of these call for McKenzie style drift boats, but the smaller rivers may require a raft depending on the time of year.
Wade Trips: Some of the finest fishing close to Livingston are the famous Paradise Valley Spring Creeks – Armstrong’s, Depuy’s, and Nelson’s. These spring creeks are on private ranches and the owners charge rod fees of $40-$125 depending on the season and stream. Other good streams we wade fish are the Boulder River, West Boulder River, Stillwater, Gallatin River, East Gallatin, and a handful of “top secret” streams we won’t mention online.
Yellowstone National Park Trips: We are one of a few select fly shops that maintain a commercial use fishing license inside Yellowstone National Park. This allows our Yellowstone fly fishing guides to take you to superb rivers and streams within Yellowstone National Park including Slough Creek, the Lamar, Soda Butte, the Madison, the Firehole, and many others. Those who are willing to “hike and strike” will experience some of the most remote and beautiful streams in the country.
Jet boat trips: Recently there has been more interest in jet boat trips on the Missouri. We now offer jet boat trips through US Coast Gaurd certified guides. Most anglers wish to go to the “Land of Giants” however there are other spots around SW Montana that they can take you.
Winter Rates: There are times when winter fishing makes no sense at all, and times when warmer windows show up allowing for a few days of fishing. The bad news is these windows are hard to plan, aside from a last-minute booking – which we encourage. The good news is that the fish have seen a lot less pressure this time of year, especially on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks where water temperatures come out of the ground much warmer than the river. Depending on the weather a float trip may also be possible. Call anytime, we’ll let you know what your best option is for the day(s) you can fish.
*YNP trips do not include entrance fee
** Half day trips not available July 1 – September 15
Winter Special trips are available for the Yellowstone, Lower Madison, and Spring Creeks only.
The guides and outfitters we work with go to great lengths to make your lunch a memorable part of the fishing day. At the time of your booking please specify if you would like a “grilled lunch” or a quick lunch. There is no extra cost for a grilled lunch other than a little extra time spent relaxing instead of fishing. The guide fee also includes a shuttle, so that you can get on the river more quickly and have the guide’s rig at your take out at the end of your float. Please note that half-day trips do not include lunch, but your guide will have a cooler with beverages for the day and space for you to bring your own snacks.
When you make your booking, an authorized Yellowstone Angler agent will ask for a deposit of $150 per guide per day of fishing. Once we have finalized your arrangements we will charge your credit card to secure your booking. The easiest way to secure your deposit is with your credit card, but if you prefer, you can send us a check or money order.
If you wish to pay the deposit with a check we must receive the check within two weeks from the day you make the booking. This option is only available for bookings at least 2 months in advance. In the event that we have not heard from you, or received any deposit, we will make one more effort to contact you. If we have not received a deposit within two weeks from the date the booking was made, we will be forced to cancel all of your reservations.
Once the deposit has been made we will send you a detailed itinerary that will serve as your confirmation letter. Additional deposits may be required for private waters, and these must be made by separate check. We’ll detail this for you.
The deposit policy that we have worked out for all the outfitters and guides we work with is as such: Deposits are fully refundable up to 30 days prior to your trip. Within 30 days of your trip, we will still refund in full if we can rebook the outfitters or guides (or re-book the dates reserved on private waters) for the days you have canceled. We do ask that you contact us immediately if you need to either change your dates or to have your booking canceled, (this will give us more lead time to re-book the guide, which will help us get you your deposit back).
If you must cancel within one week of your trip, we will require full payment for the guide fees for those days you have booked and charge your credit card on file for the entire balance. We must do this to protect the guides and outfitters for lost days in the prime-time of the season. We will then make every effort possible to re-book your guides for the days that were canceled. If we are able to re-book the guides for the days you had to cancel, we will refund 100% of your deposit or apply it to another upcoming trip, whichever you prefer.
Final Payments for your trip can be made at our shop. You can pay us at that time with cash, check or by using your credit card. We maintain a separate account for the Outfitters and guides, and these payments will be kept separate from your bill for flies, tackle and other equipment. Remember to bring some cash to tip your guides. Note: we are often asked how much anglers should tip their guides: $80 to $100 a day is what most of the guides average, so use those figures as guidelines.