Yellowstone Angler is the place to go to find the best gear and the most knowledgeable guides for fly fishing in Southwest Montana! 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. At the Yellowstone Angler, we act as booking agents, not only for some of the best fly fishing guides in Montana on staff but also for Montana outfitters who operate under their own license. This means we are able to book both guides and outfitters that have over 500 days experience on the waters we book. We’re eager to help you enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer, whether you are trying fly-fishing for the first time or are a seasoned veteran.
The best way to book your trip is to call us at 406-222-7130 and discuss your plans in detail. Logan Brown is our guide booking manager, but any of us here at the shop can help you set up your trip. Even if you’re not quite ready to book a trip, please feel free to give us a call — we’re 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 to Yellowstone Angler, P.O. Box 629, Livingston, Montana 59047.
Give us an idea of the time you are considering for your trip, the number of guests, and the number of days you would like to be accompanied by one of our guides. It is important to book as early as possible, especially if you would like to fish with your favorite guides. Spring creek reservations in particular are very limited. We’ll do our best to line you up with the outfitter or guide of your choice, but keep in mind that returning clients retain the option to rebook their favorite outfitter or guide for the next year. If clients do not exercise this option at the end of their trip or make other arrangements, we book our guides on a first-come, first-served basis.
We will be happy to create a custom itinerary that is perfect for you and make all the necessary reservations for you on private waters we fish including the spring creeks, Burns Lake, and other local private lakes. During peak season, a little flexibility with your schedule goes a long way. Be sure to ask us about our favorite local accommodations.
Once we set up an itinerary for your trip, we’ll send it your way for approval by email or letter. We’ll try to make whatever revisions you request. Once we have your trip set, we’ll charge a deposit of $150 per guide per day to your credit card. You can also send us a check or money order if you prefer. The remaining balance is due at the conclusion of your trip.
Float Trips: Major “blue ribbon” rivers including the Yellowstone, Bighorn, Madison, Missouri, Jefferson, Gallatin, Ruby, Boulder, and Stillwater rivers. 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 don’t dare even mention online!
Yellowstone National Park Trips: We are one of only 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.
Private Lake Trips: 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 private lakes out of a boat is a great way to add some variety to 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.
Typically, 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 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.
If you wish to pay your 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 received, 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 all this and more for you later.
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 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.
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.