Fly fishing in Montana should be on the short list for any angler that enjoys chasing trout in beautiful mountain rivers. Montana is home to an astounding number of high quality blue ribbon rivers, lakes and spring creeks. It’s northern latitude and proximity to numerous mountain ranges that produce and ample source of cool snow melt that help to make the state a trout factory. Montana’s trout streams are filled exclusively with wild fish. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has a very limited hatchery program and stocking is restricted to high mountain lakes and reservoirs where trout reproduction is limited. Montana fly fishing guides are some of the best in the planet. Hot beds for fly fishing like Bozeman, Missoula, Ennis, West Yellowstone and Dillon attract some of the worlds best professional guides and outfitters. The combination of productive rivers, great scenery, and high quality outfitters make Montana a prime destination for anglers from around the world. With the vast number of high quality trout rivers, outfitters, fly shops and lodges in Montana planning a fishing vacation to Montana can be overwhelming. Here are five tips to help you plan the perfect Big Sky state fishing trip.
Tip 1: Consider your lodging options
Your choice of lodging will be a big factor in your enjoyment of your fishing vacation. Lodging can be broken down into fishing lodges, hotels, vacation rentals and outfitted camping trips. Fishing lodges are the most expensive option, but also provide a lot of amenities. Lodges are often located in beautiful rural settings and often have direct access to rivers. Montana fishing lodges usually include all meals (generally very high quality dining!). Since all the guests are also fly fishing lodges provide for a social atmosphere with like-minded guests. Hotels are a great option to save some money and explore Montana on your own. Many Montana towns like Bozeman and Missoula have a vibrant night life that many guests enjoy by staying at an in-town hotel. Vacation rentals are a great option for families and larger groups and allow your crew to cook your own meals. Vacation houses and cabins are also located in beautiful settings and can offer a lot of room. If you have four our more people in your group they can also be cheaper than hotels. Many outfitters in Montana also offer overnight camping trips either as float trips on rivers or as wilderness horse pack trips into the mountains. Outfitted camping trips are surprisingly “deluxe” and guests enjoy great food while still “roughing” it.