Guided Fishing FAQ
Guided Fly Fishing Trip Frequently Asked Questions
How far in advance should we book our fly fishing trip?
It's a good idea to book you trip as soon as you know the dates you want to fish as we're often booked solid from June through September. If you've got a large group or want a specific guide, contact us as soon as possible. There's no extra cost to book early and once you're in the books, your dates are locked in.
How do I make a reservation?
Give us a call at 800-646-9644 and we'll get you all set up. We'll need to know the number of people in your group, what dates you'd like to fish and if you have a particular guide in mind. We'll also talk about the different types of trips that we have available. If you to fish a specific river or focus on learning, this would be a perfect time to let us know. You can also CLICK here to contact us via email.
Is there a deposit required to make a reservation?
We require a $275 deposit per guide per day to hold your reservation. Cancellation Policy: Your deposit may be refundable per managements discretion. Our trips go out as scheduled regardless of the weather.
What is included in the fee?
Your trip includes one guide for every two guests on a float trip or up to three guests on a walk and wade trip. We will also drive you to and from the river or lake and if you're on a full day trip we'll pack a tasty lunch and some beverages. Flies are included. If needed we also include rental gear (Rod/Reel, Waders & Wading Boots).
What's not included?
Not included in the guide fee are flies, leaders, Montana or Yellowstone National Park fishing licenses, personal equipment such as rain gear, tax and a gratuity for your guide(s). A Montana nonresident fishing license is currently $31.50 for one day (additional days are $14.00), $73.50 for five days, and $117.50 for the season.
Yellowstone National Park fishing licenses are $40 for three days, $55 for 7 days, and $75 for a season license. Yellowstone National Park passes are $35 per vehicle for seven days, and $70 for the season.
You will need to purchase the proper license for the area you will be fishing. Fishing licenses can be purchased at the fly shop or on-line. *Note: We do require cash for fishing licenses.
Click here to purchase Montana Fishing License
Click here to purchase a YNP Fishing License
What about flies?
You are certainly welcome to bring your favorite patterns and can call the shop in advance to see what may be working for your trip. However, all Madison River Outfitters guides will carry a full selection of the best flies for the water you will fish, as well as leaders. Flies are included in the guide fee and you will be sure to have all of the patterns that you need for the day.
What does a full day trip with a fly fishing guide entail?
Most of our guide trips begin at our shop in West Yellowstone at 8:00am. Here our shop staff will issue your fishing license, make sure you have everything you need for your trip, and introduce you to your guide. Drive time to most of our float destinations is about 45 minutes. Driving times to Yellowstone national Park destinations vary from about 30 - 45 minutes for the Madison and Firehole Rivers, and up to 1.5 - 2.5 hours for Slough Creek and the Lamar River. On a float trip you will usually be rigging by about 9 - 9:30am. You will fish throughout the day with a break mid-day for lunch. Float or walk trips end around 5 - 5:30pm. We will see you back at the fly fishing shop between 6pm and 6:30pm. Of course we can tailor a trip to your needs, starting later and ending later if you have a long drive into town or wish to concentrate on the evening hatch, or ending earlier in the day if you need to be elsewhere at an earlier time. We can also arrange a local pick up if accommodations are in town or on the way to the fishing destination.
I am new to fly fishing. Can I still go on a guided trip?
We take out a lot of beginning anglers and each member of our guide staff is an excellent fly fishing instructor who makes it fun for even first timers to enjoy a day on the water. A beginner may not catch quite as many fish as someone with a lot of experience, but they certainly do catch fish and have a great time learning to fly fish.
What is the best time to fish Yellowstone National Park and Southwest Montana?
Located in West Yellowstone, Madison River Outfitters offers guided fly fishing on a number of world class streams and lakes. The advantage of this is that something is always fishing well. If you would like to concentrate on a particular fishery, or a specific type of fishing then there are obvious peak times. Fell free to contact us to discuss your options. If a good day on the water is all you need, we can find some great fishing anytime of the year. TAKE A LOOK HERE for a more detailed look at the varied fishing opportunities throughout the year.
What do I need to bring on a guided trip?
Fly fishers heading out on a guided trip need a few basic essentials. If you bring your own equipment, a 9 foot 5 or 6 weight fly rod and reel equipped with weight forward floating line is ideal in most places. Waders and wading boots are necessary on walk and wade trips during the cooler times of the year. If going on a float trip do not wear studded or metal bar wading boots. In July and August, guard socks and wading boots, along with a pair of quick dry pants or shorts are perfect for wet wading. On float trips during mid-summer, waders are not necessary, but a good idea to bring along in case some wade fishing is called for or the weather brings some rain. Speaking of rain, a packable rain jacket is always a good insurance policy anytime of the year. A brimmed hat, polarized sunglasses and sunscreen offer protection from the sun and make fishing more enjoyable. Dress for cool mornings and warm to hot weather in the afternoons during the summer. Anglers headed this way in the spring and fall should be prepared to encounter freezing weather, finger less gloves, fleece pants, long underwear, and a warm hat are good items to carry along, even if you never need them. Think layers. Synthetic clothing you can remove or add as temperature changes. Avoid cotton clothing at all costs no matter the time of year. Wearing blue jeans under your waders will not be enjoyable. You are welcome to bring flies you would like to fish and accessories such as nippers, hemostats, floatant and dry shake, and a net. Although your guide will have these and everything else needed to your trip. Many of our guests also find a wading staff and a small day pack or vest useful for walk trips.
What can I do to prepare for my guide trip?
There is not much you need to do to be ready to go on a guided trip, but a few things can make the day more enjoyable and productive. Take a quick look at your equipment to make sure it is in proper working order before you head out to fish. For example, replace old, worn out lines (or have us do it here at the shop the night before your trip) and fix those old leaks in your waders. Spending a bit of time casting the fly rod and reel that you plan on fishing with before a trip is also a great idea. Even expert casters can improve their accuracy and confidence with a little practice to get the rust off. If you think you need some new or replacement gear check out our full service fly shop when you get here or our On-line Fly Shop here.
As of May 26, 2018 Wading Boots with felt soles are banned inside Yellowstone National Park. Felt sole boots are still legal on Montana rivers.
How do we get to the shop?
Madison River Outfitters is located on the east side of Canyon Street (Main Street) in West Yellowstone, three blocks north from the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park and 1/2 block south of the US 20 intersection. We are ninety miles south of Bozeman on HWY 191 and 115 miles northeast of Idaho Falls on US 20.
Places to stay in West Yellowstone - CLICK HERE
- Cancellation Policy.
Your deposit may be refundable at managements discretion. Our trips go out as scheduled regardless of weather.
Contact Us if you have any questions about or guide trips.