Introduction to Our Montana & Yellowstone Park Fly Fishing Trips
Yellowstone Country Fly Fishing is a Montana fly fishing guide service based in Livingston, MT, right in the heart of Montana trout country. We offer a wide range of guided Montana fly fishing trips for experts and beginners alike. Our Montana fly fishing guides offer trips year-round whenever weather and water conditions allow.
The core of our business is drift boat and raft float fishing trips on the Yellowstone, Stillwater, Boulder, Lower Madison, and several other Montana rivers. For those seeking a unique boat-fishing experience, we also offer power boat fishing trips on area reservoirs and the Missouri River.
Want to combine floating and wading? New for 2023 we offer float-accessed wade Montana fly fishing trips on both major float rivers and a variety of small rivers and streams. These trips allow us to shed the typical float trip crowds and get away from popular roadside access points to chase trout that don’t see many flies.
For those who would rather walk, wade, and hike than ride in a boat, either to fish smaller water or to get off the beaten path in America’s first (and greatest) national park, we offer walk and wade fishing trips in both Montana and Yellowstone Park Most of our walk & wade trips are actually hike & wade trips. By walking a mile or two (or for real mountain goats, more), we’ll get to see remote canyons, waterfalls, and sometimes entire fisheries average Montana fishing guides don’t know anything about. Better yet, we’ll get to chase the unpressured trout and grayling that live in these beautiful places.
For anglers interested in paying a little extra to be positive we’ll shed the crowds, and in some cases to get into larger trout (but not necessarily easier trout), we offer a wide range of private water trips on the world-famous Paradise Valley spring creeks as well as area private lakes.
We do not offer any prepackaged multi-day Montana fly fishing trips. Why not? Because we custom-plan all our trips, whether they’re a half-day in duration or involve fishing several rivers over several days. If you’re looking to plan out a multi-day trip, we’d love to help you put together a package that perfectly matches your party’s skills, goals, and interests.
On the remainder of this page, we go over the principles we follow on our Montana fly fishing trips, our rates, and some general policies. You can also use the links in the gray menu to jump to detailed pages about all the different types of Montana fly fishing trips we run, to read our F.A.Q. and details on our policies, and to learn what you should plan to bring.
Our “Guiding” Principles
Regardless of trip type, duration, or location, Yellowstone Country Fly Fishing strives to follow the principles below on all of our Yellowstone and Montana fly fishing trips in order to best serve our customers and protect the waters and landscapes in which we guide:
- Personalize All Trips: We’ll never take a client fishing without a thorough phone consultation beforehand about their skill level, their interests, the weather and water conditions, and other factors that’ll determine where we fish and what we’ll use. In this regard, all of our guided trips are custom trips.
- Find the “Nooks and Crannies:” What do we mean? We try to fish slightly different waters or oddball stretches of popular waters, use slightly different tactics, fish slightly different flies, and sometimes target different fish than most of our competitors. This area gets fished hard. Really hard. Changing things up usually makes for a better experience for our guests.
- Focus on Education: The fish might bite and they might not, but we can always make our clients better anglers, no matter if they’re total rookies or experts. Our guides will constantly work on helping you improve your fishing, whether through big changes or tiny tweaks and tips.
- Never Forget Where We’re Fishing: Montana and Yellowstone Park are beautiful places full of scenic, geologic, and animal and plant wonders. While the focus is generally on the fishing, the overall experience of fishing this area is a big part of making memories for most of our clients. Well point out the petrified wood, show you neat scenery, and be more than willing to stop so you can photograph that buffalo or bear.
- Fish Ethically: By this, we mean two things. 1.) We always guide with a conservation-oriented mindset: all hooks are barbless, all fish are released except where must-kill regs are in place, we follow “leave no trace” guidelines, and we do my best to avoid fishing over heavily-stressed or actively spawning wild trout. 2.) We behave ethically towards other anglers and guides. Namely, we don’t crowd them. On Yellowstone Park trips in particular, this generally means we work harder hiking into our fisheries than most outfitters, but we don’t see many (or sometimes any) other anglers once we get there.
2023 Guided Trip Rates
The following rates are in effect for trips booked on or after January 1, 2023. Trips booked prior to this date will be charged at the rate in effect when the trip was booked.
Included in the following rates are: the guide service, water on all trips, a picnic-style lunch on full-day trips, light snacks on 3/4-day trips, soft drinks on all trips when requested, all necessary flies and fishing tackle if you don’t bring your own, and transportation to and from a prearranged meeting point.
NOT included are: gratuities for your guide (average full-day gratuity is $80 to $150), YNP and/or Montana fishing licenses (if required), private water access fees (if applicable), YNP access fees (if applicable), and wading gear. Note that wading gear is not generally necessary on June-September float trips.
- Full-Day Montana Trips: $600 for one angler, $635 for two. Available April 1 through October. All waters in Montana on which we guide, both public and private, are available on full-day trips.
- 3/4-Day Montana Trips: $565 for one or two anglers. Available late February through Thanksgiving, ice permitting. Float and float-wade trips only. Yellowstone, Gallatin, Boulder, and Lower Madison rivers only.
- Half-Day Montana Trips: $500 for one or two anglers. Available late February through Thanksgiving, ice permitting. Yellowstone River and other streams near Livingston only.
- 3hr Montana Winter Special: $350 for one or two anglers. Available November 1 through March, ice permitting. Walk & wade trips on the Yellowstone River only.
- Montana Power Boat Trip Fee: Add $50 to full-day or 3/4-day rates. Additional power boat fees are due to the additional expenses of operating a power boat versus a drift boat or raft. Power boat trips are available April through Thanksgiving, but primarily in May and June. Half-day trips are not available.
- Off-Season Discount: $50 discount on full-day or 3/4-day Montana trips running before May 1 or after October 14. These trips will run slightly shorter due to cold weather and water.
- Full-Day Yellowstone Park Trips: $650 for one or two anglers. Waters throughout the Yellowstone, Lamar, Madison, and Gallatin River drainages are available.
- Half-Day Yellowstone Park Trips: $525 for one or two anglers. Waters within a 45-minute drive of the park’s north gate at Gardiner are available.
- Yellowstone Park trip rates are generally higher due to far higher commercial use fees in the park versus in Montana. The Yellowstone Park season runs the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend through October 31 and both full and half-day trips are available all season. Walk-wade trips only.
The rates above are per guide and refer to the total number of people who go on the trip, whether all are fishing or not (in other words, a non-angling passenger in the boat counts as a client). More than two clients requires booking additional guides. The only exception is on family “beginner brookie” wade trips in Yellowstone Park. See the beginner trips page for information on these specialty trips.
Deposit & Cancellation Policies
Deposit Policy: A 50% deposit is required via credit card or personal check to confirm and hold your booking.
Cancellation Policy: Deposits are fully refundable minus a 5% fee up to one month prior to the first date of the trip. Between one month and one week prior to the trip, deposits will be refunded if we are able to rebook the guide(s) assigned to the trip and forfeited if not. Trips canceled within 7 days of the first date of the booking require full payment if we are unable to rebook the guide. We strongly suggest purchasing trip insurance.
Weather and Water Condition-Related Changes: We fish rain, snow, wind, and shine. Trips may not be canceled due to unpleasant but safe weather conditions. Clients are expected to bring or be prepared to rent/purchase clothing, raingear, and if necessary wading gear suitable for the weather and water conditions. If the client(s) and guide(s) agree mutually that conditions are dangerous or unfishable, we will attempt to reschedule or modify the trip. If this is not possible, we’ll issue a full refund. Note that we do not guarantee we’ll be able to fish a specific body of water or use specific fishing techniques. Provided that fisheries suitable for the trip type you have booked (float, float-wade, walk-wade, power boat or private water) are available, we expect the trip to run.
What if YCFF Cancels? If we have to cancel a trip due to dangerous or unfishable weather or water conditions, motor vehicle or boat breakdowns, guide illness or injury, or state or federal closures (usually related to drought or fire), we will issue a full refund if we are unable to reschedule, as well as offer profuse apologies.
We reserve the right to modify the above policies on a case-by-case basis solely at our discretion. We’re not hardcases, here, but we make 90% of our yearly income between mid-April and mid-October and need to protect ourselves from late and frivolous cancellations that cost us work.
Licensing and Insurance Fine Print
Walter Wiese is Montana outfitter #22001, Madison River SRP holder #297, USCG Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (Inland) serial #000505249, and holds a permit to operate from the BLM Carbella fishing access. He is Yellowstone National Park CUA permit holder 19-426SSF. Both he and all guides we use hold general liability and commercial auto insurance and have CPR and/or First Aid certifications required for the jurisdiction in which we are operating. The vast majority of our trips operate under Walter’s licensing and insurance.
A small number of trips utilizing Custer-Gallatin National Forest access points (less than 5% of the trips we run) operate in conjunction with Parks’ Fly Shop, utilizing the national forest commercial use permits held by their outfitter, Richard Parks. A portion of guided trip fees for trips that use these accesses will go to this shop.
All clients (or their parent or guardian) will be required to sign an acknowledgement of risk & acceptance of responsibility form and a form acknowledging the policies we require clients to accept regarding posting photos, videos, and other details of our waters on social media and other online platforms before the trip begins. A photographic release document allowing us to take and use photos of you and your party in advertising is optional. We encourage you to view these documents (rev. 11/23/22) at this link.