14 Day Self-Quarantine Lifted in Montana

Update on Travel to Montana

We were hit with some good news on May 19th, 2020. Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced phase II of the reopening of Montana starting on June 1st.

  1. The most important for our industry and Montana’s economy is the removal of the 14 day self-quarantine period for people traveling into Montana. For all anglers itching to come out and fish with us, you now can do so without waiting in your place of lodging for 14 days first (starting June 1st)!
  2. Capacities increase to 75% for restaurants, bars, and breweries – when you are visiting; you will be able to dine out and enjoy the local restaurants after a long day on the water with us.
  3. Groups of up to 50 people will be allowed.
  4. Social distancing will still be advised.
  5. Montana entrances into Yellowstone National Park may receive the green light on June 1st to open as well.

While this encouraging for us and our industry, we will continue sanitizing and disinfecting our rental gear, boats, and vehicles before and after each trip to keep you and our guides safe. We will continue to practice social distancing per the CDC guidelines.

At Trout On The Fly, our goal is to make your fishing trip with us as safe and comfortable as possible. We have put in place protocols that will help us protect you and our guides from the spread of COVID-19. You will receive the below question before your trip with us.

 In the last two weeks, have you experienced?

  • Fever > 100.0 F
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Sinus Congestion, Nasal Discharge, or Runny Nose
  • Body Aches
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Ear Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Itchy eyes, eye discharge, or “pink eye”
  • Sick people in your household
  • Exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 individual

If you answer “yes” to one or more of the listed questions, your trip will be canceled or rescheduled unless cleared by your healthcare provider that you do not have COVID-19.

Our pre-trip protocol for cleaning and decontamination of loaner equipment, boats, and vehicles.

 Cleaning/Decontamination type

  • Sanitizing wipes approved for COVID-19, alcohol (70% or greater), or soapy water before each trip.


  • Before and after the vehicle has been shuttled
  • After clients have exited the vehicle at day’s end
  • Each time clients change seats in the boat


  • Keys & fobs
  • Exterior and interior door handles
  • Steering wheel
  • Ignition button
  • Window switches
  • Radio, GPS, and other buttons and dials
  • Seat belts & buckles
  • Air vents
  • Cup holders
  • Grab handles
  • Headrests
  • Seats
  • Seat Pockets


  • Seats
  • Cup holder trays
  • Coolers
  • Boat bags and gear that is exposed to guests
  • All interior surfaces


  • Rods and reels
  • Waders and boots

Social Distancing

  • We may ask you to drive/follow your guide to the boat ramp in your vehicle. If you must ride with your guide, we will require each person in the vehicle to wear a face-mask.
  • We may recommend a walk-n-wade trip versus a boat trip.
  • We will do our best to maintain the 6′ distance between each other at all times.

Food and Beverage Handling

All food and beverages will be purchased and packed from a certified restaurant or store.

Please do not share anything with anyone.

Each guide will provide hand sanitizer, and we recommend each person uses it, especially before lunch.

All materials from lunch will be cleaned up as contaminated and package appropriately.

Fishing Report

Fishing on our waters continues to be great! We have had cooler temperatures that have slowed down runoff and allowed rivers like the Yellowstone and Gallatin to clear up enough to be fishable again. On the Madison, and Yellowstone Rivers, crowds are minimal at best since out of state anglers are not willing to self-quarantine for the 14 days before fishing in our state (understandably).

Madison River – The Madison River continues to fish very well from Earthquake Lake downriver near Bozeman. We are still seeing a few Skwalla’s around, and the fish are opportunists if they see one float by.  Baetis (BWO), March Browns, and Caddis are bringing fish to the surface for the dry fly anglers. Nymphing is still the best technique to bring numbers of fish to the net. The streamer bite remains hit or miss.

Recommended Patterns

  • Nymphs/Emergers
    • Pats Stonefly nymph, black with olive legs – size 8-4
    • Pats Stonefly nymph, olive with brown legs – size 12-8
    • Gold rib tan Hares Ear soft hackle – size 14-12
    • BH gold rib tan Hares Ear – size 14-12
    • Lightning Bug, purple – size 18-16
    • $3 Dip, brown – size 16-14
    • PT (pheasant tail) Beadhead Soft Hackle – size 14-12
    • San Juan Worms, red & orange – size 6-2
    • Egg patterns – orange – size 18-14
  • Dries
    • Adams & Parachute Adams – size 18-14
    • BWO CDC Thorax Dun, olive – size 18-14
    • Elk Hair Caddis, olive and brown – size 16-14
    • Purple Haze – size 16-14
    • Carnage Western March Brown – size 14-12
    • Parachute Hare’s Ear – size 14-12
    • Amy’s Ant, olive – size 14-12
    • Chubby Chernobyl, olive – size 14-12
  • Streamers
    • Peanut Envy, olive – size 4
    • Kreelex fly, silver and copper – size 8-4
    • Tips Up, white – size 4

Missouri River – Either the jet boat section below Hauser Dam near Beaver Creek or the drift boat section from below Holter Lake to the Dearborn River continues to fish very well. Nymphing is the most productive approach for the anglers wanting to catch several fish. A reminder that the Missouri River will have clean, clear fishable water during runoff (late-May early-June). The dry fly bite is hit or miss with BWO’s. Having a “ready rod” available with a dry fly is advantageous if or when you see heads start feeding on the surface. Overcast, low wind days are best for the dry fly angler. The streamer fishing has been more miss than hit lately, but if you keep at it, it will pay dividends on quality!

Recommended Patterns

  • Nymphs/Emergers
    • Soft Hackle Sow Bug, pink and tan – size 16-12
    • Lighting Bug, pink & purple – size 16-14
    • Tailwater Sow Bug – size 16-14
    • Green Machine, olive or PT (pheasant tail) – size 18-16
    • RS2, olive or grey – size 18-16
    • Transitional Dun, pink – size 16
    • San Juan Worms, red & orange – size 6-2
    • Egg patterns – orange & pink – size 18-14
  • Dries
    • Adams & Parachute Adams – size 18-14
    • BWO CDC Thorax Dun, olive – size 18-14
    • Sparkle Dun, olive – size 18-14
    • Purple Haze – size 16-14
  • Streamers
    • Kreelex, gold/silver – size 4
    • BH (bead head) Wooly Bugger, black – size 8-4
    • Sparkle Minnow, olive – size 4

Yellowstone River – The Yellowstone leveled off from May 2nd until May 17th, which allowed the river to clear up considerably. The Water temperatures also sparked the Caddis to hatch in good numbers with some good dry fly fishing in the late afternoons into the evening hours. This river is very fickle day to day this time of year with the water clarity. If fishing the Yellowstone, we would make a last-minute decision based on water conditions.

  • Nymphs/Emergers
    • Pats Stonefly nymph, black/olive legs – size 8-4
    • Morsh’s Super Pupa, green – size 16-14
    • KGB Caddis Emerger, olive – size 16-14
    • Deep Sparkle Pupa – size 16-14
    • San Juan Worms, red & orange – size 6-2
    • Egg patterns – orange – size 18-14
  • Dries
    • Elk Hair Caddis, olive – size 16-14
    • Snowshoe Caddis, olive – size 16-14
    • Carnage Western March Brown – size 14-12
    • Chubby Chernobyl, olive – size 14-12
  • Streamers
    • Sparkle Minnow, color – JJ Special – size 4
    • BH (bead head) Wooly Bugger, black – size 8-4
    • Morrish Sculpin, light & dark olive – size 8-4

Yellowstone National Park

Great news, Yellowstone National Park has opened through the south and east entrances in Wyoming only. Montana has plans to open its entrances through West Yellowstone, Gardiner, and Cook City on Monday, June 1st. We will keep you posted if the Montana entrances indeed open up on June 1st.  Fishing will be permitted as usually starting on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (May 23rd, 2020). You must purchase a Yellowstone National Park fishing license when fishing in the Park, your Montana or Wyoming state fishing license does not allow you to fish in YNP. Park fishing licenses cannot be purchased online, you must purchase from a licensing agent located in the Park or in a entrance towns such as West Yellowstone, Gardiner, or Cook City.

Thank you for staying connected with us on current conditions, reports, and news!

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