We offer the use of drift boats on most rivers listed. The drift boats or rafts allow us to cover a larger area and access waters that are inaccessible or unsafe for wading, which is an advantage. The boats also allow us to bring extra gear that might otherwise be left behind on walk-n-wade trips. Some rivers have regulations that mandate fishing only by wading. Although we cannot fish from the boat, we use the boat to drift through these areas and access fishing holes that one cannot access on foot because of private land.
The drift boats are designed to float through shallow waters. With our knowledgeable guide staff in the center of the boat rowing, he or she can safely navigate you into position for the perfect drag free drift. All boats can accommodate up to two anglers at most. For example, if you have six anglers you would need three guides, and we are happy to arrange for as many anglers and guides as you need. When booking trips, especially large groups, we highly recommend booking one year in advance to ensure we have enough guides for your group.
Most of the drift boats are fiberglass construction, although some are wood, and the rafts are PVC (polyvinyl chloride). If you have wading boots with metal cleats please let us know when booking your trip(s) so we can arrange for protective mats that will help protect our vessels.
No boats are allowed in Yellowstone National Park, park law. All float trips will be on our Montana waters.
We are not a brick and mortar fly shop. Upon booking trips with Trout On The Fly, we will make suitable arrangements to pick you up at your vacation rental, lodge, hotel, campsite, or the airport. If your place of lodging is out of the way, we will ask you to meet your guide at a convenient location for your day(s) on the water. This applies regardless of where you are staying – Bozeman, Ennis, Cameron, Helena, Livingston, West Yellowstone or Fort Smith Montana.
- Wader and Wading Boot Rental – Let us know when booking a trip if you need rental gear and we will arrange to have them upon your arrival. Prices with Trout On The Fly LLC are $20 for half day rental and $30 for a full day wader and boot rental.
- Montana Fishing License – To save time we recommend you purchase your license(s) online before your trip at the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks website. Any angler 12 years of age and older must have a Conservation License ($10-nonresident) plus a Fishing License ($25 for 2 consecutive days, $56 for 10 consecutive days or $86 for season-nonresident), plus an Angler AIS Prevention Pass (AISPP) ($7.50 for non-residents). No license is required for angler’s age 11 years and younger IF accompanied by an adult who holds a valid Montana fishing license. Click here to buy a Montana Fishing License Online
- Guide Gratuity – Gratuity is not mandatory, but is well appreciated to help with the guide’s fuel, flies lost on the trip, and reflects the hard work of the guide. Average gratuity is 20-25% of the price of the trip. However, if you feel the guide deserves more or less, please adjust the amount according to your experience.
- Transaction Fee – All credit and debit card payments add 3% of the total amount.
Deposit & Cancellation Policy
- A 50% deposit is required at the time of reserving your fishing guide. The remaining balance will be due 60 days before your scheduled trip(s)
- Cancellations made 61 days or more from your scheduled trip will be refunded the full amount.
- Cancellations made between 60 and 31 days before your scheduled trip will forfeit $100 of the trip amount.
- Cancellations made 30 or fewer days prior to your scheduled trip will forfeit 100% of the trip amount.
Please understand that these trips are difficult to re-book on short notice, and that our focus is on providing the best fishing experience possible. If you have any concerns about attending your booked trip, please look into trip insurance.
- “Nate, I had a great time! Everything I wanted to have happen did. I have never done any fly fishing before. Nathan Anderson was a great guide and very patient with me. I’m sure the last thing a professional guide wants to put up with is starting from scratch (This is how you hold the rod, this is how you cast, etc.) but he went thru it all and gave me two great days of fishing on the Madison River. I caught Rainbows and Browns that were in the 16-20” range for all but two of the fish I caught. I had a great time and would like to try it again sometime. Thanks for everything. Tim“
- “Hi Nate – Garrett was great. He deserves special kudos for taking two strangers out on the river during freezing weather with rain, sleet, and snow! We are glad he did. In spite of the weather, Garrett put us onto some nice fish through our 3 days, and he kept his spirits and humor. Like George, I really appreciated the thorough and prompt way you handled the booking and follow-up. It made planning and execution pretty easy from our end. As for recommendations, I think you should be sure that the weather is always in the 70s with good cloud cover so that we only have to throw dries . . . ! 😊 It truly was an experience, and I am glad that I was able to have it, but I will also be glad to come back a little earlier in the season (smile). Cheers, Doug Lawrence“
- “Our fishing trip with Trout On The Fly more than met our expectations! All guides were professional, supportive cheerleaders, and skilled instructors. We appreciated the timeliness of pick up, the lunches, and your gentle guidance in fishing as well as getting in and out of the boat! Our guides, Nate, Aaron, and Doug were so very patient-even when I had my line tangled or wrapped around my boots! We appreciated the careful balance between direct instruction, processing time, and the learning curve. We gained new knowledge, and by the third day, I felt like I was finally able to begin applying what I was learning. I wish I could return sooner than a year from now! We so enjoyed The Noble Bison and every detail of comfort provided. We especially appreciated coming “home” to a fireplace, hot shower, and cozy space after that cold, rainy Friday of fishing. The decor and artwork contributed to a warm, inviting experience. Nate and Trout On The Fly provided the perfect fishing experience. Your organization and attention to detail clearly contributed to our most successful adventure. Thank you so much for all you do, Gary and Judy“
- “Jeff Johnson was extremely professional, knowledgeable, and patient. Even though the activity was slow, he kept our lines in the water and kept changing flies to find something the fish would bite. He had a positive attitude throughout, offering instruction and encouragement all day. I especially appreciate your flexibility in allowing me to add an angler at the last minute. Thanks again. I hope to be back someday.“
- “We had fantastic experience booking a guide through Trout On The Fly. Our guide, Oliver, was personable, patient, and experienced. He showed us new fishing methods and we caught some great fish with him. Oliver worked really hard to ensure that we had success and we would not hesitate to recommend him and Trout on the Fly for anyone heading to the Yellowstone area. The float trip was especially enjoyable - this was a new experience for us and it was a lot of fun. Oliver was great to joke around with and he also made sure to offer us good fishing advice throughout the day in a very tactful manner. Shannon and I both caught big fish while floating the Madison. What a great trip!“