Our outboard jet drive Jon boats are set up like drift boats: with an anchor system, oars, leg braces, and comfortable seats. We use the jet boats to motor upriver, shut down the motor, and repeatedly row you through the premium runs. This technique allows us to access water that is too deep or dangerous to wade fish, such as the Missouri River (Land of Giants or L.O.G.) and Yellowstone River. We also use our jet boats on several still waters such as Hebgen Lake, Ennis Lake, Holter Lake, and Harrison Lake.
The ability to guide anglers under power requires a Captain’s License through the U.S. Coast Guard. Trout On The Fly and its premier team of U.S. Coast Guard Captains can take you and your group of anglers into several bodies of water that would be impossible to access with a drift boat or raft or where the wade fishing can be difficult and unsafe due to deep, swift water. These specialty trips are a unique way to fish compared to traditional drift boat trips. We are some of the first to offer such trips in the state of Montana with 20+ years as licensed captains.
One of the more popular jet boat trips we offer is on the Missouri River below Hauser Dam in the Land of Giants (L.O.G.). This section of the Missouri River is best accessed with the jet boat and is most effectively fished using the jet boat due to limited access and deep water. Land of Giants is only a 20-minute car ride from our state capital, Helena, Montana. To save travel time and money, we encourage anglers to fly into Helena, arrange for a shuttle from the airport to your hotel of choice (there are several hotels in Helena), and we will pick you up curbside at your hotel and drop you off at the end of the day. We always recommend hotels in the downtown Helena area if you do not rent a car; this allows you to walk to area restaurants, pubs, and shopping. Ask us about our lodging options in Helena, MT, for a discount.
Fishing the Yellowstone River with the jet boat is also a great way to make several passes through long runs holding numerous amounts of fish. In a typical drift boat, that run would only be drifted by once. The jet boat gives you ample opportunities to make the perfect drag-free drift! If you get tangled up on one pass through a good run, don’t worry, we will motor back up and do it again! All our jet boat trips on the Yellowstone River are downriver of Livingston, Montana, below Highway 89 bridge. The reason for this is that motorized vessels are not allowed above 89 bridge by state law.
Hebgen Lake is located on the Madison River, between the Yellowstone National Park and Madison Valley regions. Jet boat trips on Hebgen Lake start as soon as the ice has melted, early May, through November before the ice starts to form again. During the fall months of September through November, we use the jet boat to access the mouth of the Madison River, targeting the staging grounds of the rainbow and brown trout with streamers and dry flies before they head up the Madison River into Yellowstone National Park.
We do offer jet boat trips on the Bighorn River when the conditions and locations call for it. All jet boat trips on the Bighorn River are from the mouth of the Yellowstone River up to Bighorn fishing access site.
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.
Three Anglers In A Boat
- This becomes a liability. Our drift boats and jet boats have U.S. Coast Guard max weight limit for each vessel. If we exceed this weight limit and have an accident we would be at fault. Yours and the guides safety comes first.
- If we were to allow three anglers in one boat, only two anglers could fish at any given time. This means one angler is not fishing. The best scenario for allowing three anglers in a boat is if it happens to be a mom, dad and a child that is young and needs to be with their parent. We would still observe the max weight limit.
- 3 persons or 750 lbs – this includes the weight of the guide.
- Most guides are not willing to take on three anglers in their boat. It is back breaking-work, and the boat is not as responsive to get you into position when needed.
- Everyone will have a more enjoyable and productive day if we can keep the boat to a max of two anglers for each boat/guide.
- If we agree on letting you have three people in the boat (plus the guide) the cost is an additional $200.00 on top of the daily rate.
- 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 $30 for half day rental and $40 for a full day wader and boot rental. Rent your waders and boots beforehand at our online store HERE.
- Montana Fishing License – To save time we recommend all anglers purchase a 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 ($14 for 1 day, $56 for 5 consecutive days or $100 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 or debit card payments add 3% to the total amount.
- Third Angler Rate – If we agree on letting you have three people in the boat (plus the guide) the cost is an additional $200.00 on top of the daily rate.
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.
- Requests to move a scheduled trip date are the same as canceling and re-booking
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.
- “Hi Nate! Thanks for following up we me on our recent guided outing with Paul. We had an outstanding time learning from Paul and catching numerous large trout in a remarkable setting. I’d like to commend you (and Paul) for your organization and attention to detail. Your email communications and Paul’s advance call to me covered all the bases and allowed us to show up at the right place, at the right time, prepared with what we needed to head out and get fishing without delay. Lunch was well executed and we thoroughly enjoyed Paul’s experience and company. My 15-yr old son, Declan, has really taken to fishing over the past 3 years, but he had not yet landed a trout on a dry fly. Paul took that to heart and eventually set up my son for targeting rising trout when they started feeding off of the surface. A little coaching and a couple of casts later, he’d hooked, fought and landed his largest trout to-date. It was remarkable! (Photos below.) I expect we will want to treat ourselves to future outings in your magnificent part of the country. When we do, I will be certain to reach out to you to book another guided trip. All the best, Mark (and Declan) Kavanaugh“
- “Good morning Nate, We had the best time ever! Your guide Paul Fawthrop was the best ever. He got us to the right fishing holes to make sure our experience in Montana was spectacular. He gave us an amazing guided tour and informed us of all the history of the lake and rivers. We could not have had a better guide! Thanks again for setting us up with an amazing guide. Travis Woodard“
- “Thank you for another wonderful year of fishing the Madison and Missouri Rivers. We have had experience to know how exceptional you are as a guide. No one is as good as you!“
- “Dillon and I had a great time fishing with you and we both think our game was improved thanks to your patience. Absolutely beautiful country and great waters to indulge in. We could spend weeks… We’ll help spread the word about TOTF, but hope you don’t get too popular so we can do it again.“
- “Nate, Your C game is better than most guides A game!“