Re: Montana Trip Advice
If you coming to Montana to fish you will have to drive some distances. We have four or five of, arguably the best trout streams in the country. They are spread out over a area of some 150 miles~ east to west, and most of these rivers run from 50-150~ miles in length.
Your plans seem to say that you want a guide to show you some hot spots and then you will be hitting the area again but sans guide.
I assume you are thinking that you will limit your fishing to one river or area. If that is the case, then I would suggest fishing the Yellowstone area.
My reasoning is that there are some "Must Do's" when coming to Montana for the "Big Fishing Trip".
The first must do is to fish the spring creeks like Depuy and/or Nelson on the Yellowstone. You have been reading about Montana and so you must know that these are iconic on the Montana fly fishing genre.
Since you will be on the Yellowstone to fish the spring creeks, then spend a day with a guide floating and wading the areas north of Emigrant and south of Livingston. Then spend a day floating the lower Madison (A 2 hour drive from Livingston). Then for something completely different, I would hit some of the high mountain lakes. That would make for an awesome adventure and give you the full spectrum of fly fishing in Montana.