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Old 05-25-2012, 09:28 PM
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Default Planning trip to Missoula, MT

Hello folks!
Easterner here planning to spend a few days in Missoula at end of august. I am interested in experiencing fly fishing as I have never done it before. My only fishing experience is deep sea fishing on party boats off New Jersey coast.
My first question is- i see that day tours i google searched from shops in Missoula run between $400- $500(before gratutity, ect.). Is that the norm? I do not want to offend anyone if it is. Like I said i am inexperienced with this. Plus since I have zero expereince is it worth it for me? Can these kinds of tours be beneficial, or are there other ways for the inexpereinced? Also, is it allowed to keep what is caught for consumption?
Thanx folks!
Todd
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Planning trip to Missoula, MT

Yo Todd,

Those prices are absolutely correct for the area. Let me know which guides you are thinking of as I can recommend some great ones. I have been fishing Mis. for a long time. You are going to love it. Keeping fish in Missoula fly fishing is a bit rough. We tend to practice Catch and Release but ask when you book your guide as many will cook up a few for you right on the river. However, I am not sure a stringer would be very much appreciated.

Jamie

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Originally Posted by usaalways View Post
Hello folks!
Easterner here planning to spend a few days in Missoula at end of august. I am interested in experiencing fly fishing as I have never done it before. My only fishing experience is deep sea fishing on party boats off New Jersey coast.
My first question is- i see that day tours i google searched from shops in Missoula run between $400- $500(before gratutity, ect.). Is that the norm? I do not want to offend anyone if it is. Like I said i am inexperienced with this. Plus since I have zero expereince is it worth it for me? Can these kinds of tours be beneficial, or are there other ways for the inexpereinced? Also, is it allowed to keep what is caught for consumption?
Thanx folks!
Todd

Last edited by fishordie; 05-25-2012 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Planning trip to Missoula, MT

Yeah, if you have zero experience fly fishing for trout in moving water then hiring a guide is really best option, almost your only option. You can do a half day float - which is about 5-6 hours on the water depending - for less than $400 I think. With a buddy, that's a $250 day each, tip included.

But as Jamie said, if you want to kill a fish, talk to the outfitter before hand.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Planning trip to Missoula, MT

Thanx for the quick replies!
1st off, why is "killing" fish difficult in MT, state regulation/liberal views? Im confused as to they can cook them there, but not take back to cook? Im actually looking at youtube videos to see how fly fishing is done . Looks like I can really enjoy myself.
The 3 that I looked at from a quick google search are:
A Classic Journey Outfitters

Grizzly Hackle International Fishing

Missoulian Angler Fly Shop.
Also, not to be off topic, but if a cabin site that has a fire pit at good prices can be recommended it surely is appreciated.
Thanx,
Todd
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Planning trip to Missoula, MT

Hi Todd,

One of the greatest things about fly fishing in Montana, and yes it is very different from Spin fishing in Montana, is the guides are super attentive to maintaining the fisheries. You will not believe how well the fish are treated as the "Barbless" hook is gently removed and the fish is safely returned to fight another day. I have spent up to 20 minutes watching to make sure a big trout I released, who was sulking in some high grass, was strong enough after a great battle to make it back into deeper water. This included some gentle nudging to make sure he did not go belly up or just give up the will to live as sometimes can happen. This is just part of the mystique and ambiance which makes Montana and similar fly fishing destinations so amazing. Montana is NOT liberal and we do not hug trees but Fly fishermen, for the most part, are all about the environment especially as it applies to keeping up the fish populations throughout the world (Not just Montana). As a note many of the great trout fisheries in the world have been over fished much to the regret of both the locals and those who loved going back year after year. Thus making sure these fish stay alive and are healthy is just part of the experience.

Yes, I have so many friends who love to eat trout, but I never bring one back.... Ever. I do not judge those who choose to catch their limits to bring back home but I choose to safely release everything I catch. I think you will find the majority of those who fly fish will also practice mostly catch and very gently release.

I highly recommend 2 full days of guided trips. You can go back to back or space them depending on the availability of the guides. You can even try different guides on different days. These will be float boat trips which will allow you to see between 8 and 16 miles of river depending on where you go. The scenery is just as fantastic as the fishing. You can also wade fish from these float boats as long as the flows allow it. The trip is all about you and how you would like to proceed. Just make sure you communicate with your guide. These guys have customer service down to a science.

You can PM me for recommended guides and a place to stay. The outfits you noted are great shops but they hire outside guides. I recommend going direct to the guides so they do not have to split profits.

As a note: If you have fishing in your blood you will not believe how great this experience will be for you. One of the world's greatest gifts and pleasures. Montana fly fishing can be one of the greatest wonders of the world.

Best of luck

Jamie

Quote:
Originally Posted by usaalways View Post
Thanx for the quick replies!
1st off, why is "killing" fish difficult in MT, state regulation/liberal views? Im confused as to they can cook them there, but not take back to cook? Im actually looking at youtube videos to see how fly fishing is done . Looks like I can really enjoy myself.
The 3 that I looked at from a quick google search are:
A Classic Journey Outfitters

Grizzly Hackle International Fishing

Missoulian Angler Fly Shop.
Also, not to be off topic, but if a cabin site that has a fire pit at good prices can be recommended it surely is appreciated.
Thanx,
Todd

Last edited by fishordie; 05-25-2012 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: Planning trip to Missoula, MT

You would be well served by taking a couple lessons before you left home. Find an Orvis shop near by and take their free intro to fly fishing class. You will be in for a likely frustrating day if you show up on the river with zero preparation.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Planning trip to Missoula, MT

Thanx for the replies.
As for lessons, I would have to look into it as Im not sure of availability in my area- I live in Reading PA, and not much time to go long distances given my schedule. Thanx for the suggestion, and not only for me, but I wouldnt want a guide to get too frustrated with me(yes Im that bad with a rod lol)
Would love to stay in a cabin and grilling the days catch to end the day, but I see that the locals are extremely cautious with interfering with the eco system and practice a catch and release, and I totally respect that. I would be a guest and would want to be viewed as someone the locals wouldnt mind having returning for another stay. Im an interesting person- born and raised in central New Jersey, and dont be fooled with the way I talk- I love nature and wouldnt dream of interfering with nature
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Planning trip to Missoula, MT

Killing fish is completely legal and practiced by a lot of people. Fly fisherman - in general - practice Catch and Release. The previous comments are about fly fishing guides and outfitters that rely on the local fisheries for their livelihoods. An Outfitter like the local Orvis shop, the Grizzly Hackle, runs guides pert-near everyday from March through September, probably 5-10 boats a day depending on the season. Do the math, that's a more than a thousand "angler days" a year on the local waters. They are one of more than 10 outfitters in the area!
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