Why A Guided Trip?
As one of the oldest outfitting operations in Montana ( John Bailey, Outfitter #183), we strive to give you the best fly fishing experience possible. We work with a network of full-time professional fishing guides who are some of the very best in the business. All are expert anglers, with extensive experience fishing the waters of southwest Montana and beyond.
We have a lot of water to explore in southwest Montana. With so many great options to explore it can be tough deciding where to begin and booking a guided trip can be your fast track to some great fishing during your stay. Letting someone else lead the way allows you to focus on enjoying your time on the water, taking in the scenery and of course, the fishing itself. Whether you choose to fish with us for a day or a week, you will be fishing some of the best trout waters on the continent.
What type of trips do we offer?
FLOAT TRIPS- We offer float trips primarily on the Yellowstone River, the lower reaches of the Madison River (downstream from Ennis Lake), the Boulder River (subject to timing/flows) and Stillwater River along with trips to area private lakes. We can also arrange guided float fishing for you on the Missouri and Bighorn rivers which are fabulous fisheries anytime and great alternatives while the Yellowstone is experiencing spring runoff. While we don't generally have our trips depart from the Livingston area for the Missouri or Bighorn rivers, we have guides that work them available to match you up with based on your lodging for your stay.
Float trips are done in either a drift boat or a raft which offer seating for two anglers and a guide. (See below regarding dogs)
WALK/WADE TRIPS - In addition to float trips we offer walk/wade trips on the lower Madison River, Boulder River, the Paradise Valley springs creeks; DePuy's, Armstrongs' (O'Haire Ranch) and Nelsons' ( each requires added cost of a daily rod fee) and a handful of lesser known streams in the area. Another luxury of having so much water to fish is we can adjust your trip as needed should storms or the occasional mudslide dirty up the Yellowstone River during your trip.
Our base trip fees are the same whether you opt for a float trip or a walk/wade trip. (See our "Trip Rates" tab for pricing)
Lunches are included on full day trips only.
Regarding dogs, please be aware that while we love dogs as much as anyone, dogs are not allowed on trips due to potential hazards to their safety and that of the anglers and guide involved.
Trip Day & What to Bring
Typically the day of your trip will begin at our shop where you will meet with your guide(s) and address any needs for the day before heading to the water. Full day trips are typically 8 hours with half-days being 4-5 hours in length. Be sure to have your fishing license in your possession. Liability waivers, if not completed in advance, will need to be completed before you head out. If you have time to swing by the shop before trip day it’s nice to get these matters out of the way in advance so you can simply meet with your guide and head to the water. To enjoy your day on the water you want to be sure to have the following items; polarized sunglasses ( glasses of any type are critical for eye protection, you will better enjoy the fishing and learn more with polarized glasses), a hat, sunscreen, bug spray, a long sleeve shirt is ideal, fast drying clothing, a light weight rain jacket.
Booking Process & Timing
Booking your trip is easy. Once you have determined the dates you wish to fish with us you may complete our online booking form , call us directly at 1-800-356-4052 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org . It’s ideal to book with a minimum of two weeks lead time, if you are planning a trip for peak season from mid-July into mid-September you want to try to book a month in advance. We are always willing to attempt last minute bookings, however with guides being independent contractors they are typically booked in advance. Same day bookings are challenging, but not always impossible, as guides are on the water once the day has begun and largely not available to contact. Booking your trip in advance is your best way to let us help you secure a guided fishing trip.
Regarding the timing of your trip - when selecting your dates keep in mind that the Yellowstone River, as well as all of our free-flowing rivers in southwest Montana experience spring runoff typically from mid-May until early July. We do have area spring creeks, private lakes and some tributaries that can remain options during this period. Additionally, storm events may occasionally force us to adjust your trip itinerary in reacting to conditions like muddy water on the Yellowstone River. Fortunately we have plenty of options to fall back on in adjusting trip and can generally find an available alternative.
John Bailey, Montana outfitter #183
PO Box 1019 Livingston MT 59047 Phn 1-800-356-4052