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Guide Recommendations Bozeman September Timeframe

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  • Guide Recommendations Bozeman September Timeframe

    A buddy and I are headed to Montana flying into Bozeman and targeting Sept timeframe. Can you all please provide guide recommendations?

    I tried to go through some of the old post and did see one for Joe Moore Big Sky Anglers...

    Others would be appreciated!

    Also we are planning to float 2 days and basically ask the guide to take us wherever is fishing best...hopefully that is a wise plan.

    Any other thoughts on places to eat or specific spots to fish on a 2-3 day trip would be appreciated! I am a first timer out there so if there is a not to miss river for that timeframe that would be great to know.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Joe and the guys at BSA are great, but they're primarily based out of West Yellowstone. There are too many good guides in Bozeman to really justify hiring someone that's 90 miles away. Montana Troutfitters is probably my favorite shop in Bozeman and their guides are good. I've used Gallatin River Guides in Big Sky as well and they're awesome.

    If it were me and you wanted the full experience, hire someone in Bozeman/Big Sky and float the Madison one day and the Yellowstone another. Two totally different rivers and both should fish well in September. Hopper fishing on the Yellowstone especially ought to be really good, and the Paradise Valley is the prettiest place I've ever laid eyes on. The Gallatin south of Bozeman is super consistent and accessible as a wade spot. Tons of willing fish and easy on the eyes. The Madison around Ennis isn't far from you either and September is oftentimes the best month to wade fish in the Braids upstream of the lake.

    Oh, and eat at the Roost in Bozeman. It's basically the Southern embassy in Montana

    Team USA Youth/Team Dead Drift


    • #3
      Sounds like great advise thank you!


      • #4
        You might want to see if Dave Corcoran is still guiding out of Bozeman. I used him quite a few years back and he was great!
        Message sent from your mom's bedroom during pillow talk

        Buck Henry
        Simple Goat Herder
        Former NGTO President
        Hall of Fame Member


        • #5
          Are you gonna stay in Bozeman?
          "I like beer, do you like beer, I like beer a lot."


          • #6
            Call Cam Coffin, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone. If it's not too late, try to get Doug Pope...the man is a legend and the best guy you can spend a day with on the rivers!


            • #7
              We havenít figured out where we are staying yet. Just was planning to fly in to bozeman and was going to ask the guides best place to stay for easy pick up


              • #8
                I asked the question about where you were going to stay. It's an 80 mile trip from West Yellowstone to Bozeman along a two lane road a long the river. So you would not IMO want to get a Bozeman guide or even one from four corners, ( Belgrade) which is west of Bozeman.

                To get to The Lamar or that side of the Park it's a long drive. To fish the Yellowstone in Livingston I think it's about an hours drive. From Bozeman to Ennis it's about and hour. Then the Ruby is about an hour.
                "I like beer, do you like beer, I like beer a lot."


                • #9
                  Go up to Galloup's Slide Inn if you are not staying in Bozeman. His spot is directly on the Upper Madison and the fishing is just ridiculous. I spent five months in Montana for work and spent A LOT of time exploring.
                  If you stay around Bozeman, check out the River's Edge. Guy that works there named Luke. Heck of a fisherman and took me out on the Yellowstone with great success!!!

                  "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
                  -Chinese Proverb

                  ďAt sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.Ē
                  -Norman Maclean

                  "We are what we hunt."


                  • #10
                    Ok. The west yellowstone area is great. The Madison the park the Gallatin and the Henry fork

                    I love big sky anglers. They have a number of good guides . They also have access to the Henry fork which is a special place and just outside west yellowstone

                    Now you may want to hit the Missouri in Craig area. About an hour and a half north of bozeman. That river is the best in Montana in my view. If you go there try and get Greg Falls. He is the best guide just incredible. You will get tired of catching big fish. I have fished with Greg a number of times and referred friends there. All say he is the best.

                    The Missouri has so many big fish it is sick


                    • #11
                      Really appreciate all the great feedback and context! Will review all of this to plan our trip!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Alexander.Foti View Post
                        Really appreciate all the great feedback and context! Will review all of this to plan our trip!
                        Keep us posted. I was in Bozeman last summer (non-fishing trip) and plan on returning soon to do some fishing. I'd really like to read about your adventure. So much water near-by you all probably will not want to leave.


                        • #13
                          I am usually in Livingston in late August/early September and plan about 10 days of fishing. My first day I usually spend on the Gallatin since I fly into Bozeman/Belgrade early in the day. I usually spend several days hiking and fishing both sides of Paradise valley, a few days in the park, and a few days on the Boulder and West Boulder. Oh, and always at least a day on DePuy's spring creek (usually save that for my birthday)!

                          It may be that I'm cheap, but very rarely do I float. In fact, I've only floated the Stone three times and those were times when I've just gone with a friend or a friendly stranger who offered to take me on their day off. Always a great time, but I never have caught as many fish or enjoyed it as much as wading...

                          That's just me, though!

                          One of these friends is a fantastic guide and I will gladly give you his info if you send me a PM. Also, if you want to explore non-float options in the area and want some advice on the Livingston/Paradise Valley or Innis areas, do let me know, I'm happy to chat about it :-)


                          • #14
                            There's been a lot of great information here already, but I'm going to toss in my $0.02.

                            Staying in Bozeman is probably the best place to stay if you want to be centrally located to a bunch of water. Wading the Gallatin and tribs is right here, the Madison in Ennis is an hour away (the upper, an additional 30-40 minutes), the Yellowstone in the Paradise Valley is 45 minutes away (the upper, an additional 20-30 minutes, depending on location), and the upper MO is about 30 minutes away. The NE corner of the park (Lamar Valley) is a bit of a hike, but it's a bit of a hike from anywhere that isn't Gardiner or Cooke City. Plus, if you want some small stream experiences, there are a BUNCH that fish really well in the Gallatin Canyon (along 191 from BZN to Big Sky).

                            There's tons of guides at every fly shop. Call one and you can get booked. I'd go with someone specific that someone's already mentioned, though. Word of mouth is a great thing! Montana Troutfitters is a great fly shop and I have a friend that guides for them. Montana Anglers (used to be in West, I think) is opening a new place in downtown Bozeman; they'll be offering trips, too. If you're staying in BZN, it is hard to justify hiring someone to drive down from West unless they're really, REALLY good and can guarantee you tons of huge fish all day long. Here's a hot tip: if someone makes that guarantee, they're probably lying!

                            September is one of my favorite times to fish. Tourists are mostly gone, the fish are fat after a summer of feeding, and the weather is normally GLORIOUS. One note: Montana State may have a football game scheduled the weekend you're here. While nothing like a team in the SEC, bobcat fans are still pretty ravenous and hotels can book up pretty quickly. Book early, in other words.

                            Re: The Roost: meh. I'm not a big fan of their chicken, but their biscuits are tolerable. Notably, though, they DO have a picture of The Big Chicken in their restaurant! If you want good restaurants, check out Willow Creek Saloon in Willow Creek (10 miles south of Three Forks; blink and you'll miss it). WOAH DANG. That's where you need to be, but be sure to make a reservation. If you like ribs, get their ribs. If you like country fried steak, get that. Stacy's in Gallatin Gateway is also **** good. Copper downtown is tasty. Burger Bob's downtown is good for, well, burgers. There's some BBQ joints in town but none are really all that good. For breakfast or lunch, try Cateye Cafe, Nova Cafe, Lot G, Feed Cafe, or Main Street Over Easy. All good places for breakfast. Let me know if you're looking for something specific and I can offer some more alternatives.
                            Last edited by KnotSlippin'; 03-07-18, 11:30 AM.
                            "Of course, the most elegant experiments require no statistics at all." - A. Zale, Leader, U.S. Geological Survey Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit


                            • #15
                              Thanks KnotSlippin and everyone for the feedback:

                              Any specific Guide recommendations for
                              * Big Sky Outfitters
                              * Montana Troutfitters
                              * Montana Anglers

                              I couldn't find Luke on the RiversEdge list of guides and I am going to call Blue Ribbon Flies but I am worried that option maybe a bit of a hike if we choose to stay in Bozeman.

                              So per the recommendations on getting a specific guide that others have had a good experience with...I am now out of names

                              Love all the food feedback that is always my 2nd biggest focus when traveling!