Montana Fly Fishing - Frequently Asked Questions
Any recommendations on where to stay in Twin Bridges? Nine miles north of Twin Bridges is the Jefferson River Guest Ranch, owned by outfitter Greg smith is a 75 acre ranch on the banks of the Jefferson River. Three riverside cabins, from $125 per night and 14 RV slots ($20 - no cable) along with 1/2 mile of private river access. Tent camping $10 a night for up to 2 people - includes a shower. Reservations can be made by calling the fly shop 406-684-5651, or send an e-mail to 4R@4RiversMontana.com.
Can I buy a Montana fishing license on-line? Yes. You can buy your Montana fishing License on-line by clicking on this link: https://app.discoveringmontana.com/elicensesales/ We also have a computer linkup to the state of Montana fish and game, and you can buy your fishing license here once you arrive.
When's the best fly fishing? When should I come fishing? Each season here in Montana brings different techniques to the table, and the best advice we can give you is to talk to one of us at the shop. For example, if you are a dry fly purist - October isn't really a good bet. However, if you like lots of trout and uncrowded rivers - October could be the "best" for you. Many of our clients wait until AFTER August to come for some of the best fly fishing opportunities.
Can you teach us how to fly cast and fly fish? All of our guides are well versed in teaching others how to fly cast, but Four Rivers Fishing Company guide Frank Kneeshaw is the best teacher for beginners that we've ever seen. Each year, we get many clients who would like to learn the art of fly fishing, and Frank gets the assignment. He's taught thousands of people how to fly cast over the years. Fly fishing is something that is not learned in a day, because there is so much to know, but Frank will teach you the basics, and you'll probably be catching some nice trout on the first day.
Recommend a specific type of fly rod/reel combination? On most days, we can adapt our techniques to suit whatever rod you bring. The wind can certainly blow at times in the Ruby Valley, but you can't let that stop you from getting the fly to the fish. For this reason, our guides carry rods that are suited for all situations that could arise. These rods are available at all times, and often rigged and ready to go in the boat for the ever changing conditions we fish in. If I had to pick one rod, a fast action 9' 5 wt. would be the one. Conditions vary from day to day, but as a rule, anything in the 9' 4-5-6 wt. range should work. We sometimes have a rod or two boat that is "lined up" - for example putting a WF6F line on a 5 wt. will help punch a big dry or a double nymph rig into the wind. Sink tips have their place when we are swinging streamers in the spring and fall, but overall don't see much use.
Are there any restaurants in Twin Bridges? Yes. Twin Bridges has four restaurants to choose from. All of them are within 3 blocks of the Four Rivers Fishing Co. fly shop. Patty, who owns The Shack makes the best pizza we've ever had, because Patty bakes bread and makes fresh pizza dough daily. Patty also prepares all the packed streamside lunches for our guided float trips. If you enjoy a fine dining experience, our favorite is our local 4 star restaurant, The Old Hotel http://www.theoldhotel.com/, where the food and service are second to none. The Wagon Wheel serves delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinners. Finally, a quick home-style breakfast before you head to the river can be had at The Blue Anchor.
Should we bring foul weather gear? Yes. Weather systems move through the front range of the Rockies in a hurry. It can snow in June and we've seen it snow in early September. Generally, shorts and wading sandals are the norm in late June, July and August - but remember there are no guarantees in life. This definitely applies with Montana's weather. A good system of layers is recommended, a lightweight fleece or windstopper is priceless, and a raincoat of some sort should be mandatory. Southwest Montana summer thunderstorms are just plain powerful, and you don't want to be caught in one without a raincoat or foul weather gear.
Can we rent a car once we arrive? We don't have rental car agencies available here in Twin Bridges. We are a very small town, population a little over 400. However, if you are flying into Butte, or Bozeman, there are rental car companies there at the both airports. For driving directions, map and more information on airlines serving Bozeman, click here.
Can I book my fly fishing trip for next year now? It is not uncommon for many of our clients to book a year in advance. We actually recommend it, so you can work your trip around your schedule. As soon as you know when you can come fly fishing, let us know, and we'll check availability.
What are your thoughts on tipping - any suggestions? Asked by many of our first time guests. There are a few ways to look at this scenario. How hard did your guide work? Did he get you into fish? Did he go above and beyond the call of duty? Was the fishing tough? If so, did he stay cool and try different techniques? A good tip starts at around $50 per day from each angler. A great way to set the stage for your second day is to tip your guide at the end of day one. Guides need to keep stocked on many items – tippet, flies, beer, sunblock, soft drinks, trucks need oil changes, trailers need bearings, rods need new lines, and girlfriends and wives need to be brought to dinner. These things are all taken are of with the tip money in our pocket throughout the summer.
As professional guides, we are 100% in the service industry. We can’t control the fish, or the weather. What we can control is the atmosphere on the water. When a guide takes your expectations and makes them a reality, tip him at the end of the day. Just like the waitress that morning for breakfast. Your guide sets the tone for the day. If you get off the water and feel like your guide did more than just get the job done, let him know you appreciated it. As a result, you might be taken to that “double secret spot” on day two!
Got a question? Send us an e-mail. We'll answer it as soon as we can!