How to Choose a Montana Fly Fishing Lodge
Montana has long been recognized as having some of the most productive wild trout rivers in North America. The vast number of productive fisheries combined with the some very large trout attract anglers from far and wide to the waters of the Big Sky state. spring fly fishing packages Missoula Although many travelling fisherman choose to piece together their fishing trips on their own, many choose to stay at world class Montana fly fishing lodges that can be found on many of the most famous rivers. Due to the relatively large number of lodges found in Montana it is important to determine what type of lodge will provide the best experience based on your own personal preferences. Here are some important questions to ask a fishing lodge when planning your vacation.
Is the lodge exclusively a fishing lodge?
Some lodges only target fly fisherman while others are open to any guests that want to enjoy an elegant setting while on their vacations. Many folks that are coming to Montana for the sole purpose of fishing enjoy being surrounded by other like minded guests. Trading fishing stories with other anglers is an added part of the lodge experience that many enjoy. Other lodges are open to general tourists that may also be enjoying horse back riding, white water rafting, touring Yellowstone Park. For some guests this type of lodge is perfect because fishing will just be one element of a broader vacation.
Where will you be fishing?
Montana has thousands of miles of world class trout waters to choose from so it is important to have an idea of the rivers, streams and lakes that you will be fishing. Will you be mostly fishing out of drift boats or wade fishing? Are there several places to fish or just one main river? Some lodges like those on the Bighorn target a single world class river, but you are a long way from other trout fisheries so if you plan a trip there you will be fishing the blue ribbon “Horn” each day. Other locations such as lodges near Bozeman, Ennis or Dillon showcase multiple rivers and spring creeks and guests can enjoy a variety of different rivers and styles of fishing on their trip.
How is the wade fishing near the lodge?
After a day of guided fishing, a hot shower and a 4 course dinner, most folks have had enough fishing and spend their evenings enjoying a sunset from the deck or some good conversation over a glass of wine. If you just can’t get enough and want to head out for a few casts after dinner or maybe take a non guided day to do some fishing on your own it is important to determine how the wade fishing is adjacent to the lodge. Although nearly all lodges are located on rivers in Montana, the wade fishing options from some are better than others.
What is the dinner routine at the lodge?
Meals are an important part of a lodge experience and different lodges provide a different dining experience. Some lodges have a rotating menu with one or two main entrees each evening and others operate an actual restaurant that is open to the public where you select your meals from a menu. Some lodges have a schedule time for dinner with appetizers served at 7pm followed by a sit down dinner at 7:30. Many guests enjoy social nature of the “family style” dinner model at these lodges. Lodges with restaurants open to the public offer flexible timing for meals and you can usually come or go as early or late as you like and will have your own table with your spouse or fishing partners.
What costs are not included in the lodge package?
Nearly all includes meals and guiding in their packages, but most are not truly all inclusive. It is important to get an idea of the extra costs that you will be expected to pay. At nearly all lodges guide gratuities and fishing licenses are not included in the package. Other factors such as room taxes, staff service charges, alcohol, flies, fishing equipment, and airport transportation may or may not be included in the overall package. Lodge managers can easily give you an estimate of the “extras” to help you plan your trip. Most lodges will also offer to provide an “all inclusive” cost which is often popular with large corporate groups.