stillwater anglers first fly fishing trip

20 Ways to Avoid Disaster on Your First Fly Fishing Trip

Montana has plenty of things to offer for every type of traveler, from the lonely wolf to the party enthusiast and the large families roaming together. Fly fishing on the Stillwater River ranks high among these attractions. If you’ve just finished planning your first fly fishing trip here, congratulations for a wonderful choice.

Majestic as it is, the Montana nature can also be unpredictable, especially for a rookie angler. So let’s see how you can avoid disasters on your first fly fishing trip.

Avoid Disaster on Your First Fly Fishing Trip with these 20 Tips

1. Hire a Fly Fishing Guide

There is no better (and safer!) way to enjoy the Montana streams than hiring a local fly fishing guide. A guide will help you not just to find the fish and perfect your casting technique, but also to do so safely.

2. Find a Local Fly Shop

Even if you already have your own gear, you might need some directions or advice. Or perhaps some flies. Locate a fly fishing shop in Montana just to be on the safe side.

3. Get a Fishing License

It’s easier than ever – you can get one on the spot in our Columbus, MT fly shop.

4. Check the Weather

Don’t assume you’ll get great weather just because it’s summer. Montana can be unpredictable. Check the weather reports before you hit the road to avoid unpleasant surprises.

5. Pack for all Types of Weather

Although you already check the weather, but Montana weather is quite fickle, so make sure you have clothes and gear for sunny and rainy weather.

6. Don’t Forget about Sunscreen

You may not perceive the heat if you keep your feet in the river, but the Montana sun can burn your skin in as little as an hour. Always wear sunscreen even if you see clouds in the sky!

7. Always Wear a Hat

Come rain or come shine, a hat is a Montana angler’s best friend. Ideally, you should have one from a water-resistant and breathable fabric so it can be useful in any kind of weather.

8. Pack and Wear Waders

Yes, even if your first fly fishing trip is in July. They don’t just protect your from cold water, but also from leeches and water insects that might sting or bite you.

9. Wear Wading Boots

Never ever go fly fishing without wading boots. Aside from protecting your feet from the water and the insects in it, they also prevent you from slipping on rocks.

10. Get Waterproof Cases for Your Devices

We don’t advise you use the phone on the river. But if you bring it along, do it in a waterproof case.

11. Always Bring Insect Repellant

Mosquitos and other insects will have the time of their life if you forget this! You, however, won’t!

12. Always Wear Polarized Sunglasses

Even if you are not photosensitive, polarized sunglasses are extremely helpful. They reduce the glare on the water and help you see what’s below the surface.

13. Carry at Least one Flashlight

Yes, even if you plan for a day trip, a flashlight is crucial. You can never know how late you’ll end up staying on the river.

14. Bring Extra Batteries

In case you have to spend the night by the river, you need to have reliable power sources. Once again, the river is unpredictable!

15. Get a Fly Fishing Vest or Pack

They are a cliché for a reason. If you want to move quickly and avoid losing your flies, tools, or other gear, a vest or pack is your best bet!

16. Find out Where the Best Spots Are

Again, a local fly shop may come in handy for this. You don’t want to spend half a day looking for good spots! Ask for directions instead!

17. Learn the Basics

Even if this is your first fly fishing trip, it doesn’t mean you have to be an absolute novice. If you practice your cast in your yard, you will save some time when you are on the river.

18. Learn a few Knots

This is also a big time saver. Plus, these knots can help you in a lot of other situations, not just when you are on the river.

19. Get the Right Flies

They don’t have to be expensive. They just have to be right for the area you are fly fishing in and for the species you are trying to catch. Ask for directions from your Montana fly fishing guide.

20. Learn to Release Correctly

You don’t want to harm the fish when you release it. Ask your guide how to unhook it and how to make sure it is able to swim on its own before your next cast.

We know, 20 tips seems like a lot. And the truth is that a lot can happen on the river. But, as you can see, these are just basic, common sense rules and pieces of advice. Good luck on your first fly fishing trip!

1 Comment

  • Good advice Chris.

    Dave,
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