Stillwater Anglers Fly Fishing Shop

6 Practical Things Every Fly Fishing Shop Needs To Have

Regardless of what state or city you live in, having a go-to fly fishing shop is essential for most anglers. Luckily for you, the Stillwater Anglers Fly Shop has everything you need for an amazing fly fishing experience. We try to be your hub for all things fly fishing, and we are the only full-service fly shop in the region. We have the experience fishing on all the local rivers, which means we carry the tackle, equipment, and gear that you need for a great day on the water.

When you’re looking for a fly fishing shop that you can trust, check out our must-have list. Your shop should keep you up to date on what is happening on your local rivers, and keep your tackle box full of the right flies.

Every Fly Fishing Shop Needs To Have These 6 Things

Every fly fishing shop should have a few things to be classified as your “go-to” store for all things fly fishing. Here we discuss what we think should be on your list when you’re ready to choose your next fly shop. Did we miss anything?

An Expert Angler

The first thing you should look for when browsing fly fishing shops in your area is an expert angler. Is the person running the business experienced? Do they know the difference between certain flies? Are they able to give you expert advice on which gear is appropriate for your desired fishing experience?

It’s straightforward, but knowing that you have someone experienced in your fly shop is pretty important. Though they may employ beginners who are excited to learn more about your favorite outdoor activity, ultimately there should always be someone available to help answer your questions. Whether you’re just a beginner and need help getting your first-time gear, or are a seasoned angler who has more complicated questions, your fly shop should have the resources to make sure you’re taken care of.

Fishing Licenses

Wouldn’t it be silly if you went to a fly fishing shop and COULDN’T get a fishing license? We think so. Which is why Stillwater Anglers sells fishing licenses right in the store so that you can go ahead and get yours while you’re stocking your gear.

If you want to legally fish in the state of Montana you need a valid fishing license. Most anglers need two licenses in Montana – a Fishing License and a Conservation License. According to Montana’s official state site, a fishing license lets you fish for and keep any fish or aquatic invertebrate that is authorized by the state’s fishing regulations. It is valid from March 1 through the end of February the following year and is non-transferable and non-refundable.

A conservation license, on the other hand, is needed before you can get any other fishing or hunting license from Fish, Wildlife & Parks. To purchase a conservation license, you will need your social security card and a valid driver’s license or photo ID.

At Stillwater Anglers, we take conservation very seriously. We are members of the national conservation group, Trout Unlimited, and make sure we do our part to make sure our cold water fisheries stay preserved so we can maintain our native trout population. In fact, we even offer a standing 10% discount on all regularly priced fly shop merchandise to members of Trout Unlimited, Federation of Fly Fishers, Magic City Fly Fishers and all active military or military veterans.

Fly Fishing Gear

As crazy as it sounds to hear of a fly shop that doesn’t offer fly fishing licenses, it would be even crazier if the store you frequented didn’t offer any gear!

We think that your one-stop fly fishing shop should have the best fishing gear on the market, or at least have access to ordering it. Stillwater Anglers Fly Shop & Outfitters stocks products that we use and believe in. We have high-quality brands like Simms®, Scientific Anglers™, Redington Fly Rods and Reels, Winston Rod Co., and so many more!

We are actually a Simms® Authorized Dealer. Simms® is a Bozeman, MT-based fishing gear company that has created great gear that is known and preferred by anglers worldwide. Come check out the selection of waders, boots, vests, chest packs, nets and more in the fly shop today! We also stock our fly shop with plenty of Stillwater Anglers gear so you can represent your favorite fly shop next time you’re out on the water.

Guided Trip Services

Every great fly fishing shop should have guided trip services available. If they count themselves as expert anglers, they should be able to help you have the best experience available. We offer a variety of walk/wade or float Montana trips to choose from. You want the complete outdoor trout fishing experience, and we deliver! Whatever your interests and time constraints, we’ve got the trip for you.

We can even customize a trip for you if you have time to fish more than one river! Browse through all of our guided trip options, which include:

  • Yellowstone River – Full and Half Day
  • Stillwater River – Full and Half Day
  • Bighorn River – Full and Half Day
  • Overnight Package – Stillwater River

Local Knowledge

Like we discussed above with an expert angler, it is so important for a fly shop to include staff members who have knowledge of the are. When you go to the shop and want to ask questions about what is happening locally on the rivers or find out which fish are biting, you expect that the shop has answers to your questions.

We believe this knowledge should also include what restaurants you could frequent nearby or lodging information. If you’re visiting from out of town or even out of state, having a fly shop that makes you feel comfortable and at home is crucial. Hopefully, they will be able to give you great recommendations and make you feel like you belong.

We mentioned above that we are also members of Montana Trout Unlimited, an organization dedicated solely to conserving and restoring coldwater fisheries in Montana. This means we have knowledge about conservation and how practicing catch and release can help spread aquatic nuisance species.

Friendly Atmosphere

If you’re looking for a one-stop fly fishing shop, you want to find a shop that feels good when you walk into it. Our most basic objective at Stillwater Anglers is to create experiences where every client truly enjoys fly fishing. Which means that we strive to provide a friendly atmosphere so people of all age groups, genders, and levels of experience can feel like they can walk into the shop and get the help and equipment they need. Have you ever walked into a shop where you felt like you weren’t welcome like the staff didn’t actually want you to be there? You’ll never feel that way at Stillwater Anglers.

Good Old Fashioned Customer Service

Along with a friendly atmosphere, and all the things we mentioned above, a good fly fishing shop should have excellent customer service. When you stop by our shop, we’ll have a warm cup of coffee and free wi-fi waiting for you. Call us and let us answer your questions before you stop by, or just come right over. We look forward to speaking with you, answering your questions, helping you find the right gear, and assisting you with whatever you need.

Our mission is to establish a personal relationship with others who are passionate or curious about fly fishing. A good fly shop should pride itself on offering high quality and reasonably priced merchandise that enhances every fly fishing experience you have. Let us prove it to you. Stop by the shop and let us show you our commitment to integrity and our individualized service that caters to you!


As the only full-service retail fly fishing shop in the area, we want to serve as a hub for all things fly fishing. If you live in south-central Montana, we hope we made a case for being your one-stop shop for everything you need for local fly fishing.

At the very least, we hope we gave you a good list of what a practical fly shop should have, even if you don’t come to us! No matter what kind of experience you’re looking for, we’d love to help out however we can. Give us a call at (406) 322-4977 or stop by the shop whenever you can and check out all the amazing things we have to offer.