With our busy season getting underway, it occurred to me that some folks out there may not have been on a guided trip before. The initial process can be a little intimidating from choosing the company to book with to maybe admitting your lack of experience. So here is a rundown of a trip with Bent Fly Fishing in case there are any curious folks out there waiting to pull the trigger on their first guided fishing trip.

green rainbow trout good
green rainbow trout good
green rainbow trout good
green rainbow trout good
green rainbow trout good

First things first, especially with travel and tourism booming post-Covid pandemic, the earlier that you can set up your arrangements, the better. Not only will this likely get you on the books with one of our more veteran guides, but it solidifies your chance of getting out on our Montana waters. The Flathead Valley area has seen an influx of the new age explorer heading out west to see nature’s beauty firsthand. There is no better way to experience it yourself than on a float down the river with a fishing pole in hand. 

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”

Henry David Thoreau

Clark Fork River Rainbow Trout
Flathead river lady fishing


On the day of the trip, you will meet the location and time previously set up with your guide. You then load up in their vehicle and head to the river. When you arrive, your guide will launch the boat, get all their gear ready, then park their rig. Everybody loads on the boat, and you launch from shore. Many times your first lesson is right at the boat ramp.

Every guide has their style of teaching the basics of casting, setting the hook on a fish, and then getting it into the boat. After a little practice and instruction, you’ll push off from shore and head downriver. As you float down, it’s easy to get so focused on watching your flies that you forget you are surrounded by 360 degrees of sprawling mountains and wide-open sky.

On a half-day trip, your guide will stop for a chance to take in the scenery and offer some sort of refreshments. A full-day consists of a packed lunch by your guide alongside the river with a bit longer break.  Your guide will have plenty of water stocked in their cooler but bring your own if you’ve got one so we can limit our single-use plastic waste. There is an outdoor toilet at most boat ramps, but there aren’t any once you push off from shore. If you’ve gotta go, let your guide know and they will pull over to the bank and you can get the full experience when you hide behind a bush.

Missouri riverside lunch
lovely ladies riverside lunch
Swan River campfire


Bring along some extra layers on a chilly day or a lightweight long-sleeved shirt if it is going to be hot. It is always a good idea to check the weather for an idea of how to dress. If you are going during the spring or fall, the mornings can start cold but they can get hot in the afternoon. You can’t overdress and there are plenty of spots on the boat to stash some of your items. We recommend wearing a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes. During the summer, wearing sandals that can get wet makes getting in and out of the boat a lot easier. 

Your guide will have rods for each angler as well as all of the necessary flies or lures and bait needed for the day. They will also arrange for the vehicle to be shuttled in most cases.

Additionally, you will have to purchase a Montana State Fishing license for the date that you will be fishing. You can get yours online at and a copy on your phone is just fine. 

As a recap, here’s what you have to bring on a fishing trip: you and your party and a fishing license for everyone that is planning on fishing. 

Now that you have mastered the art of fly fishing and you catch your first fish it’s time to enjoy your prize. Trout are a sensitive fish, so we do our best to always keep them wet and in the water. When the temperatures are low and the fish are still spicy, sometimes we will snap a quick photo before releasing them back into the water. We do not keep any trout on our fly fishing trips.

Gorgeous Cutty
Beautiful sunrise over clark fork river
Huge Brown trout


Now that you are ready to book your fishing trip just decide the date that works best for your plans, then figure out how long you want to be on the water. We offer two options: a half-day or full-day trip. Our half days run for about 4 hours on the water with snacks/drinks and our full days run from 6 to 8 hours on the water with a full lunch and drinks. Our expert guides will supply all fishing gear and shuttle service needed for either trip.

We make booking easy online at

Scroll down to where you see the calendar then select how many boats you will need. For our fly-fishing trips, the boats are designed for 2 anglers to be fishing, but 3 anglers can easily go together on one of our traditional spin lake fishing trips. You then select the type of trip you want, and the date you want to go, and then click book now. Proceed to check out then fill in your billing info and level of expertise. You will be sent an email letting you know we received your booking. We will also send you a confirmation email with more information about what to expect. Gratuity is not included in our price but is greatly appreciated by your guide!

Clacka craft drift boat
Nice rainbow trout
Cascade on Missouri River

“The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn’t someone else’s gift to you?”

Lee Wulff