Here in the Madison Valley here in the heart of southwest Montana we are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by all kinds of wildlife.  Take a look at Winter photos for a few shots of wildlife taken from or near my drift boat while fishing.  I apologize for posting them under Winter…. I rarely guide during the winter time as weather is generally brutal regarding fishing.

If a person spends enough time in our area you could see: Grizzly bear, black bear, wolverine, wolves, coyote, red fox, mountain lion, bobcat, moose, elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, antelope, beaver, otter, mink and many many other critters… Bird life readily seen while floating include: Bald eagles, golden eagles, osprey, red tail hawks, swainson’s hawks, blue herons, sandhill cranes, several types of falcons, owls and many many song birds.

What to do during days off between fishing days???  Visit yellowstone park (incredible landscapes: geysers, hot pots, mountains, wildlife), Check out Virginia City and Nevada City (ghost/gold rush towns- lots of Montana history), Take a horseback ride for a day through our local mountains.

I really enjoy the changing of the seasons here in Montana.  We truly have the four seasons…. There is nothing like rising early on a fall day grabbing a quick cup of coffee and sitting on the deck while the sun rises and watching nearby wildlife amble back to their day beds. Then being picked up and whisked away to begin the day floating the Madison river.  Feeling the crispness of the morning as we begin casting streamers to hungry and gorgeously colored brown trout (like one pictured below).  As the day warms you begin to smell autumn in the air as the leaves begin to change into their royal plumage before winters arrival. Floating this time of year is very peaceful as most people have returned home and to school for the year. This time of year is highly overlooked… just give me a call to book dates.


Here is an incredibly colored fall spawning brown trout (picture shot underwater).  This particular fish is a male, 21″ long.

Winter and spring water safety is of the utmost importance. Dress for success:  Dress in layers (layers can be added or removed as needed), wading boots, waders, polar fleece, rain jacket, gloves, hat. If you don’t have the gear I would be glad to loan out extra gear I carry on the boat.

Watch out for hypothermia…. try not to get wet but if it occurs bring extra clothes in a dry bag to remedy the situation.  If things get bad I always carry ways to start a fire and also carry propane heater to be used on land or in the boat.

Dress for the weather.

Summer time clothing:  Light weight pants or shorts, shirt (I prefer long sleeves), wading shoes or sandals… tennis shoes are fine. Sunglasses (preferably polarized), sunscreen. Also some sort of light rain jacket is prudent just in case a passing shower happens by.