Montana is an absolute mecca for the do-it-yourself fly-fishing adventurer. I’ve always been amazed by this unique aspect of Montana, from your average weekend warrior to serious fly-fishing expedition enthusiast, it is incredibly easy to do yourself. At Explore we take this one step further, doing the hard work for you. The do-it-yourself option is becoming increasingly popular amongst anglers wishing to fish Montana for many reasons, the main ones being the ease of access (a matter of a few hours to the best streams in the lower 48), an abundance of public river systems (over 175,000 miles), and most importantly cost. It is extremely affordable to do on your own, with the added benefit and flexibility of being able to plan your trip and do what you want to do. Our services for DIY’ers at Explore rentals are next to endless, wether you want to go on a weekend excursion and fish the Gallatin and Madison or want to backpack and fish remotely for a month, we have you covered. Explore Rentals was founded on the premise of offering the right rental cars and rental gear to visiting anglers. If you are planning to fly-fish in Montana, using Explore Rentals will change your experience. In addition to offering rental cars that will get you the places you want to fish, we also offer rental fly-fishing gear, drift boats, Trout Bum ‘accessories,’ and itinerary advice for visiting anglers. Explore also allows towing of drift boats and rafts with some of our rental vehicles.
We are in a unique position to be able to provide our guests exactly what they need based off of our own knowledge and experiences, it is truly a perfect do-it-yourself experience provided by people who have a combined 50 years of experience in doing just that, doing it!
Whether you are staying at a lodge, on a friends ranch, or being a full scale camping Trout Bum- we have the rental cars and the rental gear to make your Montana Experience a complete success. In addition to our offered rentals, we are also more than happy to help with your itinerary planning, accommodation recommendations, and putting you in touch with our extensive list of trusted outfitters.
We have hosted visiting anglers from Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, England, Germany and all over the US- and most of them come back and/ or have sent their friends to us. We are the only fly-fishing specific rental car (and gear) agency in the world. Check out our Facebook Page for more photos shared from our visiting anglers.
Explore provides the right rental cars for your Montana fly-fishing trip and all of the other items you want but cannot fit in your luggage. We understand that it is not only your time on the water that makes for a great trip, but the level of comfort you are able to have between point A and B- and when lines are up and you are enjoying a cold one with friends.
Below you will find a sample of the items we have to offer. We can arrange for just about anything imaginable to enhance the comfort and ease of your Montana fly-fishing experience.
In addition to those ‘must haves’ for your Montana Trout Bum trip, such as a cooler, we also offer those subtle items that convert a good trip into a great experience. For example; custom interior storage boxes, the right maps, roof box to put your stinky wet waders, interior or exterior rod racks, camp chairs, wader mats- etc. We know fly-fishing and we know road trips. We can also provide ‘package’ pricing on a per request basis. Advanced reservations are highly recommended, although walk-ins are welcome.
Do-It-Yourself Montana Fly Fishing Adventures with Explore
- Fully outfitted and customized rental vehicle, equipped specifically for fishing Montana
- Airport pickup and drop off – zero hassle and waiting around the airport means within an hour of landing you can be on the water catching fish
- Custom gear rental packages – want to fish Montana for a month and only have to bring a carry-on bag of clothes? No problem. With our nearly endless gear packages and rental options you can literally show up with just a bag of clothes and we will take care of the rest
- Doing some serious traveling and adventuring? all of our rental Subaru’s and Suburbans come fully equipped and ready, including unlimited milage and no additional charge for extra drivers for those long excursions
For more detailed information check out DIY Fly-Fishing Details
Montana Fly Fishing Resources:
At Explore Rentals we take fly-fishing very seriously. The owner of Explore, Will Casella, has a long history working at elite international fly-fishing lodges and maintains a very high standard of what the ‘right’ fly-fishing experience is. Our recommendations are the premier professionals in the area. Guides that will not only put you on fish but will also provide an educational and entertaining experience. Shops that provide excellent service and keep ego to a minimum. Resources that you need; from reports, to rules, to licensing.
- Bighole River Journal. The guys in Divide share regular reports.
- Bighorn Angler. A very good resource for up-to-date reports on Big Horn river.
- Yellowstone River Report. Great resource for fishing the Stone.
- The River’s Edge. Good source for Madison and Gallatin reports.
- Montana Troutfitters. This site is updated more often than many others. Reports most applicable to rivers within 60-miles of Bozeman.
- Beaverhead River Report. Frontier Angler reports.
- Upper Madison Report, Slide Inn. For the streamer chucker, this report is for you.
- Montana Fishing Planner. M-Fish, the searchable database of fisheries research done throughout the state. Want to know how many fish per mile are in the Madison? This is how.
- Missouri River Report, Craig. Headhunters has one of the best report sites in the state.
- Montana Stream Access Laws. This information is imperative to know. Read and understand thoroughly before you come to Montana.
- Montana FWP license information. You need one of these, and you can buy online.
- Montana Statewide Streamflow. USGS listed streamflows for Montana waterways. Invaluable resource when planning your trip.
- Montana Fishing Regulations. Rules can vary by river. If you intend on keeping fish, get to know the rules. Free regulation books are widely available throughout the state.
- Yellowstone Park, Southeast Corner. Blue Ribbon Flies is usually updated.
Recommended Outfitters/ Guides:
Montana has LOTS of fly-fishing guides, approximately 1,200 with 400 residing in the Bozeman area alone. It is imperative that you use a licensed Outfitter to book a guide. There are numerous Outfitters that do not maintain quality standards with their employed/ sub-contracted guides. Our recommendations listed below are Outfitters with the right mentality of providing an all-around experience, versus one of just catching fish.
- Missouri River/ Craig: Headhunters Fly Shop.
- Bozeman Area Outfitter. Montana Angler.
- Bozeman Area Outfitter/ Fly Shop: Montana Troutfitters.
- Bozeman Area Guide. Chuck Borg, New Era Fly Fishing.
- West Yellowstone Area. Alice Owsley. Riverside Anglers.
- Upper Madison. Kelly Galloup. Slide Inn.
- Madison Area. Ed Lawrence. Ed Lawrence’s Fly Fishing Outfit.
- Livingston Area, Big Horn and Missouri. Peter Howell. On the Rise Outfitter.
- Big Hole/ Beaverhead Area: Sunrise Fly Shop.