Our outboard jet drive Jon boats are set up like drift boats: with an anchor system, oars, leg braces, and comfortable seats. We use the jet boats to motor upriver, shut down the motor, and row you through the premium runs over and over again. This technique allows us to access water that is too deep or dangerous to wade fish, such as the Missouri River (Land of Giants or L.O.G.) and Yellowstone River. We also use our jet boats on several still waters such as Hebgen Lake, Ennis Lake, Holter Lake, and Harrison Lake.
The ability to guide anglers under power requires a Captains License through the U.S. Coast Guard. Trout On The Fly and its premier team of U.S. Coast Guard Captains can take you and your group of anglers into several bodies of water that would be impossible to access with a drift boat or raft, or where the wade fishing can be difficult and unsafe due to deep swift water. These specialty trips are a unique way to fish compared to the traditional drift boat trips. We are some the first to offer such trips in the state of Montana with 15+ years of licensed captains.
One of the more popular jet boat trips we offer is on the Missouri River below Hauser Dam in the Land of Giants (L.O.G.). This section of the Missouri River is best accessed with the jet boat and is most effectively fished using the jet boat due to limited access and deep water. Land of Giants is only a 20-minute car ride from our state capital of Helena Montana. To save travel time and money we encourage anglers to fly into Helena, arrange for a shuttle from the airport to your hotel of choice (there are several hotels in Helena) and we will pick you up curbside at your hotel and drop you off at the end of the day. We always recommend hotels in the downtown Helena area if you do not rent a car; this allows you to walk to area restaurants, pubs, and shopping. We recommend the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Helena. Let them know that you are fishing with Trout On The Fly and receive a discount!
Fishing the Yellowstone River with the jet boat is also a great way to make several passes through long runs holding numerous amounts of fish. In a typical drift boat, that run would only be drifted by once. The jet boat gives you ample opportunities to make the perfect drag free drift! If you get tangled up on one pass through a good run don’t worry, we will motor back up and do it again! All our jet boat trips on the Yellowstone River are downriver of Livingston, Montana, below Highway 89 bridge. The reason for this is that motorized vessels are not allowed above 89 bridge by state law.
Hebgen Lake is located on the Madison River, between the Yellowstone National Park and Madison Valley regions. Jet boat trips on Hebgen Lake start as soon as the ice has melted, early May, through November before the ice starts to form again. During the fall months of September through November, we use the jet boat to access the mouth of the Madison River, targeting the staging grounds of the rainbow and brown trout with streamers and dry flies before they head up the Madison River into Yellowstone National Park.
We do offer jet boat trips on the Bighorn River when the conditions and locations call for it. All jet boat trips on the Bighorn River are from the mouth of the Yellowstone River up to Bighorn fishing access site.
We are not a brick and mortar fly shop. Upon booking trips with Trout On The Fly, we will make suitable arrangements to pick you up at your vacation rental, lodge, hotel, campsite, or the airport. If your place of lodging is out of the way, we will ask you to meet your guide at a convenient location for your day(s) on the water. This applies regardless of where you are staying – Bozeman, Ennis, Cameron, Helena, Livingston, West Yellowstone or Fort Smith Montana.
- Wader and Wading Boot Rental – Let us know when booking a trip if you need rental gear and we will arrange to have them upon your arrival. Prices with Trout On The Fly LLC are $20 for half day rental and $30 for a full day wader and boot rental.
- Montana Fishing License – To save time we recommend all anglers purchase a license(s) online before your trip at the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks website. Any angler 12 years of age and older must have a Conservation License ($10-nonresident) plus a Fishing License ($25 for 2 consecutive days, $56 for 10 consecutive days or $86 for season-nonresident), plus an Angler AIS Prevention Pass (AISPP) ($7.50 for non-residents). No license is required for angler’s age 11 years and younger IF accompanied by an adult who holds a valid Montana fishing license. Click here to buy a Montana Fishing License Online
- Guide Gratuity – Gratuity is not mandatory, but is well appreciated to help with the guide’s fuel, flies lost on the trip, and reflects the hard work of the guide. Average gratuity is 20-25% of the price of the trip. However, if you feel the guide deserves more or less, please adjust the amount according to your experience.
- Transaction Fee – All credit or debit card payments add 3% to the total amount.
Deposit & Cancellation Policy
- A 50% deposit is required at the time of reserving your fishing guide. The remaining balance will be due 60 days before your scheduled trip(s)
- Cancellations made 61 days or more from your scheduled trip will be refunded the full amount.
- Cancellations made between 60 and 31 days before your scheduled trip will forfeit $100 of the trip amount.
- Cancellations made 30 or fewer days prior to your scheduled trip will forfeit 100% of the trip amount.
Please understand that these trips are difficult to re-book on short notice, and that our focus is on providing the best fishing experience possible. If you have any concerns about attending your booked trip, please look into trip insurance.
- “Good morning Nate, We had the best time ever! Your guide Paul Fawthrop was the best ever. He got us to the right fishing holes to make sure our experience in Montana was spectacular. He gave us an amazing guided tour and informed us of all the history of the lake and rivers. We could not have had a better guide! Thanks again for setting us up with an amazing guide. Travis Woodard“
- “Thank you for another wonderful year of fishing the Madison and Missouri Rivers. We have had experience to know how exceptional you are as a guide. No one is as good as you!“
- “Dillon and I had a great time fishing with you and we both think our game was improved thanks to your patience. Absolutely beautiful country and great waters to indulge in. We could spend weeks… We’ll help spread the word about TOTF, but hope you don’t get too popular so we can do it again.“
- “Nate, Your C game is better than most guides A game!“
- “Nate is the gold standard for fly-fishing guides and outfitters. As a 15 year client, I've benefited from his exceptional skills, stream knowledge and judgment on seven major Montana rivers, 2-3 times/year from my home in the East, and there's always a new stream or section to experience. I've never had a bad outing: whether walk-wade, float, or jet boat on the Missouri - all memorable, fresh, and productive, and in every weather condition. Nate is that rare person whose interpersonal skills complement his knowledge of the sport, to the benefit of the client. Safety is always paramount, and he is indefatigable. Nate is simply the best, and time after time he's provided me with an unforgettable Montana fly-fishing experience.