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  • What do we need to bring?
    Rain coat, light coat or fleece layer, hat with brim, polarized sunglasses, chapstick, sunscreen, shoes that can get wet and attach to your feet (avoid flip flops). We recommend waders in April and May, then mid-September and October. Of course, conditions change, so we can re-advise closer to your trip!
  • When is the best time to come to the Big Hole?
    April-September offers many different experiences on the Big Hole, but all are popular fishing months for a good reason! Call us to find out what to expect any time of the year. April-May is when we usually catch the biggest fish, and they are generally eating streamers. Some people don’t like throwing streamers, or are inexperienced in this technique. We often offer spring specials during this time! The Mothers Day Caddis hatch happens in mid-May, and is generally some of the best fishing of the year. The river is quiet, and you will often find your the only one there. Some people don’t like to book trips this time of year because of the unpredictable weather and river conditions, but call us and see what it's about!
  • When do the salmon flies hatch?
    You can figure about the 15th of June, give or take a few days depending on the weather.
  • My wife or girlfriend doesn’t fish, but can she come along, and will she enjoy the trip?
    Most definitely! The scenery and wildlife along the river is fantastic, and the guides will usually keep them entertained with stories of all sort. Some true, some stretched just a bit.
  • My partner is a beginner and has never caught a fish with a fly rod, is the Big Hole river a good river for a beginner?
    We take pride in teaching beginners how to fly fish. As most of you know, once you catch that first fish on a fly rod, you’re hooked, and it’s a very rewarding experience for the guide as well.
  • Is it customary to tip the guide?
    This question comes up quite often. A Guides tips can make or break their season. I generally stick to the typical American tipping scale of 10% if it was OK, 15% if it was good. If you had a fantastic day and the guide did everything he or she could to make the trip memorable, we recommend 20%.
  • If we book a trip on the Big Hole and the river is blown out, can we fish another river?
    We keep all of our options open. There are many rivers in the area, and there are days when they may fish better than the Big Hole. The guides keep their ears to the water to ensure that we know where the best fishing is found on any particular day. Where we go will also depend on the focus of the trip; whether it be scenery, fishing, solitude, or wade fishing small creeks. Great Divide Outfitters also has access to several unbelievable spring ponds that fish well in most conditions, if all else fails.
  • Are lunches provided?
    Yes, lunch and water/sodas are provided daily. *Let us know if you have dietary restrictions.* We cannot provide alcohol, but you are welcome to bring your own. Lastly, we are happy to refill your personal water bottle throughout the day, so do not hesitate to bring it along!
  • Can we keep any fish we catch?
    At Great Divide Outfitters, we strongly promote catch and release, after all, our motto is “Return the Resource”. If you want to catch some fish to eat, we can direct you to some mountain streams where you can catch a mess of small brook trout.
  • What kind of boat will I be in, raft or drift boat?
    Generally this depends on the time of year. Many guides will use a drift boat (hard bottom) in early season when the water is high. When river flows drop, guides will switch to a raft, to avoid rocks and allow better access to the best trout water. If you have a preference, please let us know, and we will try our best to accommodate you. We cannot guarantee which type of boat you will be fishing out of.
  • Which rods should I bring?
    We typically fish four - six weights with floating lines. A four weight is good for mid-summer dry fly fishing, a five weight is good for big dries (hoppers, stoneflies) and a six is good for spring nymphing and streamer fishing. We can provide you with a rod for your trip if you do not have one.
  • What terminal tackle do I need?
    Your guide will provide everything needed for the trip; leader, tippet, flies, weights, etc! If you are planning to head out for some DIY fishing, your guide will be happy to make fly and leader recommendations, which are available for purchase at the fly shop in Divide.
  • What about a Fishing License?
    The State of Montana requires all anglers hold a valid MT fishing license. You can purchase online here:, or at our fly shop in Divide! Please have a copy available, either on your phone or a paper copy.
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