Outfitter #931

Your Tools

Our boats

SOTAR 'Blackfoot Strike' Raft - Designed by Blackfoot River Outfitters founder, John Herzer, and custom built by WhiteWater Manufacturers, the SOTAR Strike is the ultimate fishing boat. Other "fishing rafts" are no more than white water rafts with a couple seats on a frame strapped on top - where as with the Blackfoot Strike, the raft is actually designed with the fisherman in mind.

Drift boat - A Drift Boat is an evolution of the open-water dory, converted for use in rivers. The design is characterized by a wide, flat bottom, flared sides, a narrow, flat bow, and a pointed stern. A Rocker is used along an arc from bow to stern along the bottom of the boat. It is this constant rocker that allows the boat to spin about its center for ease in maneuvering in rapids.

Poling skiff - A shallow, flat-bottomed open boat with sharp bow and square stern.

Your technique

Your casting skill will often make the difference between catching and not. If you feel you need some work on your fly casting, I am available for casting lessons at $30.00 per hour - Book me

Rod and reel

The fly rod is the most important tool you have as a fly fisher. The rod dictates your presentation and your distance. Heavier rods will cast further but can be 'less than delicate' on the presentation, while lighter ones can't get as far out. Generally in Montana on the streams, 3 to 5 weight rods are best. The reel is much less important to a fly fisher. It's primarily used to take up and stow line. If you were to cut corners on price, this is where to do it, NOT on the rod. We can provide rods and reels if you prefer.

Fly line, leader and tippet

Fly line is quite important as well. Poorly maintained fly line can cripple your cast and dry-rot can severely weaken it. A cleaning solution is recommended for best performance and the line should be cleaned after each day of use. Leader begins the process of converting your opaque fly line to something clear and hopefully invisible to the fish. 5 or 6x 9 to 12 ft leader is the norm for Montana streams. Tippit extends your leader if it is becoming short and can also provide a delicate extension for a tricky presentation. Flourocarbon is best for strength and invisibility but isn't biodegradable. We can provide for all of your line needs if you prefer.

Dry Flies

The quintessential fly fisher's fly! These can result in noisy splashy takes off the surface of the water, however, frequently the fish are not looking up and are instead grazing on insects in the water column. When they are turned on the surface action though, this can be very productive. Takes some skill in presentation and control after the cast and often requires a completely drag-free drift. We can provide all of your dry flies - and we can attach them to your tippet - if you prefer.


For larger fish, sometimes we need to go sub-surface. Nymphs are juvenile bugs that are in a transition stage before they 'hatch' into something that has wings. They are always in the water column and fish, being efficient eaters, prefer these as they usually come to them. We can provide all of your nymph patterns - if you prefer.


For the really big fish, nothing beats a streamer. These are made to imitate anything from small fish to frogs and even mice. Be prepared for a hard tug on this as you strip it through the deep holes. We can provide all of your streamers - if you prefer.

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