Parks' Fly Shop:

Rates, Policies, and What's Included

On this page we discuss rates, deposit and cancellation policies, and other common "pre-booking" concerns.

Guiding Season

We run guided trips year-round, though the availability of each trip type varies by season and by both year-to-year and day-to-day water conditions. Here's an approximate rundown:

  • Public Water Walk & Wade: Available year-round except in late April and most of May. Almost all trips from Memorial Day Weekend through October take place in Yellowstone Park. November through late April, they take place in Montana. Full-day and half-day trips are available in the core summer-fall season. Most trips between October 15 and the end of May running as half-day or "winter special" trips.
  • Public Water Float: Available mid-March through mid-November. Full-day and half-day options are available throughout this period, though the spring runoff in May-June limits the rivers available at this time. "Double half-day" floats are available from late June or early July until early August, water levels permitting.
  • Private Water Walk & Wade Available year-round. Best in March-April and late June and July. Note that availability in summer is VERY limited.
  • Private Water (Lake) Float: Available from ice-out in April through October except during the late July to early September summer doldrums.

Rates

The following rates are for one or two anglers. Three-person trips are available on walk-wade trips only, for an additional $100 on half-day trips and $150 on full-day trips. More than three anglers on any guided trip or more than two anglers on any boat trip require additional guides at standard rates.

While we are eager to book clients for multi-day packages, the rates below do not include multi-day packages. We want to plan out packages with each group of clients on an individual basis, after talking things through. Generally speaking, our packages are based on the standard rates below, with additional discounts kicking in for packages of 5+ consecutive days.

While most of the waters we guide are available for single-day bookings, some destinations require multi-day bookings due to their distance from Gardiner, MT. These bookings may be for either full-day or half-day trips. These fisheries are noted when appropriate on the other guided trip pages in the website.

Not all fisheries and not all trip types are available all year, with weather and water conditions and regulations the key factors involved in determining the trip types that are available. Please ask us for details, or read through the relevant other pages in the guided trips section of the site, which go into a lot of detail about where we fish when.

Except where specifically noted, rates are identical for walk-wade and float trips.

The following rates are effective for trips booked on or after November 22, 2022. Trips booked before this date will be charged at the rate quoted upon booking.

Full-Day Trips

$650

Full-day trips are available on public and private rivers, streams, and lakes in Yellowstone Park and Montana within about a 2hr radius of Gardiner or Livingston, MT. They begin between 5AM and 10AM and run until 3PM to 7PM, with precise hours depending on weather and water conditions, the time we meet in the morning, and travel time to the water we'll be fishing. Full-days are available from March through October. Lunch is included.

Add $75 for "double half-day" floats. See the river floats page for details on these specialty trips.

Additional access fees payable to the landowners apply on private water trips. Rates do not include YNP entrance fees, YNP fishing licenses, or MT fishing licenses, when applicable.

Half-Day Trips

$550

Half-day trips are available on waters in Montana and Yellowstone within about an hour of Gardiner or Livingston, MT. They may begin anytime between 5AM and 3PM, depending on trip location, travel time, client goals, and the weather/season. They run 4-6 hours including travel time. Lunch is not included.

Additional access fees payable to the landowners apply on private water trips. Rates do not include YNP entrance fees, YNP fishing licenses, or MT fishing licenses, when applicable.

Spring/Fall Special

$50-$75 Discount

Spring/fall discounts apply on public water walk or float trips during late fall and early spring. Take $50 off a half-day trip or $100 off a full-day trip. Note that full-day trips will run a couple hours short including travel under these rates due to slow fishing and uncomfortable weather early and late in the day. Standard rates apply to longer trips and on private water trips.

Discounts apply from November 1 through April and are available on public waters within approximately 1hr of Livingston or Gardiner, MT. In the dead of winter our winter special trip is a better bet. Meeting times in spring and late fall will generally be around 10AM to noon, or a bit earlier in early May.

Winter Public Water Special

$400

In the dead of winter, fishing opportunities are limited to the warmest part of the day on most waters and most days. For this reason, we offer a special low rate for short (2.5-3 hours on the water) walk-wade trips on the Yellowstone River. Trips will generally meet around noon and be off the water by 4PM. These trips and rates are available from November 1 through March, with the first half of November and February and March prime time.

Rates do not include Montana fishing licenses.


What's Included in the Rates Above?

Trips include the following:

  • The use of a rod/reel, if needed
  • Flies, though you're encouraged to bring your own favorites and we will provide suggestions on what to tie when you book, if you like to "roll your own"
  • All leaders, tippet material, shot, etc., unless you prefer to tie your own leaders or use a specific brand of indicator
  • Water (all trips) and soft drinks (floats and near-road walk-wades only)
  • Full-day trips include a deli-style lunch
  • Transportation from Parks' Fly Shop or a prearranged meeting point in Yellowstone Park or Montana
  • Wading gear appropriate to the season/weather, if you don't bring your own. On float trips, sandals or other shoes you don't mind getting wet are usually all that are required from late June through Labor Day, and will be more comfortable than clunky wading gear.

Trips do not include the following:

  • Spin fishing lures or tackle, if members of your party opt to use this technique
  • Montana and/or Yellowstone Park fishing licenses, if applicable
  • Yellowstone Park entrance fees, if applicable
  • Private water access fees, if applicable
  • Small backpack (hiking or angling) for carrying water and other essentials on walk-wade trips, if applicable
  • Required personal attire (rain gear, hat, polarized sunglasses, outdoor-type clothing suitable for the weather and terrain, hiking boots if we'll be hiking into our fishery)
  • Alcoholic beverages (BYOB, aluminum cans and plastic bottles only in boats please)
  • Half-day trips and lessons do not include lunch
  • Guide gratuities

Reservations, Deposits, and Final Payments

Reservations

Reservations are required. For trips from mid-October through mid-May, we can often be booked a day or two in advance, though not always. During the June-September absolute peak season, all our in-house guides as well as the experienced independent contractor guides we use are often fully booked months in advance, so we suggest calling or e-mailing to book as soon as you can. The tighter your available dates, the more important it is to give as much notice as possible.

To begin booking a trip, fill out our trip booking and information form, call, use our online booking system, or send an e-mail. We finalize all bookings over the phone, so your booking is not confirmed until you hear it from us verbally and later in writing.

Deposits and Cancellations

The full price of your booking will be charged when you book.

If you book a private water trip and we are reserving the water with the landowner on your behalf, we will add the required access fees when you book.

All merchandise and guide service conducted between June 1 and September 30 is subject to Gardiner, MT local option tax. These taxes do not apply to license fees or private water access fees.

Since our business is highly seasonal and late cancellations are difficult to rebook, we have adopted the following cancellation policies. They are comparable to those of our competitors.

  • Cancellations received in writing prior to one month before the trip date (or first date of a multi-day trip) will be refunded in full.
  • From one month to five days prior to a trip, cancellations will forfeit 50% of the trip fees.
  • Trips canceled within 5 days of a trip require full payment. No refunds will be issued.
  • Fees to reserve private waters on your behalf may or may not be refundable. This depends on the specific policies of each landowner.
  • Changing the scheduled trip date or dates within 30 days of a trip may be treated as a cancellation and rebooking or allowed without penalty, at our discretion.
  • You may request a specific guide. We will do our best to assign this guide, but we do not guarantee specific guide availability.
  • We do not cancel trips due to weather or water conditions unless conditions are dangerous or unfishable. We fish rain, shine, snow, or wind. Any rescheduling is at the sole discretion of the guide. At the guide's discretion we may offer to cut a full-day trip to a shorter-duration trip without penalty, if conditions warrant.
  • While we take client preferences into consideration regarding the body of water we fish and the techniques we use, we do not guarantee that we will fish any specific body of water or use any specific fly fishing techniques. If there is a body of water suitable for the type of trip you have booked (e.g. river float vs walk-wade), the trip will proceed.
  • We will not accept cancellations if your preferred body of water becomes unfishable, your preferred techniques are unlikely to produce, or the weather is unpleasant but safe.
  • We reserve the right to cancel or reduce the duration of any trip due to dangerous or unfishable weather or water conditions, guide illness or emergency, or equipment breakdown. If we have to cancel a trip, we will attempt to reschedule the trip or will offer a full refund. If trips are cut short, we may refund a portion of the trip fee depending on how much time is lost, solely at our discretion.
  • If you are concerned about your ability to take a trip based on the above conditions, we suggest purchasing a travel insurance policy. Travel Guard is a good choice.

General Guided Trips Policies

Policies and common questions are discussed in much greater detail on our Guided Trips FAQ. This is just a quick rundown.

  • Trips are catch and release only except where must-kill regulations are in place.
  • All fishing is barbless and artificials-only. No natural or synthetic bait. Spin fishing is permitted on river float trips only. Spin-fishing clients must remove one hook point from any treble hooks.
  • We do not intentionally target or disturb actively-spawning wild trout. Trips fishing for "fall-run brown trout" target only pre-spawn trout in deeper water, not spawners on their shallow redds, for example.
  • All plastic and aluminum containers used on our trips will be recycled.
  • We follow "leave no trace" guidelines on all trips.
  • We follow Yellowstone Park guidelines on animal interactions on all trips, inside the park or not. Animals get the right of way...
  • We attempt to follow "visual rule of crowding" guidelines on all walk trips, when it is at all feasible. Basically this means fishing out of sight of other anglers whenever we can.
  • We accept clients aged 8 and up, or 12 and up for trips from October 15 through April 15 (the latter is due to cold temps and dangerous water conditions for younger children).
  • No more than five guests may join us on any trip unless additional guides are booked. This includes non-angling observers who are not being charged, even on lessons. Yellowstone Park regulations do not permit us to supervise more than five guests at a time, and anyone with us on a trip is a guest whether we are charging them or not.
  • All guests must sign acknowledgement of risk and acceptance of responsibility forms at the beginning of the trip, including notes on any physical or mental considerations the guides must know about (eg non-obvious injuries, fear of animals or heights, inability to swim, etc.). Refusal to do so will constitute a late cancellation and require full payment.
  • Clients must wear eye protection at all times (with polarized sunglasses strongly encouraged).
  • Wading gear worn in boats must not include any metal studs, cleats, or bars. Wading gear worn in Yellowstone Park must not include felt soles. Wading gear will be cleaned before moving between water bodies in different river drainages.
  • We ask that our clients leave their firearms at home, even when they possess valid concealed-carry permits. To be frank, we don't know how clients will react to bears and virtually all concealed-carry weapons lack the muzzle energy to do more than make bears angry anyway. Our guides carry bear spray on all walk trips and we have additional canisters available for client use, on request. Bear spray has been proven to be far more effective at deterring bear attacks than firearms. For what it's worth, most of our staff own firearms of one type or another and some are concealed-carry permit holders, so this isn't a political statement of any kind.
  • No illegal drugs on trips, please. This includes marijuana in client possession while traveling in our vehicles in Yellowstone Park. Since this is a federal park, state legalization laws do not apply (including Montana medical and recreational marijuana laws) and our guides may be considered responsible if we get checked by a ranger or cop and clients are in possession. Clients will be sued in civil court for any violations of this policy that impact Parks' Fly Shop, its operations, its property, or its guides in any way.
  • No smoking or other open flames in rubber rafts (for obvious reasons) or during periods of High or Extreme fire danger as declared by Yellowstone Park, the Custer-Gallatin National Forest, and/or the state of Montana. All tobacco ash/waste must be handled in a way that prevents litter and the potential for fire. Some guides may have respiratory issues and ask you to refrain from smoking or vaping in their presence, but subject to fire restrictions in late summer we can always stop for a smoke break.
  • No glass containers in boats, though wine bottles stowed in gear bags or the cooler except at lunch are fine. No open alcohol containers in our motor vehicles except obvious refuse stowed in the cooler.

Other Expenses & Gratuities

Other Expenses

Other possible expenses may include the following, with the precise additional expenses depending on where and when we fish:

  • Montana or Yellowstone National Park fishing licenses
  • Yellowstone Park entrance fees, if we're fishing inside the park
  • Private water access fees
  • All clients must have or be ready to purchase eye protection, preferably polarized sunglasses! No exceptions! Clip-on or gas station grade polarized shades are acceptable, but a lack of any polarized glasses is the single biggest reason clients fail to recognize when fish strike, and lacking something to shield your eyes invites losing them to an errant hook. This is the sort of nightmare scenario that makes guides wake up sweating. Yes, we did mention this requirement in bold three times on this page. It is that important.

Gratuities

Whether you choose to fish with us or another outfitter, average gratuities for Montana fly fishing guides average $80 to $100 for half-day trips and $100 to $200 for full-day trips. Gratuities can be handled ahead of time via your preferred payment method if there's no other option, but cash at the end of each day of fishing for the guide you have that day is most certainly king. Note that gratuities average about the same amount whether you are fishing with the business owner (in this case Richard Parks) or a guide working on behalf of the business.


Parks' Fly Shop

PO Box 196 or 202 Second Street South

Gardiner, MT 59030

Phone: (406) 848-7314

Current Hours: 8AM - 6PM Daily

E-Mail the Shop (General Inquiries)

E-Mail Richard

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