Montana Women's Fly Fishing School
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The Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School Mission:

"To educate, enlighten, and inspire women fly fishers in a supportive, noncompetitive environment. To fish and have fun."

Many women are discovering the joy of fly fishing. Are you part of this growing group? Whether you already are or want to be, then join us for a fun-filled, no-pressure three-day school of fishing, learning, and exploring some of the best waters on the planet.

For a combined fifty-plus years, Gallatin River Guides and Montana Fishing Outfitters have been serving anglers throughout Montana. We’ve learned our laid-back, fishy lifestyle is pretty cool . . . and we want to share it with women who fly fish.

Our lead instructors have amassed years of experience on the Gallatin, Yellowstone, Madison, Missouri, and other southwest Montana rivers and creeks. Fishing is their passion and they want to share it with you. They are all licensed Montana fly fishing guides . . . and women who fish!

Spend a school with us and you'll be ready to handle most any fly fishing situation, no matter where you fish. Come discover what makes us unique and make some life-long angling friends in the process!

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Pat and the team of instructors know what makes for a great week of fly fishing, camaraderie, and the waters they fish are spectacular.   – Page S., Texas
This is an ideal week for beginners and experts alike. The women-only school is something I look forward to each year.   – Lynne F., Montana
Gallatin River Guides logo SIMMS logo Montana Fishing Outfitters logo
School Dates

October 6,7,8

2017 Dates

March 9,10,11
March 16,17,18
April 7,8,9
April 21,22,23
May 5,6,7
May 12,13,14
June 15,16,17
June 22, 23, 24
July 6,7,8
July 20,21,22
August 3,4,5
August 17,18,19
September 7,8,9
September 14,15,16
October 5,6,7

Locations and Fishing Forecast

Bozeman and Big Sky, Montana
We are in fall fishing mode here in Big Sky, Montana. That means blue winged olives and fishing big ugly streamers. If you are thinking of a last minute get-away then consider our area of fishy Montana.

Tuition and Costs

June through September Sessions: $995 per person

Includes three days of classroom instruction and guided fishing, course materials, and lunches. Not included are a valid Montana fishing license and gratuities and lodging.

Need help with lodging? Just let us know. We have great rates with lots of Bozeman and Big Sky hotels and lodges.

Reserving your spot is easy

A deposit of 50% is required to hold your spot. Final payment is due 30 days prior to the start of the school. Deposits are refundable 30 days out; within 30 days, deposits and/or final payment will not be refunded unless a replacement is found. We accept checks, money orders or major credit cards.

Our Classroom: The rivers and creeks of Big Sky & Bozeman, Montana

Friendship, fly fishing, and plenty of fat trout

Boat on the Upper Madison in Montana

At the Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School, the spring creeks, rivers, and lakes of Montana offer the best location in the world to learn and improve your fly fishing skills. Our locations in Big Sky and Bozeman, Montana offers up the best access to waters that will hone your fishing skills and provide spectacular scenery if the fishing slows.

Toss in a wide selection of dining and lodging options, and it is clear the Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School’s classroom is as Montana as it gets. Our daily on-the-water sessions will take place on any of the following spring creeks, smaller freestones, larger rivers, and private lakes. We create our school’s itinerary and on-stream instruction based on what fishing options offer the most rewarding teaching opportunities.

During our school you will most likely fish the Gallatin, Madison, and Yellowstone Rivers. We might also venture to the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks or a private lake or a private ranch to access a small stream. Along the way, you’ll see the towns of Bozeman, Livingston, Ennis, and Big Sky, Montana.

If your desire is to be a better angler, make some life-long angling friends, or just take your fishing to the next level, few things will make you better than fishing in our classroom!


Fly fishing is equal parts challenge and fun. At the Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School we’ve also learned our relaxed approached is a huge part of our success. This doesn’t mean we don’t get after it. Our three-day school is full of fishing and learning, but there is also plenty of time to put your feet up and enjoy the view.

We like to think of our chilled-out style as “drinking champagne out of the bottle.”

Our school itinerary and schedule is one of a kind. Mornings are spent enjoying coffee and breakfast while in a classroom environment, then it’s off to the river.

Your school

  • Day One: Thursday   Arrival in Big Sky at Gallatin River Guides by 8 AM.
    Classroom: Introductions.
    Casting instruction: Fundamentals, fixing mistakes, and specialty casts like the roll cast, double haul, reach cast, and more.
    Fishing: Professionally guided Gallatin River walk-and-wade fishing.
    On the water topic: Reading the water; hooking, fighting, landing, and releasing fish.
    Dinner and discussion: Breaking down the tackle-and-gear mystery. Right gear for the right time. Fitting women's specific gear, waders, and fly rods.
  • Day Two: Friday
    Classroom: Tie better knots. Learn the basic knots and some special knots. Clinch knot, blood knot, double surgeon's knot, nail knot, and perfection loop.
    Fishing: Professionally guided float fishing on the Madison River.
    On the water topic: Take what the river gives you: Fish specific to the conditions.
  • Day Three: Saturday
    Classroom: Entomology 101 and fly pattern selection. Learn the bugs the trout want to eat and the flies that work the best.
    Fishing: Professionally guided float fishing on the Yellowstone River.
    On the water topic: Advanced strategies. Headhunting with dry flies, deep-water nymphing, slow-stripping streamers, and everything else under the sun!
    Evening: Dinner and graduation party with a guest speaker.
  • Sunday: Guided fishing trips are available for school attendees at a discounted rate. Inquire when you book your spot.

Meet our lead instructors

Kara Tripp and large Steelhead

Kara Tripp

Kara was born and raised in northwestern Montana, fishing for trout on some of the most fabled stretches of water in the US. Her passion as an angler carried her through college at Montana State University. Shortly after graduation, she was hired by The Fly Shop in Redding, California in 2009. Using her experience managing the Outfitting Department and Casting Schools for The Fly Shop as well as eight years at their FishCamp program, Kara is excited to be a part of the Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School.

When not teaching and sharing her passion with others, she’s designing for Damsel Fly Fishing, a women’s fly fishing accessory brand she co-founded with her sister. In between chasing Montana trout, the women’s school, and growing Damsel Fly Fishing, she hosts trips to Belize in search of the silver kings and tailing bonefish, can be followed to the Far East in pursuit of carnivorous mouse eating trout that call the rivers of the Kamchatka Peninsula home, or on the rivers of the Pacific Northwest chasing steelhead.

Anne Anderson

Anne Anderson

Originally, from a small tobacco farming county along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, Anne has fished for as long as she can remember. Her fishing began sitting alongside her father, nearly every day, tossing worms over the side of the boat. Eagerly she’d watch the bobber, waiting for it dive into the sea.

Anne made her way out West in search of finding the star-filled night sky and the sense of the outdoor freedom she had experienced growing up. Once settled near the great waters of southwest Montana - the Yellowstone, Madison, and Gallatin - Anne fished hard, logging as many days on the water as the sun allowed.

She loves new challenges and working with beginners and experienced anglers. She’s thrilled to meet new people and share her passion for fly fishing. Guiding and instructing is a dream come true for Anne and her passion for it is infectious.

Anne’s enthusiasm for fishing and instruction is best self-described by a 1990’s pseudo hip-hop artist: "Something grabs a hold of me tightly, flow like a harpoon daily and nightly .”

Kara Cain

Kara Cain

Kara grew up in the mountains of Idaho, where she chased trout with her family. She’s knows hard work—as she owned a bail bond business for many years. She now lives in Dillon, Montana so she can be near the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers, which she fishes nearly every day. She truly enjoys guiding beginners and helping people catch their first fish on a fly rod. For Kara, nothing more exciting than being there when someone catches their first fish on a fly rod.

When she’s not helping folks fish, she’s fishing. One of her favorite floats is to take a small kayak and explore the Beaverhead River in sections where many driftboats can’t, or won’t go. The Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School is thrilled to have Kara as a lead instructor: She’s fishy, enthusiastic, and just downright great company on the river.

When she’s not on the water, Kara can be found helping out on the ranch outside Dillon on which she lives. She enjoys all aspects of farming and ranching - she can run a bailer, various types of harrows, and help a cow calve.

A day on the water with Kara is as authentic as it is fishy.

Maggie Stone

Maggie Mae Stone

Maggie Mae grew up just off the banks of the Madison River in Harrison, Montana (pop: 137) where she was introduced to fly fishing during a high school PE Class - the hook was set and she’s never stopped fishing. She attended Montana State University earning a Masters of Education and Bachelors in School Counseling. This educational experience has become the foundation of her fly fishing instructional techniques.

She is a patient and fun instructor to spend time with. Whether it's nymphing techniques, streamers or dry fly, winter or summer, she has the knowledge and is always happy to pass on her expertise.

Spending her winters as a K-8 Counselor for the Whitehall School district and her summers as an Orvis Endorsed guide, she knows the big waters of the Madison, the stillwaters of South West Montana and many secret spots. Whether it’s wading, drifting, or fishing with her in her jet boat, a day with Maggie Mae will leave you a better angler and wanting more.

Pat Straub and daughter Adele

Pat Straub, Outfitter for the Women's Fly Fishing School

Pat Straub grew up in Bozeman, learning to fish on Sourdough Creek. He left Montana for college, knowing he would eventually return. After earning a degree in writing from Beloit College and a stellar career on the soccer field, he returned, ready to take on Montana’s trout streams. After spending one day on the water as a guide for Parks’ Fly Shop in Gardiner, he knew his work lie in guiding. For several seasons he guided for Destinations and the Yellowstone Valley Ranch, one of the West’s premier lodges and operations at the time. A move to the Missouri came a few years later and the rest is history.

Since then he has managed a private angling and hunting club, written a half-a-dozen books, including the forthcoming Everything You Wanted to Know About Fly Fishing But Where Afraid to Ask. His guiding has taken him to south Florida, Chilean Patagonia, and southern Africa. He and his wife own and operate Gallatin River Guides in Big Sky, Montana and with Garrett Munson, he owns and operates Montana Fishing Outfitters. In addition to being a highly-respected guide, outfitter, and shop owner, he is an award-winning soccer coach.

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