Montana Women's Fly Fishing School #1 Montana Women's Fly Fishing School #2 Montana Women's Fly Fishing School #3 Montana Women's Fly Fishing School #4 Montana Women's Fly Fishing School #5

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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This was the most fun we’ve had in a long time. We learned, we laughed, we caught fish, and made long-time friends that we fish with now.   – Megan M. California.

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

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

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   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: Walk-and-wade fishing on the Gallatin River near Big Sky.
    On the water topic: Reading the water; hooking, fighting, landing, and releasing fish.
  • Day Two
    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. Breaking down the tackle-and-gear mystery. Right gear for the right time. Fitting women's specific gear, waders, and fly rods.
    Fishing: Professionally guided walk-and-wade or float fishing on the Gallatin or Madison Rivers.
    On the water topic: Take what the river gives you: Fish specific to the conditions.
  • Day Three
    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 Madison or Yellowstone River.
    On the water topic: Advanced strategies. Headhunting with dry flies, deep-water nymphing, slow-stripping streamers, and everything else under the sun!
  • Want to fish some more on your own before or after your school? Inquire about special women's school discount on guided trips.

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.

Kimberly Smith

Kimberly Smith

Kimberly was born in Wyoming, where her deep-seated love for the wilderness started. Long days and nights were spent outside, tagging along with her older brothers. She got the fishing bug when she was knee high to a grasshopper, catching bluegill with hot dogs. She has had fish on the brain ever since. After studying Fashion Design in Las Vegas, her sewing skills and passion for the outdoors made working at Simms Fishing a natural fit.

With inspiration from women in the community, Kimberly started a local women’s fly fishing club and has honed her skills teaching local women fly fishing. She has since used her enthusiasm for teaching to help more women become self-sufficient anglers. She hopes to continue to get more women comfortable out on the water, and come together to have a bigger presence in the industry.

Kelly Harrison

Kelly Harrison

Kelly was born and raised in Missoula, Montana. As a Montana girl, she grew up loving the outdoors and spent much of her time camping, hiking, ranching, horseback riding, and fishing as much as she could.

After graduating from Frenchtown High School, Kelly joined the United States Air Force and spent several years outside of the state. She returned home, received a degree in Business Administration through the University of Montana, and continued enjoying her love for the outdoors.

She discovered a passion in fly fishing and gained experience on rivers such as the Jocko, Blackfoot, Bitterroot, Clark Fork, and Missouri. As requests for female guides increased, she found success guiding new and intermediate anglers with an emphasis on women anglers. Her positive reinforcement, guidance, and talents expand to experienced anglers who are interested in fishing with an accomplished up-and-coming female guide.

Kelly is a graduate of the Montana Fishing Guide School and brings her passion to the Madison, Gallatin, and Yellowstone Rivers. Her mission is to aid women in their pursuit to fly fish the legendary waters of Montana.

Kara Tripp and large Steelhead

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 lay 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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