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 #5 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!

Itinerary

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 walk-and-wade or float fishing on the Gallatin, Madison, or Yellowstone Rivers.
    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.

Our Director, Instructors, and Our Outfitter

Kimberly Smith

Kimberly Smith, Women’s Program Director: Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School and Gallatin River Guides.

Kimberly is the Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School Director and Women’s Program Director at Gallatin River Guides. She comes to us from her work with Warriors and Quiet Waters, Simms Fishing Products, Treasure State Ladies on The Fly, and Mystery Ranch Backpacks.

She 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 while eating hot dogs over a campfire. She has had fish on the brain ever since.

After studying fashion design in Las Vegas, her sewing skills and passion for the outdoors, brought her back to the mountains and rivers of her childhood, to work at Simms Fishing Products. With inspiration from women in the community, Kimberly started a Bozeman-area women’s fly fishing club, Treasure State Ladies on The Fly, and has honed her skills teaching local women fly fishing. At Treasure State Ladies on The Fly she ran weekend fishing outings, fly tying nights, and casting lessons. Her passion for teaching and having fun matches her knowledge of our local fisheries.

Kimberly uses 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 fly fishing world.

When not leading one of our schools or guiding for GRG, she can be spotted chasing the next hatch or innovating new products.

You can read more about Kimberly on the Gallatin River Guides website.

Women's Fly Fishing School Guides

The Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School Guides and Instructors

For over thirty years, Gallatin River Guides—the creators of the Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School—has been a leader in creating opportunities for women anglers. From the early days in the 1980s when Gallatin River Guides founder Betsey French taught local ladies, to present day and beyond, we are working towards 50-50 on the water. Our guides and instructors are a team of dedicated professionals who strive to educate, enlighten, and inspire women fly fishers in a supportive, noncompetitive environment.

Male or female, the Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School guides and instructors are all exceptional teachers, they all like to fish and have fun, they all are professional fly fishing guides and stewards of the resources we all enjoy. They all will ensure your safety and comfort are enjoyed throughout the day. After spending one of our three day schools with them, they will probably also become your new fishing friends.

To view our team of professional guides and instructors, visit their profiles on the Gallatin River Guides website.

All of our guides are licensed with the state of Montana and trained in First Aid and CPR.

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

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