Craig, Montana's Premier Fly Shop & Guide Service
The Trout Shop is the perfect example of what a true fly shop in Montana should be like. The shop is located in the heart of Craig, Montana and only a short walk away from the famous Missouri River. Besides being one of the best-stocked fly shops in the Western United States, their services also include fully guided fishing trips on the Missouri River, lodging options, drift boat, gear rentals, and shuttle services. Not to mention a great deli and convenience store attached to the fly shop. They truly are a one-stop fly shop.
All guide trips originate in the mornings at The Trout Shop fly shop. Everything will be arranged from top quality guides, a fresh custom lunch from their deli, and logistical support while you enjoy the river. Your guide will bring you back to the fly shop at the end of the day. Some say that the Missouri River is the “world’s largest spring creek.” It is known for its prolific hatches, dry fly fishing, and feisty rainbow and brown trout.
The Trout Shop offers a variety of lodging options for the single angler all the way up to large groups of anglers. Descriptions are provided below…
Trout Shop Lodge
The Trout Shop’s Lodge resides in the oldest building in Craig, Montana. First built in 1887, this building was originally the Craig Mercantile Company, and later the local Post Office. Today, it’s a fly fishing lodge that’s about 30 seconds away from the world-renowned Missouri River. You’ll find The Trout Shop Lodge to be neat, clean, comfortable, and most importantly only a few steps from the Missouri’s wild rainbow and brown trout. These double occupancy rooms include daily housekeeping, small refrigerator, cable TV, and wireless internet. No pets are allowed.
This beautiful cedar cabin is located approximately 3 miles south of Craig on a beautiful 3-acre lot overlooking the river. A maximum of 6 guests can enjoy the view and quietness that only Lookout Lodge can offer. Access to the river is only a short walk away. Lookout Lodge was designed by The Trout Shop and built for fishermen with a taste for luxury and an appreciation for quality. From time to time, either the upper or lower levels of Lookout Lodge is available for rent separately. Features include a fully appointed kitchen in the upper level, wet bar in the lower level, dining room, barbecue grill, air conditioning, laundry facilities, satellite TV, wireless internet, and daily housekeeping. No pets are allowed.
Mountain Palace Lodge
Located ten miles downstream from Craig and right on the river, Mountain Palace Lodge provides the best of the Missouri River. Wade fishing is literally right outside your door. The scenery is everywhere. A maximum of 6 guests can relax and enjoy all the comforts of home. Marvel at the craftsmanship of this authentic log home. Features include a full kitchen, dining room, living room, barbecue grill, air conditioning, laundry facilities, satellite TV, wireless internet, and daily housekeeping. No pets are allowed.
Food and Beverages
Start your morning off right with a hot cup of coffee and a great grab-n-go style breakfast from their deli located adjacent to the fly shop. The deli also makes boat lunches for all guide trips. The custom deli offers sandwiches, pop, chips, beer, wine, and other grocery supplies. Their deli fills your lunch needs while you prepare for your day in their full-service fly shop. Breakfast and dinner are not provided in guide trip packages and will need to be taken care of on your own whether that means cooking for yourself or eating out at one of the local restaurants in the Craig area.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center in Great Falls provides an ideal view of terrain similar to what the Corps of Discovery encountered along their portage of the Great Falls of the Missouri River. You can also visit the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Air in Great Falls. This beautiful building with its ornate interior was originally built in 1895 and is designated as a National Historic Landmark. Great Falls was also the home of the famed cowboy artist Charlie Russell, whose original home and log studio are now part of the C.M. Russell Museum, one of our nation’s greatest collections of Western art.
Internet / Communications
Wireless internet is available at the fly shop and at all of their accommodations. Cell phones work in the area, but reception may be a little spotty depending on your provider.
How To Get There
The Trout Shop is located in the small town of Craig, Montana which is almost equal distances from the cities of Great Falls and Helena which both have airports serviced by Delta, United, Alaska, and Allegiant Airlines.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
You can rent a car at the airport in either Great Falls or Helena and follow Interstate 15 (north from Helena or south from Great Falls) which will take you directly to Craig, Montana. Airport shuttle services can also be arranged at an additional cost. Check-in time is after 3 PM on your arrival date, and check-out time is 10 AM on your departure date.
Montana fishing licenses are available at all area fly shops and sporting goods stores, or online by visiting the following website: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. You will need to present a valid driver’s license in order to purchase your fishing license.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
The Missouri River is one of the greatest tailwater dry fly fisheries in the world. The “Mighty Mo” as it’s called is simply an awesome fishery with very large wild rainbow and brown trout.
Their trout are well known for being very healthy and powerful. As you can imagine, they can be difficult to fool. Consistent hatches of PMD mayflies, Caddis, Tricos, BWO mayflies, and Midges bring these selective trout to the surface. You can find pods of fish sipping or solitary risers eating dries throughout most of the year. Having opportunities to fish to large trout with small dry flies is what the Missouri River is famous for. Unfortunately, they don’t always rise. And if not, trout can usually be fooled by well-placed nymph rigs or streamers. First time Missouri anglers are often overwhelmed by The Missouri’s size and definition. A seasoned Missouri River guide will help you read the water and find trout whether you want a single day or a week-long fishing adventure.
A special section of the river called, the Land of the Giants, is only accessible by jet boat and is the entry to the Gates of the Mountain Wilderness Area. Steep limestone walls towering 1,200 feet into the sky surround you in wonder as you jet boat up the Missouri River towards Hauser Dam where it begins. While the topography is astounding, the fish will be what you brag about to your friends. In the short 3-mile tailwater below Hauser Dam, rainbow trout average 20+ inches and trophy brown trout can be found as well. After a day on this stretch of river, you’ll agree that Land of the Giants is appropriately named.
Boats and Equipment
Most trips on the Missouri are done while float fishing from McKenzie drift boats or skiffs. Trips to the Land of the Giants section are done utilizing small jet boats.
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or the outfitter.
Trout Shop Lodge = $115 – $195 per room / per night
Lookout Lodge = $175 – $425 per night (6 guest maximum)
Mountain Palace Lodge = $495 per night / per 4 guests + $25 per night / per additional guest (7 guest max)
$550 per guide / per day (1 or 2 anglers)
– Guided fishing
– Rods/reels, flies, and tackle provided by the guide
– Cooler lunch and non-alcoholic beverages on guide days
– Guide pickup & drop off on each day of fishing
– River shuttle fees for guide’s vehicle
– Airport transportation
– Breakfast and dinner
– Waders or wading boots (available for rental)
– Fishing licenses
– Alcoholic beverages on guide trips (BYO)
– Gratuities for guides
– Gratuities for cleaning staff
– Surcharge for fishing Land of the Giants (extra $75 per guide / per day)
– Lodging taxes (will be added to invoice upon booking)