LIVE EASY, PLAY HARD
Our lodging/meal packages for anglers on the Bighorn River are based out of a 5 bedroom vacation home -- the unique and wildly popular OLD HOOKERS GUEST HOUSE -- in Fort Smith, Montana.
Old Hookers Guest House accommodates groups of 10 or less. The two-level house offers 5 bedrooms (10 queen or double beds) and 4 bathrooms, with all the amenities of a hotel plus the privacy and comfort of your own personal, fully stocked cabin at the river.
Guides meet you at your doorstep in the morning, and deliver you home in the evening. Then just hang your rod on the indoor rack, kick off your gear, grab a beverage, and head to the screened porch where snacks and a stunning sunset await you.
Our packages include dinner prepared by our cook in your kitchen and served family-style.
Bighorn River Fly Fishing
What to Expect (Typical Day on the River)
Your guide will pick you up at Old Hookers Guest House and transport you to the launch site (only minutes away), where you will float down river in a non-motorized drift boat, captained by your guide. Two anglers per boat is typical, although in some cases, a third can be accommodated.
In some stretches of the river, you may cast from the boat, but in most cases, you'll want to wade-fish. The Bighorn River is excellent for wading, no matter what your skill level, with a gravel bottom and water that is ankle-high, knee-high or thigh-high, depending on the stretch of the river. There are occasional areas with ledges, rocks underfoot or swift currents, but your guide knows the river well and can advise you.
He will provide as much (or as little) instruction as you need.
Many of our anglers are beginners, while others are veterans who have been fishing with us for 20 or 30 years.
The length of your fishing day will depend on bug hatch conditions,
guest endurance levels and, of course, weather. Most days, you'll have 8 to 10 hours on the water.
Lunch will be provided, with a menu usually consisting of sandwiches, salad, chips and cookies/brownies. If the weather is cold, a hot lunch may be provided.
Some guests like to take a break from fishing to picnic on shore,
while others prefer to "eat on the fly," depending on fishing conditions.
For those desiring it, a group picnic or BBQ riverside can be arranged in advance.
At the end of the day, your guide will return you to Old Hookers Guest House where most guests relax with drinks on the deck before dinner and enjoy the view of the sun setting over the historic Bozeman Trail. Non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary at Old Hookers, but there is no alcohol for sale in or near Fort Smith. You are welcome to bring your own.
After a day on the river and a large meal, energy levels differ... some prefer a quiet night of television, reading or star-gazing from the deck; others pitch horseshoes, play cards/games, walk, or take an evening drive to nearby scenic attractions.
Located about 90 miles southeast of Billings, MT, the famed Bighorn River is known as one of the best trout fisheries in the world.
Our experienced, local guides offer instruction for all skill levels, from beginner to veteran. You'll get a full day on the river and the fishing adventure of a lifetime, complete with savory riverside lunches.
Local, proven fly patterns are provided by your guide, but you are welcome to bring your own tempting flies ... the fish like variety.
You are encouraged to bring your own gear. If you don't have any or you're traveling light, ask for our "Just Add Water" package, with access to our gear closet at Old Hookers Guest House, including rods, reels, waders and boots.
CATCH & RELEASE: To protect our wild trout, we strongly recommend Catch & Release practices on the Bighorn.
What To Bring
Suggestions on what to bring include:
• Personal or business checks for payment of your balance -
We are not equipped for credit cards. Personal or business checks, or cash please.
• Montana Fishing License (available in Ft. Smith at fly shops)
• Rod & reel*
• Your favorite fishing flies* (optional)
• Waders & boots* (spring/fall/summer ) or wading pants/sandals (summer)
Note: felt soled boots are allowed on the Bighorn River
• Warm wool socks, at least two pair (even in summer, river water can be cold!)
• Hat and Sun glasses (polarized recommended)
• Sunscreen & lip protector (i.e. chapstick)
• Insect repellent
• Raincoat & warm hat/gloves
• Layered Clothing (see Clothing suggestions below)
• Alcohol, wine or beer of your choice
(Note: there are no liquor stores in or near Fort Smith; please bring your own)
* Gear: package guests are welcome to our inventory of waders, boots and rods at no extra charge. If we do not have your size or preference, rentals are available locally. Flies are provided in your package, but you are welcome to bring your own favorites.
For guests of Old Hookers Guest House, we provide the usual hotel amenities, including blow dryers, alarm clocks, shampoo/conditioner, bath soaps and all linens, plus many other perks, such as flashlights, personal safes, laundry facilities and complimentary use of our in-house fishing gear, if needed.
BACK TO TOP
The weather in Montana is unpredictable, no matter what the season.
If you're a first-timer, here are some easy-to-pack recommendations:
Bring long underwear for beneath your waders (lightweight for cool or wet summer days; medium to heavyweight in Spring & Fall). For the hot months of July/August many seasoned anglers prefer wading pants and wading sandals, but if you don't have them, don't worry. Waders and boots are worn by many on the Bighorn year-round.
Layer upper body clothing when on the water. For instance, a breathable fishing shirt or t-shirt is good for hot days on the river, but throw in a lightweight long underwear shirt and a fleece pullover, along with a raincoat, for those days when the temperatures dip unexpectedtly. The weather can change very fast on the Bighorn, and a hot day can turn nasty without notice. This combination of clothing will see you through huge variances of temperature.
Don't forget heavy wool socks for your wading boots, one pair for summer or layer two pair for cold weather.
Nights can be cool in Ft. Smith, even in the summer (jeans, light jacket or pull-over), but early evenings on the deck still hold the heat of the day, so shorts, t-shirts and sandals are common in summer months.
Dining attire is typically casual shirt or t-shirt and shorts/jeans.
If you plan a walk in the meadow, you'll want shoes (not sandals), as the high desert climate produces an assortment of cacti.
Ft. Smith is a very casual atmosphere, with an emphasis on comfortable, no-stress clothing.
Dining attire is typically t-shirt and shorts/jeans.
Evenings can be cool: bring jacket or sweater.
Old Hookers Guest House
is equipped with a complimentary laundry room.
BYOB - There are no liquor stores nearby.
Please bring your own alcohol, beer, wine and mixes.
Our "Just Add Water" packages include guided fly fishing, flies, riverside lunch, lodging, meals & snacks, non-alcoholic beverage, no-charge laundry access, WiFi, and complimentary use of our in-house waders/boots/rods if needed.
Not included: license, gratuities, alcoholic beverage
The following packages are available:
2 Days Fishing/3 Nights Lodging
3 Days Fishing/4 Nights Lodging
4 Days Fishing/5 Nights Lodging
5 Days Fishing/6 Nights Lodging
Guided Day Floats (no lodging or meals) available at a day-rate.
Our rates vary depending on:
1. How many days you want to fish
2. How many anglers in your fishing party
Shoot us a quick email inquiry with your desired dates and the above information and we'll get back to you ASAP with rates and availability. Email: email@example.com
FOR BEST RATES, you should know that it will always be most economical for you to have two (2) anglers per boat. Solo anglers are welcome but will be a higher rate.
Groups of 6 or more anglers qualify for a discount.
NOTE: We are not equipped for credit cards. Personal or business checks, please.
Packages & Rates
Photo courtesy of
Mari Hill Harpur www.marihillharpurphotography.com/