Smith River Permits are out!

Congratulations on your Smith River Permit!

Please take a look at our Smith River Rental options, also for those folks flying in; ask about our Deluxe Rental options, that include rafting equipment as well as all the food and kitchen/camping gear needed.  Call Tim 800-800-8218.used equipment

 (this is our family frame example: fishing specific frames available as well)

Montana River Outfitters

Rental and Shuttle Information


MRO offers rentals of rafts, canoes, kayaks, inflatable kayaks and canoes, personal pontoon boats, and drift boats.  We provide shuttles, drop off and pick up service, as well as fully provisioned trips including food and camping gear.  MRO uses only top quality boats that are late models, tough and in excellent condition.  Our rafts are predominantly self bailing rafts that are new to one year old, our frames are NRS aluminum and can be custom tailored to your specific needs ie. swivel seats up front as well as rear seats and anchor frames are an option for our raft packages.

Smith River shuttles for vehicles from put in to take out are $120 per vehicle.  Missouri River shuttle prices vary according to distance.

Drop off of gear on the Smith River and pick up at take out is $295 if you are renting from us.  When MRO delivers rafts they are inflated and river ready at the put in. 

If you prefer to pick up and deliver your own rafts inflated we can provide you with a trailer, with your rafts inflated strapped down and ready to go, for $25 per day.

Van shuttles for up to 8 people and all your gear to the put-in, in a van and trailer, and then meet you at the take-out, is $439 for the Smith River.  Prices vary for the Missouri. 

We also offer discounted lodging in Great Falls and Wolf Creek and discounted rental car rates with Avis or Dollar.

Thank you for considering MRO for your rental and shuttle needs.  We will work hard to win your business and make your trip seamless, trouble free, and as enjoyable as possible. 




                                                                             MONTANA RIVER OUTFITTERS

Great Falls 406.761.1677 or 800.800.8218







2+ days

           1 day

10’(standard floor)



12’ (self-bailer)



13’ (self-bailer)



14’ (self-bailer)



16’ (self-bailer)



18’ (self-bailer)



*Price includes: Paddles OR deluxe aluminum rowing frame package (3 oars, straps, cargo deck, cargo net)  P.F.D.s, hand pump & repair kit






16’- 20’









Inflatable Kayaks


Drift Boats


Personal Pontoons $45/day







12 volt inflator






Cargo Deck


Whitewater P.F.D.


Cargo Net


Kayak Paddle


Plastic Storage Boxes


Canoe Paddle


Sleeping Bags


Dry bags


Sleeping Pads




“Crazy Creek” chairs




Bow Swivel Seat




Rowing Frame & Oars


Tents:  4 man

            6 man



Stern Swivel Seat

(with Anchor Frame)



Water Containers

$2 day

Folding Prep Tables




Propane Stoves


Fly Rod and Reel


Waders & Boots


A Changing of the Guard!

Greetings friends and guests,

For the last few years I have been considering what sort of exit strategy I needed to develop as I approached retirement age. This spring we hired a very capable young man, Jason Orzechowski, to manage our Wolf Creek fly shop. Early on I discovered that Jason not only had a passion for fly fishing and managing a fly shop, but also had a passion to own his own fly fishing business. This fall we began putting a plan together, and on December 27 we finalized a deal with Jason and Sheila Orzechowski, and their partner Fred Davison for purchasing my Wolf Creek operation. The new name of their business will be Wolf Creek Angler.

Please rest assured that the transition will be smooth and that you will be in good hands with Jason, Sheila and Fred.  The Wolf Creek phone number of 800-800-4350 will remain the same.  Please have a look at Jason, Sheila and Fred’s new web site:  Or email:  Jason will be sending out confirmations within the next few weeks!

Now for some changes that will NOT be taking place….

  1. Montana River Outfitters is still in business and still in the guided fishing business. We will continue to have our shop in Great Falls and will renew our focus on guiding anglers on one day to multiple day trips on other waters in Montana, wilderness rivers in Montana and Idaho, exotic trips and more. However, we will be referring the guided fishing on the Missouri in the Wolf Creek canyon area to Jason and Fred.
  2. No way will we allow Tim to leave MRO!  He will be working out of our Great Falls store instead of Wolf Creek and will remain our general manager. My plan is that he keeps just as busy as ever and I get to sneak away more often, especially during the spring and summer.
  3. The fine customer service and great guides that MRO has always provided will continue into the future with Jason, Sheila and Fred and their Wolf Creek Anglers. Plus, I see them having some great new ideas that will bring even more vibrancy and opportunity to the Wolf Creek operation.
  4. And you can’t get rid of me either, as I will still be working at the Great Falls location as well as working in a mentoring role to some degree with Jason and Fred.

It is not without a twinge of sadness that I look to the future without the Wolf Creek operation, its dedicated guides and staff, and its loyal customers, who have become friends, but it is the right time and I sincerely believe that it is with the right people. My wife, Linda and Tim and I often talked about how concerned we were about who would take over this business. I am confident that as I hand over the reins to Jason, Fred, and Jason’s wife Sheila, that they will do an honorable and first rate job.

I look forward to discussing any aspect of this business change with you, as well as any questions you might have as we move forward.

Wishing you a very successful and blessed 2014. I look forward to having you join Wolf Creek Anglers or Montana River Outfitters this summer.

Craig Madsen


Montana River Outfitters, LLC.
923 10th Ave. North
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: 406.761.1677 
Craig’s cell: 406.799.7800

Tim’s cell: 406.799.0768

Sunset on Season One


Missouri River Sunset

Missouri River Sunset

My season has reached its end today though Tim will be around the shop intermittently most mornings  through the 25th and we will take your phone calls anytime so don’t hesitate to call and book dates for next season. Should you get the urge to do a winter float on the Missouri we are anxious to accommodate with special winter rates.

I was thinking on the drive in from Helena this morning that I am no less moved by the awesomeness of this place on this day than I was the first time I drove the canyon and I can’t express how blessed I am to be here doing what I am doing.

It’s been a banner year here at Montana River Outfitters and I feel so fortunate to have been a part of it.  I am definitely here to stay! Working with Tim and Matt in the shop has been a great experience  and Tifani and Cindy and Sheila did an awesome job behind the scenes keeping things in shape on the lodging side.

I’m a bit of a broken record with this but once again, we can’t thank you all enough for your business.  We know you have plenty of options when it comes to fly shops and  we sincerely appreciate your patronage.  On that note I also just want to take a minute and thank the other shops in the area  for helping to make this place the destination it has come to be. Fly shops are not a one size fits all business so it’s great that there is something here for everyone.

Thanks again for a great season!   ~ Jason O.

The Magic of Montana

3 x 3 Montana Muley

My first Montana Mule Deer

After missing deer hunting for the first time in a very long time last year,  I had fully intended to hunt this season but I’ve been dragging my feet watching another hunting season pass me by.

When we moved to Montana last year from Michigan I wasn’t able to hunt as a resident so I wrote missing a hunting season off as purely circumstantial. My enthusiasm for deer hunting in Michigan, both archery and firearm, would fluctuate from year to year but I would always get out at least a few times a year. As you know it is in large part fishing that brought me here but it was not lost on me that Montana also has awesome and abundant hunting opportunities.  The problem I have had is that I’ve been overwhelmed by the vastness of the land and my unfamiliarity with the majority of it.

This season’s archery opener came and went and I hadn’t broken my bow out of the case. I talked hunting with  Russ Dobrzynski who guides for us quite a bit and he was pretty persistent in urging me to shoot my bow and to buy  my license so we could hunt. I talked the game but failed to shoot or buy a license but then Russ harvested a nice bull early in the season and I helped him pack it out and that got me charged up enough to at least get the bow out and fling some arrows – still, I failed to actually go out and purchase tags and get serious about things.

Fast forward to firearm season -  still no tags and  I had not had a shell in my 30-06 since deer season 2011 in Michigan.  Russ persisted in urging me to sight in my gun and buy some tags so we could hunt. As things slowed here at the shop I decided it was time. I shot a box of shells and bought some tags and yesterday I spent my first day afield hunting in Montana.

Long story short – I harvested a beautiful 3 x 3 mule deer and learned a lot about hunting in the west. Up until yesterday my idea of hunting was looking for sign, setting up a tree stand or ground blind somewhere in the vicinity of that sign, and then sitting and waiting and waiting and sitting…for hours…even days at a time.  Not so much in Montana. We spent the day moving and glassing and, as luck would have it, harvesting. It was definitely what I had pictured western hunting to be like and I can’t wait to get out and see if I can find an elk.

It was a thrill to harvest an animal but more than that it was great to get out and enjoy more of the magic that makes this state what it is. I’m hooked!

Now – back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Fishing is still very good according to  all reports we’ve been getting here at the shop. It sounds to me like all methods are getting it done right now but if I were to close the shop and fish the river this afternoon I would definitely be chucking streamers…but that’s just me. It looks like another great November fishing day out there. We’re at 42 degrees and cloudy right now – going up to near 50 with SW wind at 10-15. Tomorrow looks good with low 40′s but it sounds like it may get a little breezy with gusts up to 36. The weekend looks like it may be better spent hunting or tying with snow and blowing snow and nighttime lows dropping into the single digits.

Stop by today or tomorrow for your last chance at HUGE fall clearance savings.

See you in the shop and on the water and in the field    ~Jason O.

The Countdown has begun…



Just a few days to go until the official close of the season here at Montana River Outfitters. The last day the shop will be open is this Friday, the 15th. We do have lodging available through the end of November so don’t hesitate to give us a call if you are in need of a room between now and the end of the month. You want deals? We’ve got em’!

35 % off Fishpond packs, coolers and accessories, Redington waders, boots and cold weather gear. 50 % off MRO hats, t’s and hoodies. 35 %off Echo rods, reels and combos. Great deals on tools and accessories from Dr. Slick and Montana Fly Company.  If it’s in the shop we will deal!
It’s been an outstanding season and the great fishing will continue. Just because the shop is going to be closed soon that doesn’t mean we aren’t fishing. As long as the water is moving and you can endure the weather we are ready and willing to take you fishing on the Missouri. We are still running our $399 full day guide trip fall special through the end of November. We’ve got high 40′s to mid 50′s for the remainder of the week with partly cloudy skies and a chance of precip every day – conditions couldn’t be better. There have been plenty of bugs for those playing the dry fly game and more than a couple of our guests have struck gold chucking streamers the last couple of days. Nymphing, as always, is good to great depending on how hard you want to work at it.

As always – we know you have a lot of choices when it comes to fly shops and guides on the Missouri and we can’t thank you enough for making us your choice.

See you in the shop and on the water…      ~Jason O.

November 7th – Quiet Time on the Missouri

Not a soul to be seen as of late

Empty parking lots mean more water for you to enjoy all by your lonesome

Somebody flipped the switch on Sunday and things got really quiet in Wolf Creek and on the MO. The official end of the season is drawing near but I don’t think anybody has told the fish that yet as anglers are enjoying solitude and good to great fishing depending on the day. Whether your game is dry flies or nymphing or stripping streamers – it’s all ON right now.  Winter will soon set in so take advantage of these last nice days while you can.

We’ve got limited lodging available through the end of the month and the shop will be open at least through next Friday so it wouldn’t be a bad time to come fish the Missouri and have it all to yourself.

We’ve got temperatures in the 50′s today with the river flows holding steady at 3050 with a Happy Trout water temp of 46 degrees. Looks like 40′s and chance of rain and snow for the forseeable future but they are calling for big SW wind tomorrow at 22 -28 with gusts to 39. The weekend and early part of next week should be good so be sure to stop by the shop on your way to the river for shuttles and bugs and absolutely amazing deals on EVERYTHING! We’ve got a week to go here so come on in and talk me down on everything from Fishpond soft coolers and chest packs to Rio, SA and Airflo fly lines, to Echo rods and reels to Redington waders, wading boots and clothing to Montana Fly Company accessories to Buff gear to MRO logo gear and everything in between. You can’t afford not to come shop the end-of-the-season clearance at Montana River Outfitters.

Our late season hours are Monday – Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday 8:00 am – 12 noon. 

See you in the shop and on the water  –                  Jason O.