Splash and giggle!

The mighty Blackfoot River.  This past memorial day Mary, Jay and I and our respective family and friends headed out over the rocks and spent an amusing few hours on the Blackfoot River.  The river was flowing 10,500 cfs (for perspective the Missouri was flowing 9,200 cfs) what a kick in the pants!  We floated from Russel Gates to River Bend in about 2.5 hours (17 mile float) lots of wave trains and rollers, just a great day to be on the water.  Give us a call or send an email, we still have rafts available for summer/water fun!

800/800/8218 or tim.mro@montana.comDSCF1351 DSCF1358 DSCF1361

Creeks are open, waters are rising and things are busy enough to wonder where you are at! Where am I?

Waterfall 2014Greetings from Montana!  This weekend brought a moment of pause to yours truly, and a remembrance on the age old lesson of slowing down long enough to smell the roses or in my case the trees.  I ran up to Camp Baker on the Smith River to launch some boats and had the great treat to have my bride come along.  What a treat, not only to be out in one of my favorite places in Montana but to have the best traveling partner I could imagine.  We went up to Baker on the Milligan route, plenty of mud, a bit of rain and lush green grass.  We saw no elk on this run, but a beautiful drive none the less.  We dropped off the rafts and headed back, on a whim we stopped at this waterfall.  Can you name it, free hat to the first that can.  I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial weekend, do something fun, work will be there next week!camp baker 2014


Whats “Sup?” Stand Up Paddleboards

Craig paddle board

Our new NRS Stand Up Paddle-boards are in.  SUP’s have been gaining popularity for the last few years for both recreation and exercise, we have brought the latest inflatables from NRS in for both sale and rent.  $40 per day includes board, pump and life-jacket.  New  boards range from $795 to 1395.  One of the most offten asked questions on  inflatable rulls, “how rigid are they?”  We had the same question, and our answer is, “pretty darn stiff.”  The board in the picture below is NRS’s Valencia that is designed for gals and the board had less that 3.5″ of deflection, even with our svelte model!  Give us a call to set up a demo.




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

E-mail mro@montana.com







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: www.wolfcreekangler.com.  Or email:  jason@wolfcreekangler.com.  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     craigm@montana.com

Tim’s cell: 406.799.0768        tim.mro@montana.com

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.