UPDATE: Sold Out! This class is now full but if you are interested, we are taking names for a waiting list and will also keep you updated on future events. Call The River's Edge West for information 406-284-2401.


Come join Sarah Clark of The River’s Edge for a fun day of learning the basics of fly fishing in a women’s only environment.

This one-day class will include both indoor and outdoor instruction and will cover topics such as: equipment selection, basic entomology, fly selection, need-to-know knots, casting instruction and fly shop layout. Each participant will receive a booklet containing information on the topics covered.

The class is designed for the beginner angler, but is also a great refresher for the intermediate angler. $50 per student, Call 406-284-2403 to register.


We’re a country of rivers and streams. Lewis and Clark discovered this as they made their way westward. And it remains apparent today to anyone who stares out an airplane window. 

As anglers, we have a special appreciation of, and a personal relationship with, these iconic rivers. We also have a great sense of concern. That’s because many of these rivers are threatened by mining, pollution, closure and more. 

Thankfully, there’s a way for all of us to help through Save Our Streams (S.O.S.). It’s a SIMMS program that raises awareness of – and gives back to – these waterways. Part of this program is a series of limited-edition S.O.S. tee-shirts. Each one is designed for a much-loved American river. And a portion of the proceeds from each sale go to organizations working to protect and preserve these rivers for all of us to enjoy.

This month’s shirt benefits the Smith River in Central Montana with proceeds going towards American Rivers to help preserve the uniqueness of this waterway.

SAVE OUR STREAMS Limited Edition Smith River T-Shirt is now available! Follow links for details: SHOP MENS  SHOP WOMENS 

As of May 19th, 2017, all Montana anglers are required to purchase the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass (AIS). You can purchase your pass at the River's Edge or any authorized FWP Montana license providers.

This program was initiated by bill from the 2017 Montana Legislature and will provide significant funding for the state’s fight against aquatic invasive species.

The Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass was approved as part of Senate Bill 363 in the final days of the legislative session. Gov. Steve Bullock signed the bill into law Thursday. This AIS pass will be required for all anglers, beginning May 19. The cost is $2 for residents and $15 for nonresidents. This is not a license fee increase, but rather an additional requirement from the legislature to fund the fight against aquatic invasive species.

The AIS Prevention Pass will be available at all Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks license providers and online beginning May 19. Anglers who have already purchased licenses will need to go online or to a license provider and purchase the new pass.

“We know this will be an inconvenience for some anglers, but protecting the health of our waterways is critical,” said FWP director Martha Williams. “The AIS program we have in place is our best chance at keeping mussels from spreading to other Montana waters and at keeping other invasive species from gaining a foothold in the state.”

Also included in SB 363 was a fee for hydro-electric facilities. The AIS Prevention Pass is anticipated to generate about $3.2 million in revenue per year. The hydro-electric fee will generate about $3.7 million.

The 2017 Legislature provided additional funding for FWP’s aquatic invasive species program after the discovery last fall of aquatic invasive mussel larvae in water samples from Tiber Reservoir. A sample from Canyon Ferry Reservoir also turned up suspect for the mussel larvae. In response, Gov. Steve Bullock declared a natural resources emergency in November and an interagency incident command team was set to coordinate the response to the detection.

The resulting response plan includes increasing the number of inspection stations around the state, operating decontamination stations at both Tiber and Canyon Ferry Reservoir, an expanded public education and outreach effort, and doubling the water sampling efforts for mussel larvae around Montana.  

To be very clear:  The new AIS prevention pass will be required for all anglers, including those who have purchased a license prior to May 19.

Also, because it is a separate program and not a fee increase, the pass can be purchased by non-anglers as well who would want to help contribute to Montana’s fight against aquatic invasive species.

As you know, it's runoff season here in SW Montana. Though there are still a few places to fish, some of us are finding more time to tie flies to prepare for Summer fishing. Join tying instructor, Taylor Beard on Tuesday evenings at The River's Edge - West, tying summer patterns on selected dates. Each night we'll tie a different pattern! All classes are drop in style, $10 per student. Limited seats available -reservations encouraged. All levels are welcomed! Call 406-284-2401 for more information.

2017 Dates:

TUESDAYS 6pm-9pm

May 16th, 23rd, 30th

June 6th, 13th


Lewis and Clark discovered this as they made their way westward. And it remains apparent today to anyone who stares out an airplane window. 

S.O.S. Yellowstone River

Spend a day fishing on the Yellowstone River and you’ll understand it’s not merely an angler’s paradise — it’s a treasure you could never put a price on. Two foreign mining companies are trying to do just that by taking the necessary steps to put the price of gold above the value of this iconic river. 

Limited Edition T-Shirt

A healthy Yellowstone River has a positive effect on the entire fishing industry. And we have the opportunity to preserve this gem for generations. Help us keep this freestone treasure — and the communities that rely on her — safe and healthy. There are places to mine — the Yellowstone is not one of them.

$5 from the sale of each t-shirt will go to Greater Yellowstone Coalition towards the Yellowstone River campaign.

Through April 15th, enjoy a full day guided fishing trip for the special price of $350.00 (regular price $495.00).  These guided trips are limited to our local rivers and streams and must be used by April 15th, 2017.  All trips include transportation to the river, shore lunch, selection of soft drinks or water, flies and terminal tackle needed for the day and rental equipment if needed.  Trips do not include a valid Montana Fishing License, personal effects or gratuities.  Spring can be a great time to get out and enjoy the great fishing we have here in Montana.  Please email or call us for more details or to book a guided trip.

Hey Ladies – it’s almost time for the best women’s fly fishing event in Montana. The River’s Edge and Simms Fishing Products are hosting the 9th Annual Chica de Mayo! This popular and ever-growing ladies event will be held at The River’s Edge – WEST and Simms Fishing Products (see schedule below). So, leave the guys at the river and come out for a fun day designed just for you! This year, we will offer five educational clinics for you to learn, ask questions, and fine-tune your fly fishing skills. These clinics will be hosted by some of the best in the field and of course, there will be incentives for your participation. We are also thrilled to welcome Mia Sheppard from Oregon's Little Creek Outfitters as our guest speaker. Mia is an accomplished fishing guide and outfitter, three-time world champion spey caster, and ambassador for several fly fishing companies. Committed to conservation, she works for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, is a river steward for Native Fish Society, and is the conservation chair for the International Women’s Fly Fishers. The Casting for Recovery Crew and The Pink Drift boat will be on hand and there will be some great opportunities to fundraise for this important cause. Did we mention there will be fantastic prizes, plenty of fun, and a cocktail party to round out the day? So, grab a girlfriend and come hang out with some fun and fishy women!  

For more information call The River’s Edge at 406.586.5371 or 406.284.2401.

9th Annual Chica de Mayo - Women's Fly Fishing Event Schedule 

Saturday, May 6th  

1:00 - 3:00: Educational Clinics at The River's Edge - West  

3:00 - 4:00: Program and Speakers at The River's Edge - West   

4:00 - 5:00: Networking & Cocktail Party at SIMMS Fly Fishing Products   

The River’s Edge - West is located at 59 North Star Lane, Bozeman, MT 59718

Simms Fishing Products is located at 177 Garden Dr, Bozeman MT 59718

BOZEMAN, MONTANA—Join contemporary fine artist Ed Anderson for a benefit and preview of new works on Monday, March 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The River’s Edge-West in Bozeman, Montana. Proceeds from Anderson’s art sales will benefit the Trout Unlimited Madison-Gallatin Chapter. Anderson will be present for this preview event and his work will also be available March 15-19 for the Western Heritage Art Show during Western Art Week at the Executive Meeting Room on the second floor at the Great Falls - Holiday Inn. Come see and preview Anderson’s bold lines and bright colors in 15 new pieces at The River’s Edge preview and on exhibition for the Western Heritage Art Show in Great Falls, Montana.

Among the many outlets in which Anderson’s work is featured, he is the cover artist for the 40th anniversary Gray’s Sporting Journal. Anderson is also the featured artist for the 2017 Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Fly, Rod and Reel Spring 2017 and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation 2016. In addition, Anderson is a contributor to BigLife Magazine and Sporting Classics. His larger than life canvases capture the spirit of Americana and his journals have been featured in many international publications as well.

In addition to being a working artist, Anderson is a former Air Force officer transplanted to the mountains of Idaho from Minneapolis. His style has evolved from a lifetime with art and architecture. Anderson creates his work in his home studio overlooking the Boise River on the eastern edge of town.

“I strive to catalog Americana,” said Anderson. “My subjects are derived from my vast experience in the outdoors, where I spend much of my time.”

Anderson plans and executes extensive travels, which push him to investigate things unique to the U.S. On any given day, he may work on a landscape at his No Business Lodge, chase down a tarpon fish on the flats in Florida for a prize photo, or he could be in the rodeo chutes sketching the moment a bull tears out with a rider on his back. No matter where Anderson may be located, he’s always trying to capture his experience with his gestural style—big, bold, colorful and engaging.

                  To contact Anderson, make an appointment or preview his work, email Anderson at or call (208) 724-6991. For more information, visit

This event is free to attend and refreshments will be served!

Event Location:

The River’s Edge-West

59 North Star Lane, Bozeman, MT 59718

Contact:  Reba Brinkman 406-284-2401

Hoot Owl Restrictions Montana

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has determined that when water flows are lower than average and water temperatures begin to rise over 73 degrees fahrenheit for three consecutive days, fishing pressure can put undue stress on the trout in our local rivers and streams.  Because of that, they enact what is called a Hoot Owl Restriction on certain waters and stretches of rivers during the summer months once they reach this threshold.  Hoot Owl Restrictions restrict fishing from 2:00 PM until midnight each day meaning you can fish during the morning hours until 2:00 PM and then you must stop fishing.  You can still float the rivers after 2:00 PM, just not fishing after that time.  These restrictions are put in place by Montana FWP to protect the trout and the fisheries and will typically last until water temperatures and water flows improve.  For more information about Hoot Owl Restrictions or a current up to date list of all rivers affected, you can visit the Montana FWP Site.  Below is a list of rivers in our immediate area affected by Hoot Owl Restrictions.  If you have any questions or need more clarification, please give us a call at 406-586-5373 or 406-284-2401.  There are still lots of great fishing options.  Thanks!


9/9/2016 Update ***  Current Bozeman Area River Restrictions

Lower Madison River - No Restrictions as of 9/6/2016!

Gallatin River - No Restrictions as of 9/6/2016!

Yellowstone River - All stretches reopened as of 9/23/2016!  ***Please remember to wash, drain and dry all of your equipment before and after heading to the Yellowstone River.  Let's do our part to prevent the further spread of these parasites!


Hoot Owl Restrictions FAQ

Can we still fish on rivers with the Hoot Owl Restrictions?  Yes!  You can still fish from Midnight until 2:00 PM on the stretches of the rivers with Hoot Owl Restrictions.  If you are fishing on those stretches, consider going a little earlier to fish when it is cooler.  Keep in mind that on many of our rivers, just certain stretches of the river have the restrictions so you can fish all day on the rest of the river without the restriction.

Is it bad to fish the stretches of rivers with Hoot Owl Restrictions?  FWP has determined that fishing during the morning hours when the water is cooler is less stressful on the fish in these sections of rivers.  While this may be the case, every river is different.  Some of our rivers are just hovering at the cutoff point in the afternoons but cool off significantly overnight, or may even drop below the temperature thresholds for several days at a time.  We have no problem recommending these rivers or stretches of rivers to fish in the mornings.  Other rivers stay much warmer and really don't cool off overnight.  We would most likely steer you away from those locations despite the fact that you can still legally fish them in the mornings.  Still looking for direction, call us or stop by the shop, we are glad to help.

Is the fishing good on the stretches rivers with Hoot Owl Restrictions?  Depends.  As long as the water is cooling off significantly overnight, the fish will remain active and fishing can still be very good.  On those rivers where the water stays pretty warm throughout the night, fishing will most likely not be as good and we would not recommend you fish those stretches.

Is there anywhere to fish without restrictions?  Yes!  There are still lots of great options for fishing in our area.  The Hoot Owl Restrictions in place are only on certain stretches of our local rivers where they reach a point that they either get too low or too warm or both.  On most of those rivers, there are still significant stretches that have no restrictions limiting fishing hours.  We'd be happy to help steer you to some great fishing locations.

How long will the Hoot Owl Restrictions be in place?  This is up to Mother Nature and Montana FWP.  We usually need some significant change in weather or time of year to see the restrictions lifted.  This usually occurs in early to mid September, but could happen sooner depending on the weather.

Fly Rod Selection - How do I choose?

The fly fishing market can be intimidating as in today's world, there so many different fly rods to choose from.  Sifting through piles of online blogs, manufacturer web sites or piles of brochures picked up at your local fly shop can drive someone crazy as they all tell you they are the best and that they are exactly what you need. With the overload of information avaible today, how is a person to choose?  The fact of the matter is that there are actually many great fly fishing rods on the market. The truth is that all of them will get you out of the water and allow you to catch a fish or two. Most will cast a line decently, present a fly and if all things go well, fool a trout and put a smile on your face. So what's all the fuss about different brands and why is there such a huge price difference between this model or brand and this one? The bottom line (no punn intended) is that just like most things in life, there is quite a difference in how they are built, where they are built and the quality of materials used during the process. While we can argue this point with most consumer products in many different sports, we'll stick to fly fishing rods at the moment.     

Just about all Fly fishing equipment was originally invented on well thought out craftsmanship.  Almost everything our grandfathers fished with, including lines and leaders, were made by hand for decades (who hasn’t heard an elder explain how back in their day they use to make leaders out of cat guts?). True craftmanship gives way to products made with pride and excellence and the end result is typically something the end user can really enjoy. The downside to true craftmanship in today's world is it usually also comes with a price. The most expensive cars in the world are hand build one at a time, and you can tell.  Fine shotguns can be very expensive and are made by hand and when you pull one to your shoulder, you can tell. True craftman built products are typically flawless and there is a real difference.  Craftman built fly rods are no different. Put one in your hand and you can tell.

As the sport of fly fishing has grown and demand for equipment has grown stronger, so has the demand for lesser quality and less expensive options to get anglers started.  This has given rise to products made overseas in larger factories where at the end of the day its not "How well was it built", but "How many did you build?"  Sadly for many of these overseas factories, the craftsmanship has been lost. 

A common statement we often hear is “you can’t buy a bad fly rod these days”.  With trickle down R&D, inexpensive rod manufacturers that mass produce fly rods overseas have the ability to make decent rods that are infinitely better than rods designed even ten years ago. These fly rods must still be crafted by hand with the use of machining, but the time invested in each rod build and skill set varies greatly throughout the industry.  While it's true that these rods are getting more anglers on the water who can enjoy our great sport, it's important to note that there is a real difference between fly rods mass produced overseas and those made here in the USA. The prase "They're just as good as the expensive ones" is simply not true. They are not the same and you can tell.

There’s a big difference between those fly rods that are mass produced and those constructed by trained craftsmen here in the USA.  Workers in factories overseas often make a few dollars per day and their work is judged more by output rather than quality. Its important to recognize that fly rods made by companies such as Sage, Winston or Scott are built right here by people that are also your neighbors, friends and fellow anglers that support you and are dedicated to the angling community. These rods are more expensive because just like you and me, they want to be paid a decent wage to suppor their families, make there house or rent payments and put groceries on the table.  Having visited a few of these manufactureres, you can really tell that these people truly care about the end product they produce and before it leaves the door, they want to be assured its perfect. US made fly rod manufactures have as many as 30, yes THIRTY, sets of hands that touch each rod to make sure that it’s crafted perfectly to the specifications of the model.  These professionals make the decisions behind the grade of chosen materials, manage quality control, and labor costs all the while seeing the process through to the final performance testing of the finished product. If on step 29 the rod is not perfect, it either goes back to be fixed or heads to the recycle bin, but rest assured, it does not go out the door.

When equipment is mass produced, who is overseeing the quality control?  Where is the attention to detail and pride of craftsmanship that goes into creating each individual rod?  Why should that matter to you?  Fact of the matter is maybe it doesn't!  Maybe none of these things matter to you and that's ok but when you go to selecting that new fly rod and you see one made here, one made there, one at this price and one at that price, keep these things in mind.  There really is a difference.  Find the rod that's right for you and your budget and get out and enjoy.


Things to consider when selecting your fly rod.

Casting Style

Everyone has their own casting style, even if you are new to the sport.  To find the right fly rod that acts more like an extension of your body, matches your casting style, it would benefit you immensely to cast a variety of fly fishing rods with someone that has product knowledge.  Is this your first fly rod?  Are you adding a fly rod to the quiver?  What fish will you be targeting with this tool?  What rivers will you be fishing or what part of the country?  Answering these questions before you start looking will most certainly help you determine which fly rod is right for you.  At the end of the day, choose the rod that feels the best in your hand and fits in your budget.


Rod Categories to Consider

The Workhorse, Freshwater multi-purpose - 4wt - 6wt

There’s that one rod that takes you home every time you use it.  Maybe it’s the first quality rod you acquired after learning on that old Pflueger you purchased at a garage sale or a keepsake hand me down that is timeless and rich in history.  A 4, 5 or 6 weight fly rod is the true standard workhorse trout fishing fly rod.  This rod can throw dry flies, drift heavy nymph rigs and cast wooly buggers like a dream.  If you only had to use one rod, this is the workhorse in the quiver. Typically, mid-fast to fast action fly rods will be the most versatile and our here in the west, we prefer 9' rods to shorter or longer on most occastions.  

Dry Fly or Die - 3wt - 5wt

When presenting your dry fly, you are seeking the most delicate presentation.  Most often the water area you are working is 20’-40’ so casting the entire fly line is usually not necessary for a true dry fly fishing rod.  A fly rod that has some touch and feel to it is appropriate here and we prefer rods with a little softer tip to protect our light tippets that we often use when dry fly fishing.  Also, a perfect line match with your rod is essential. Gone are the days where double taper fly lines (DT) are the most popular choice for dry fly anglers.  DTs worked well with full flex or “softer” rods such as Bamboo and Fiberglass, but are not necessarily a great match for mid-flex or tip-flex flyrods of today’s technology.  

Streamers - 6wt - 8wt. Sweet spot: 7wt

Big flies, big fish, we hope!  This isn’t for your lackadaisical, relaxing day on the river as Mozart is playing in your head.  Streamer fishing is Heavy Metal!  It’s non-stop action while really using the most out of your gear.  You will find a lot of opinions about what is the best streamer rod.  The key is to select the best tool depending on your method.  Are you going to be using sinking lines or floating lines?  For either you’ll appreciate selecting a rod with a strong butt section to better control larger fish and a soft, fast tip for casting accuracy and line control.  A mid to fast action rod will cast properly at a variety of distances (better load for shorter shots) where as a fast action will be more appropriate for casting longer distances, especially in wind (however, harder to load with short casts). True streamer rods are meant to do just that, streamer fish.  Again, the appropriate fly line is a big deal here so keep that in mind when heading this direction.

Matching lines with your rod  

Matching a fly rod with the appropriate fly line is crucial to maximizing the performance of the rod.  A bad line will make the rod feel like a dud.  Just imagine putting motorcycle tires on your truck or Monster Truck tires on your Mazda Miata (complete with a rod vault on the roof).  Fly lines have come a long way since the invention of level line.  Weight Forward lines remain the most used due to their versatile performance however there is a vast selection of specialty fly lines that will maximize rod performance.  Keep in mind also that there are many fly lines on the market and that not all 5wt lines are the same.  Some are true line weight lines and others are a half to full line size heavy.  A flyshop professional will be able to help you make the right choice based on your needs (and they love to geek out on these kind of things).  Be sure they ask what kind of rod you are using and what type of fishing you are doing so they can guide you in the best direction.






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