Sportfishing Guided Trips
We are a father/son duo, dedicated to love and art of multi-species angling. We were blessed by the fish gods and granted a very special gift on the water. I am the fourth generation of what we refer to as “Jiggin’ the Dream”. Branding ourselves as Montana’s most diverse and dedicated anglers we have been asked for years if we do guided trips. With an insane and contagious passion for helping others, we decided it was time to follow our dream and share our love of fishing with you! In the spring of 2014, my father and I took the USCG “OUPV Six- Pack Captain’s License” course to become certified charter boat captains to legally and safely provide you with a magical angling experience on the water. With over seventy years combined experience on our local bodies of water and dad pioneering the ultralight jig fishing movement and becoming a local legend; you will not find more knowledgeable guides. Our sincere promise to you is that we will be the hardest working and most genuine guides you will ever meet!
You see, it is our story that builds the brand and the dream. By the time I was ten, I had boated more big walleyes and brown trout than most grown men. The catch was, I didn’t hook these fish on my own; I had a father who was a humble sharer. Instilling his passion into my veins, he created what we joke about as a “monster” in the great outdoors! By handing down his ethical and caring devotions, I learned quickly the power of helping others. I have been beyond blessed by fish of all sizes and now my dream is to let others feel those very same goose bumps that explode from my arms when they experience what I have. We absolutely cannot wait to have a chance to share our passion with you! We breathe through our gills and high five with slime! Cheers to “Jiggin’ the Dream”
“I am Haunted by Waters” -Norman Maclean
What To Expect
“Some days are diamonds, some days are rocks” -Tom Petty
But, in our opinion all days spent on the water are awesome! Some days we boat fifty plus huge rainbow trout and other days we work hard to get half a dozen bites. But that’s fishing! And we will always be handed something by Mother Nature herself that will last of lifetime in the ol’ memory box! Maybe even a fourteen pound walleye!
We specialize on the Upper Missouri River system near Helena, MT. We focus on Canyon Ferry, Hauser and Holter Lakes. And our favorite and dearest to our hearts is the magical and enchanting Gates of the Rocky Mountains which is the riverine portion on upper Holter Lake. It is one of the most beautiful and scenic places on this earth…not to mention the multi-species opportunity that waits! It is also rich with history and Montana heritage. We also spend a great deal of time on eastern Montana’s massive Fort Peck Lake and the Columbia River near the Tri-Cities in Washington.
A Big Brown Trout from the Gates of the Rocky Mountains
Nestled between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks is the Gates of the Rocky Mountains which is located 20 short miles north of Helena, MT. We refer to it as the “Heart” of Montana and the true “last best place” in Montana. This riverine portion of upper Holter Lake is surrounded by almost 30,000 acres of wilderness that is alive with a multitude of wildlife and exploding with flora and fauna. It is truly one of the most magnificent places on earth with its riveting canyon walls and remarkable formations. Regular wildlife sightings include bald eagles, falcons, bear, goats, sheep, elk, deer, antelope and even friendly families of otters. This section of river was founded by Lewis and Clark over 200 years ago on their great journey. It was on the evening of July 19, 1805 that Captain Lewis presented this area its forever name, “The Gates of the Rocky Mountains” There is not a trip we take that we don’t get goosebumps thinking about their great discovery. There are original Indian pictographs along the limestone cliffs and a fortune of history at the Coulter, Merriweather and Mann Gulch areas. The famous author and poet, Norman Maclean, even wrote a book on the 1949 Mann Gulch fire that claimed the lives of 13 smokejumpers called “Young Men and Fire”. Having a foundation in this area, it was an easy decision to name my daughter Maclean. Don’t forget to ask us to show you the great eagles nest, the cookie monster in the cliffs and the sleeping giant!
Bear video I shot on a trip last summer
We offer a little bit of everything rather its chasing big brown trout or having a wild time with jumbo perch and eater sized walleye. Our highest recommended trip is a multi-species day of fishing. We can go out in the morning and catch walleye and perch (so you can have fish tacos) then go chase monster trout in the afternoon on the fly rods or spinning rods. Or, if your dream is to catch a walleye well into the teens we are your best bet. Remember, we are passionate about sharing and teaching you new skills is our favorite! After a day on the water with us, we can confidently send you home knowing you learned the famous “Johnson Jig” method. Learn how to use the Kit’s Tackle Glass Minnows or dig into our secret vault fly box. We promise a fishing adventure that will last a lifetime in both skill and memory!
Time of year will dictate fishing techniques and recommended location and targeted species. We offer trips twelve months of the year. In fact, even the months of December and January are incredible for open water jigging for trout! The main species we target on the upper Missouri River lakes are rainbow trout, brown trout, walleye and perch. Upper Missouri Lake trips are based out of Helena and Great Falls, Montana. We target Walleye and bass on the Columbia River in WA which is based around the Tri-Cities. Walleye, Pike, Bass, Lake Trout and Crappie are the species we target on Fort Peck Lake. Fort Peck Lake trips are based out of Rock Creek in the springtime and Hell Creek later in the year. Rock Creek is just south of the town of Fort Peck and Hell Creek is just north of Jordan MT.
The “Johnson Jig” Package
A multi-species day of fishing at the Gates of the Rocky Mountains! We will use the “Johnson Jig” technique to fish for a variety of species throughout the day including jumbo yellow perch, walleye and bruiser rainbow trout. Also a chance at a brown trout as long as your leg! This trip is also available on any of the lakes we offer for the different species available.
Client Aaron Adams with a chunky Chrome Rainbow Trout
The “Wallnetto” Package
If you’re like me and dream of walleye all day long, this is the trip for you. Before the trip we will consult with you about desired location and interest. We might be tossing 1/8 ounce Glass Minnows on Canyon Ferry where we won 10k Sunrise Tournament in 2012 or we might be pulling #7 Berkley Flicker shads behind planer boards on Lake Helena which is connected to Hauser Lake.
WE ARE VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT PROVIDING FOR THE FUTURE OF FISHING AND CATCH AND RELEASE OF WALLEYE OVER 20".
We carry a camera and GoPro so we can do a wonderful job preserving your fish for a lifetime of memories. We are also happy to take all necessary measurements to do a beautiful replica mount if you desire.
Client Jay Petrone with a giant 14 lb Gates of the Rocky Mountains Spring Walleye
The “National Lampoon Family” Package
A fun filled family friendly day of fishing and education. We will target the most available species to keep the kids busy throughout the day! Then have a fun shore lunch and even take a short hike and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Summertime and the Jiggin’ is easy!
The “This Ain’t No Kid Fish” Package
There is a chance at a fish of a lifetime on any trip you take with Kit’s Tackle; but if you would like to grind it out and learn the targeted methods we use to continually catch monster fish we are happy to share. And heck, you might even get a 30’’ brown trout! Or at least get one to follow to the boat which will require a change of underwear! So don’t forget to bring a change of shorts and remember to pack a cooler full of patience on these trips!
A huge Brown Trout from the LOG!
The “LOG (Land of the Giants) Fly Fishing” Package
One of the most sought after trips in America right now is right out our back door. From where our jet boat sits in the driveway it is only eleven short miles to the ramp. This is the riverine portion of the Missouri River below Hauser Damn. Our Outfitter Josh Steinmetz actually coined the term “LOG” years ago for the area’s consistent huge trout. For the fly line junkies, this is it. Trout averaging 20" with lots of fish into the mid-twenties and some larger. This stretch of river requires a jet boat for safe and proper navigation. And if you’re new to fly fishing there is no reason to be intimidated. This is a great stretch for dry fly action, streamers and the best summertime nymphing in the world. In the months of July and August we average 30-50 fish days on monster trout. Don’t forget to ask about Land of the Giants 2!!
The "Wild Card" Package
These trips are based out of WHEREVER YOU want! We are happy to offer days with the jig rods and the fly rods meaning we can catch walleye and perch in the morning then chase trout on the fly line in the afternoon. We can do amazing multi-species trips on Fort Peck Lake in the months of May, June and July. Big walleye, huge northern pike and explosive smallmouth bass are waiting for you! Ever caught a 40’’ pike on a fly rod?? Or, take a trip with us on the Columbia River and chase the dream at a twenty pound walleye in the months of Jan-March!
The "Greenhorn" Package
We have the tools and the knowledge to teach you any style of fishing for any species of fish. We are very patient teachers on the water and will have you “Jiggin’ the Dream” in no time! These are very rewarding trips for us! So even if you hold your reel upside down…we will have you kicking butt by days end! Our promise!
***With any trip you choose we always like to consult with the recipient to make it the perfect trip for YOU! Before scheduling your trip we will discuss species of interest and the different types of techniques (jigging, rigging, cranking, nymphing, ripping streamers or touching down with dry flys) you would like to learn on your adventure. We can do any type of custom trips from night fishing for walleyes to catching open water burbot! THIS IS YOUR TRIP!
Open water Burbot at the Gates of the Rocky Mountains
|Per Additional Person||$100|
|Up To 2 Persons||$450|
|Per Additional Person||$100|
***Please ask us about our different specials and multi-day discounts!
MILITARY DISCOUNTS - We donate trips every year to our blessed veterans.
Included in your price is all the necessary top gear and tackle for the day on the water. We provide life jackets and a first aid kit is available on board. We also take nice pictures and video if you would like. We provide all non-alcoholic beverages and snacks and a very nice lunch! We also provide some awesome fish and good times! And we will fillet your catch.
What To Bring On Your Trip
Believe it or not, even in July it can be chilly on the water so we recommend bringing warm clothes. Sunglasses or a form of eye protection is a must. And make sure to bring that valid fishing license or we can’t leave the dock!
Here is a short list:
- good attitude
- fishing license
- warm clothes
- sunglasses or eye protection
- special medications
- anything YOU want to have with
- cooler with ice (if you plan on taking fish home)
Fueling up with a nice lunch to keep the casting arm going is important! We offer a wide variety of options and enjoy cheffing up something special for you!
Our menu ranges from delicious ham sandwiches to my wife’s famous tortilla soup to a big ol’ rocky mountain elk burger on the BBQ. And for the extra adventurous eater, we even have mountain lion cheddar brats! Let’s just say nobody will go hungry on our boats!
How To Book A Trip
It’s simple, give us a call or an email and we can consult with you about the perfect time and get you scheduled. We require a 50% deposit at the time of booking which is 100% refundable if you cancel at least ten days before the trip. Kit’s Tackle will use its best discretion on certain circumstances. But we are in the business of having fun…not taking people’s money who can’t fish. And if the weather stinks…we can reschedule if you want!
|Trevor Johnson||406.459.2841||U.S. Coastguard Number: 3589830|
|Kit Johnson||406.459.5206||U.S. Coastguard Number: 3582779|
We are blessed to be licensed booking agents and operate under the king of the river:
Steinmetz Outfitters #9388
Captain Josh Steinmetz
3197 Holmberg Drive
Helena, MT 59602