By Trent Jonas
Whether it’s drifting the Yellowstone with a fly rod or tossing a worm into Flathead Lake from the shore, folks in Montana love to fish. But in order to fish, you’ve got to have the right equipment. And that’s where the local bait shop comes into play. These are our favorite bait and tackle shops in Montana.
Fly anglers who need gear in south-central Montana need look no further than Stillwater Anglers. They are a full-service fly outfitter. They carry rods, reels, pre-tied flies, as well as things you may need to tie your own. Stillwater Anglers also offers guide services and fly fishing lessons.
Robert’s Bait & Tackle is a go-to for anglers in the Great Falls area. Folks love the customer service and are impressed with the depth of the product selection in this locally-owned shop. So, if you need to know how to get on the fish in the Missouri River, stop by Robert’s.
Folks in the Billings area who are hoping to chase trout on the fly can find the gear and tackle that they need at East Rosebud Fly & Tackle. Whether you need clothes, reels, flies, or the equipment and supplies to tie your own, you will find it at East Rosebud.
If you’re looking to fish or ice fish in the Flathead Region, you’ll need some gear and some local knowledge. And Pete’s Tackle Shop in Kalispell is the place to get it. They’re stocked to the gills all the lures, live bait, gear, and supplies you’ll need to get out on the water—whether it’s liquid or solid.
If you’re heading into the Bob Marshal Wilderness with your fly rod, or wading the North Fork of the Blackfoot River, you’re going to want to stop by Blackfoot Angler and Supplies in Ovando. For more than 15 years, they’ve been putting anglers on the fish.
Zimmer Tackle & Bait has been a favorite among northwest Montana anglers—whether they’re heading to Pablo Lake, the Flathead River, or Flathead Lake—for years. Conveniently located in Pablo, stop in for advice on how to hook anything from perch to lake trout.
For more than 30 years, the Madison River Fishing Company has been supplying fly anglers around the world with gear, tackle, clothing. But they’re more than just a catalog and online retailer—they are a legit fly and tackle shop on the Madison River in Ennis. Grab your waders and stop on by.
Anglers hitting the water in Gallatin County can find all the supplies, gear, and bait that they’ll need at Rich’s Tackle in Three Forks. They’ve been supplying specialized tackle, flies, and lures, as well as live bait, to trout and walleye fishermen and women for more than a decade.
Located on Montana’s only blue-ribbon trout stream that’s west of the Continental Divide, Rock Creek Fisherman’s Mercantile is the area’s premier fly shop. Whether you stop by for tackle, free casting and fly tying lessons, or a cup of hot coffee and the latest fishing report, you’ll be glad you did.
Pryor Creek Bait Company, as you may guess, sells live bait. But they also carry all the fishing gear you may need, from standard rods and reels to ice fishing equipment and nets. They even sell logo gear, in case you’re looking for a t-shirt or coffee mug.