As we head into a drought year with at least some fishing restrictions, we thought we’d throw a long overdue shout-out to our friends at Phasmid Rentals (now Explore Rentals) in Bozeman. Owner Will Cassella has been a customer for years and runs an excellent 4 Wheel Drive/Camping/Boat Rental operation that many of our customers utilize.
If I could give one piece of advice during a low-water/hot weather year, it’s to BE MOBILE. The ability to quickly changes plans and rivers allows you to work around unexpected closures, poor fishing and sometimes the weather. Mobility means camping, not the typical hotel/lodge accommodations.
Camping means you’re either going to drive to Montana (can be thousands of miles) -or- ship some camping gear here ahead of your visit -or- go to Wally World and buy a crappy tent, sleeping bag, etc. to be left in the airport dumpster. Flying this kind of gear out has simply become too expensive, and the airline pain-in-the-ass factor has become intolerable.
Or, you can rent all of this stuff from Explore Rentals. It starts with a Suburban or Outback, and you go from there. You can add a camper or an NRS Freestone Inflatable Drift boat (one of our favorites). You can choose between multiple sleeping options, including the “Zzz” setup to crash in your car, or a variety of tents, sleeping pads and bags. A variety of cooking kits, coolers, tables, camp chairs, etc. is available. Explore even rents Bear Spray and two-way radios. The list is enormous.
While you won’t be as comfortable as you would staying in a nice riverside cabin with a shower and Satellite TV, you can quickly and easily move to where the fishing is best. And you get to do a little “roughing it”, which is good for you. Watch the sun go down on the bank of a different river each night, including some of those lesser fished places that don’t have services.
We’ve heard nothing but great things from our customers who have utilized Explore Rentals, and they’ve grown considerably in the last few years. If you are in the planning stages of a Montana fly fishing trip for later this summer – and you don’t mind sleeping on a pad instead of a bed – we highly recommend that you check out this option. Fly to Bozeman, pick everything up and then go where the fishing is the best.