HEADHUNTERS WILL BE CLOSED FROM SATURDAY, MARCH 28 thru FRIDAY APRIL 10. THE STATE OF MONTANA HAS IMPLEMENTED A “STAY AT HOME” ORDER DURING THAT PERIOD. ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESS’ MUST CLOSE. FISHING IS ALLOWED, AS LONG AS SOCIAL DISTANCING PRINCIPALS ARE OBSERVED. We are available all the time via phone or email.
Montana now has nearly 100 COVID-19 cases, with a potential hotspot in Bozeman/Gallatin County. We have not had any cases reported in the Wolf Creek/Craig area, but there have been a few cases reported in Great Falls and Helena. Last weekend saw a hug influx of Montana’s enjoying the river, campsites and some nice weather, so who knows where it actually is. Internal discussions have turned into actions in the past week, as has happened all over the country try. Step by step we have implemented changes to our operation intended to protect both customers and our staff from COVID-19.
You can count on us being honest about the prevalence of COVID-19 at our shop, among our staff and in Craiglandia. We will not be allowing any of our staff or guides to come to work if they are symptomatic of COVID-19.
THE SHOP – CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 10
The shop is now running has a “takeaway” operation, using the side window by the point-of-sale to allow customers to purchase flies, indicators, tippet, etc. The front door is locked, but we will allow you in if there is something in particular that you would like check out (rods, reels, etc.). In general, however, we are trying to keep folks out.
Please try to buy your fishing license on-line instead of the shop.
There will likely be only one or two of us around as we run this light crew. Hours will also be reduced from 8am until 3 or 4pm depending on traffic.
GUIDED TRIPS – CANCELLED UNTIL APRIL 10
Many of our customers have rescheduled their guided fishing trips for later in the year. We have made our deposit policy as flexible as possible to accommodate any changes – no matter how last minute – that you need to make.
We have had some trips out this week, and fishing has been excellent. We will still be offering our guided trips/spring special, but ate this point it is more of a day trip for those local to Craig. We have closed the Craig Trout Camp (see more below) so out of area anglers will have to find lodging in Helena or Great Falls, unless you can find someone in the Canyon willing to rent you a room.
If you do go on a guided trip, expect to make meet time arrangements, etc. directly with your guide.
LODGING – CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 10
We are closing our lodging operations until April 1, at which time we will re-assess. If you have lodging booked with us in the near future, Julie will be giving you a call about rescheduling or other options. Many not you will have already taken care of this along with guided trips.
GUIDING AND LODGING CANCELLATION POLICY CHANGES
We have already communicated to our guests who have trips booked prior to June 1 that we will be altering our cancellation policy for guided trips and lodging. From now until the end of May, you can alter your reservation inside of 30 days (without forfeiting your deposit), as long as you use the deposit to book another trip in 2020/21. You can do this right up to the last day before your trip. This will allow you to keep your reservations in place, and if illness or COVID-19 travel restrictions prevent you from coming at the last minute, you won’t be out of pocket. Most of the customers we’ve talked to are concerned about travel restrictions, not illness, but we feel this addresses both issues. Feedback so far has been very positive.
This would also apply to any trips in that time frame booked in the future. And yes, it may surprise you too hear that we are taking new bookings every day!
For trips after June 1, we will address that when the time comes. If COVID-19 is still prevalent and interfering with peoples health and travel, we will continue the “bump it forward” policy. Whatever happens in the future, we will try to be as flexible and sympathetic as possible.
SHUTTLES – CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 10
As I write this, I just finished doing the last shuttle we will do for awhile. This has been a tough call. We know that no matter what, there will be a demand for shuttles, and we certainly want people to be out enjoying the river, not stuck at home. But how to protect drivers and customers? Impossible.
RENTAL BOATS – CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 10
If you’re not doing shuttles, your not renting boats. Unfortunately we are suspending all rental boats until this passes.
THINGS YOU CAN DO
There’s a couple of things you can do to help us. If you’re going on a guided trip, plan on bringing your own water bottle, and keep it clean while you’re here. And please don’t be offended if you don’t get a big hug (or handshake) from our staff when you arrive. Practice social distancing around Craig, and if you feel ill and don’t know what to do, contact a member of our staff and they will help you out (likely from a distance!). We do have a couple of high-risk members of our staff, so please be sensitive to that.
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
We will try and keep up with this as quickly as possible, but as you are all aware, things are changing quickly.
Thanks for your patience.
John Arnold & Mark Raisler
THIS POST WILL BE EDITED IF CONDITIONS CHANGE IN OUR REGION.