Welcome to Skinny Water Anglers, providing the best Dry Fly Fishing adventures on the rivers of Central and Southwest Montana. Skinny Water Anglers is based in Helena, Montana. The Missouri River near Craig is our home river, 35 miles of water from Holter Dam to Cascade. This tailwater has proven to be the most consistent, high quality fishery in the state of Montana year in and year out. However, we also regularly guide the Clark Fork, Blackfoot, Dearborn, and Jefferson Rivers, as well as a few secluded waters that are better left unmentioned. Some destinations require a little more windshield time, but are often worth the effort.


Michael Kowalski is a native Montanan, born and raised in Cut Bank. “Mitch” as he is known to most clients and fellow guides, has been fly fishing since age 7, and guiding since age 18 in 1991. In 1987, he began rowing a gear boat on overnight float trips on Montana’s Smith River for Paul Roos Outfitters. This became a foundation for his guiding career and a way of life, leading to international guiding opportunities in Patagonian Chile (Rio Palena Lodge) and Andros Island in the Bahamas (Flamingo Cay Rod & Gun Club). He now guides exclusively in near his home in Helena, MT. where he lives with his family.

Alligator Gar copy


Typical trout fishing gear is usually recommended for most of the fishing we do. Accurate 4 and 5 weight rods designed to present dry flies are imperative. When nymph and hopper fishing, we often use 6 weights. For streamers a 7 weight is not uncommon. Remember, the wind can howl in Central Montana, so it’s always a good idea to bring more rod rather than less. Breathable waders and boots are recommended, as is wet wading gear during warm mid-summer months. Sunscreen, hats and polarized sunglasses are just as important as fly rods. Make sure and bring rain gear no matter when you come. Local fly shops carry all of the gear you will need, and some have rentals as well.


Half Day Trip
Beverages (no lunch)
Missouri River only
Customers need to provide MT fishing license and flies
Full Day Trip
Beverages and Lunch
All Rivers
Customers need to provide MT fishing license and flies

Cancellation Policy: Deposits for canceled trips will be refunded in full with a 30 day or more notice. Cancellations within 30 days will forfeit all deposit monies. I understand that unforseen circumstances can lead to canceled trips, and we reserve the right to make refund decisions on a case by case basis. Trips cancelled by the guide or mutual guide/client decision due to weather, state or federal closures, or other uncontrollable circumstances will have the entire deposit refunded.


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