montana fishing licenses

Montana Fishing License Information

Outdoor recreation in Montana is among the state's top industries, generating $7.1 billion dollars and providing over 71,000 jobs. Fishing is a major contributor to these numbers for obvious reasons given the fact that we have around 34 million acres of public land hosting some of the world's best trout fisheries.

Montana fishing licenses are a crucial component to maintaining and enhancing the fly fishing experience for all Montanan and out-of-state visitors. The relatively higher cost of licenses for non-residents occasionally receives criticism, but just remember it goes to an extremely important cause...and it's cheaper than golf!

Licenses vary depending on how many days you are planning to fish. There are 2-day, 4-day, 10-day and season licenses available. All of our local fly shops in Ennis, Montana provide Montana fishing licenses. You are also able to purchase your fishing license online in advance of your trip. The process for buying a Montana fishing license online is simple and easy. We highly recommend getting your fishing license prior to your arrival at Madison Valley Ranch, but if not, don't worry we'll help you take care of that before you first guide trip!

Anglers 12 and older

Children under 12 years old DO NOT need a Montana fishing license. Everyone else does. During the license buying process you'll be asked to provide some basic personal information including contact information & the last 4 of your social. Your license validity will be based on how many days you plan on fishing. Please note that you do not need a license while fishing within the boundaries of our property, but you will if you fish elsewhere.

Kids fishing in Montana
Fishing regulations for the Madison River.

Montana Fishing Regulations

Each Montana fishery has its own unique regulations. Each river's specific regulations can vary depending on the section you are fishing and the time of year.

It is important to inquire about certain fishing methods either with your guide, our staff, or using the Montana Fishing Regulation booklet available online or at local fly shops.

The Madison River is catch-and-release. Up to 2 barbed hooks are permitted. Madison Valley Ranch and Eaton Outfitters are strictly catch-and-release operations regardless of regulations.

2024 Montana Fishing License Fees

Montana Fishing Licenses can be purchased online using the link below or at any of the fly shops near Ennis, Montana. It's a quick and easy process either way. To legally fish in Montana you must have a conservation license and an invasive species pass along with a valid Montana fishing license. Those fees are included in the total fishing license costs below.

2024 Nonresident Fees (16 and older)

  • 1 Day: $31.50 ($14 per additional days)
  • 5 Day: $73.50 ($14 per additional days)
  • Season: $117.50

2024 Nonresident Fees (12-15 years old)

  • 1 Day: $24 ($14 per additional day)
  • 5 Day: $66 ($14 per additional day)
  • Season: $110

2023 Montana Resident Fees (18-61 years old)

  • 2 Day: $11
  • Season: $31
Buy a License Here