The individual cost to go on a Refuge trip is covered as a gift by the donors who are committed to the vision and mission of Refuge Foundation. COSTS COVERED: ALL meals Beverages Accommodations Guiding fees Guiding tips, and fishing flies. Price does NOT include: Airfare and seasonal fishing licenses.
Many leaders do choose to want to Pay it Forward to another leader. In these cases, checks may be written to:
Refuge Foundation, PO BOX 1857 Billings, MT 59103
Refuge Foundation picks up all of their guests at BILLINGS LOGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT in BILLINGS, MT. The lodges we use are a 1.5 hr car ride southeast of Billings, MT.
1901 Terminal Cir, Billings, Mt 59105
Ph. (406) 657-8495
Try to set up your arrival time into Billings, MT as close to 12:00 pm as possible on the first day of your trip. We also ask that you set your departure time on the last day of your trip at 1:00 pm or later. Shooting for the above arrival/departure times will make it easier to organize the drive to/from the ranch (1.5 hr), keeping costs down and the trip as relaxing as possible.
Our friendly staff and volunteers will pick you up from the Airport in Billings, MT and drive you with a group of other leaders to the Lodge.
These are the items that are nice to have for your fishing trip. Guides usually bring spare stuff (i.e. extra raincoats and spare rods) just in case and can replace flies and tippet during your float for you.
- Polarized Sunglasses to help with glare and to see the fish through the water
- Some category of fleece: a vest, over shirt, jacket. The weather changes often in Montana and if it gets cold fleece helps
- A rain jacket that is waterproof and helps if breathable
- A long sleeved fishing shirt or over shirt to protect from the sun
- A hat to protect from the glare and sun. Can be a ball cap or any type with a front bill or rim.
- Fishing pants: the zip off kind can help if it gets really warm out
- A 5 to 6 Weight Fly Rod with reel Waders: breathable is easier with weather changes.
- Wading boots, if wet wading bring neoprene socks.
- Socks for inside waders or inside neoprene socks.
For those of you who have never done this before most everything on the list can be substituted for by something you probably already own and modified for your specific needs. The only exception to that would be rod, reel, and waders. Rod and reels are available if you do not have one. Waders are also available and all of the information will be asked of you on our registration page. You also will be responsible for getting a 2 X 2 day license as well.
- Personal Clothing & Toiletry Items
- Polartec tops or sweat shirts for warmth.
- 1 – pair of sweat pants for lounging
- 2 – pair of blue jeans
- 2 – button up or long sleeve shirts
- 1 – warm coat to put on top (sometimes the evenings can get cold)
- ? – underwear (again wicking capabilities preferable)
- ? – t-shirts, pair of shorts
- 1 – pair of shoes or sandals to use while lounging
- 1 – toothbrush
- 1 – toothpaste
- 1 – soap and shampoo (biodegradable) – Also provided at the Lodge
- 1 – chap stick 1 – sun block shaving equipment (optional)
- Other Essential Items
- Any personal medication
- 1 – flashlight (extra batteries) – I also like one of those headlamps which are convenient
- 1 – binoculars (optional)
- 1 – camera (I like digital so I pack an extra battery). This is a bit much, but I also carry an underwater casing.
- 1 – mosquito repellant 1 – bottle Advil or equivalent for aches
- 1 – box of cigars (if so inclined) with 2 extra lighters
- Dry bag for carrying your equipment on the boat
The following list is exhaustive and covers everything you would need for your fly fishing trip. This list is for the guy who has everything. For those of you who have never done this before most everything on the list can be substituted with something you probably already own and modified for your specific needs. Please keep in mind Refuge can provide extra fly rods & reels upon request. All waders, boots and belts can be supplied upon request.
- 2 – rods recommended (one as a backup)
- 1 – 9ft 6 weight 1 – 9ft 5 weight
- 2 – reels with at least 5 weight line and 6 weight line (an extra spool of 7 weight might be nice in case of wind)
- 1 – fishing vest
- 1 – Gortex chest waders with stocking feet
- 1 – wading belt
- 1 – felt or rubberized sole wading boots
- 3 – pair of long underwear for use with waders (with wicking capabilities preferable)
- 3 – tops (I use long sleeve wicking tops)
- 3 – t-shirts
- 4 – Pair of socks (with wicking capabilities preferable). I usually bring 8 pair. 4 of medium weight and 4 liners or very light weight (all with wicking capabilities)
- Terminal tackle – bring your favorite standard flies and leader material in an assortment of weights, although our guides should have both flies and leader material available.
- 1 – rain proof jacket with hood (Gortex type is preferable)
- 2 – hats with keepers (just in case you lose one)
- 2 – polarized sun glasses with cords attached (in case you lose one)
- 2 – nippers/forceps (in case you lose one) Strike Indicators Sunscreen
Waders and boots will be ready for you in your size that you give us on our registration page when you arrive. Your 2 x 2 day Montana Fish & Wildlife license can be purchased locally at a fly shop in Ft. Smith, MT.
To purchase your MFW license in advance, please visit: http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/license/
The answer to this question is…we hope not! 🙂
The reality is that cell service is spotty at best at our lodging facilities. We do not have access to internet as well. The nature of a week like this is to get unplugged and reconnect with other leaders and recharge. Our experiences show that cell coverage and wi-fi mitigate that power of a Refuge trip as it keeps you “plugged in” to the stuff happening at work or home that the week is designed to escape for a week.
That being said we always have phones for calling home to wife and kids a few times to check in.