Hatch Adventures, based in Montana, makes it easier than ever to travel light and get into heavy Big Sky fly fishing.
Now you can rent a fully stocked camping and fishing rig combo to fish your own path through southwest Montana. The area is not lacking in epic fisheries or wilderness opportunities.
Within a couple hours’ drive of Hatch Adventures‘ Bozeman, Mont., headquarters are Yellowstone and Glacier national parks; the infamous Madison, Smith, Ruby, and Big Horn rivers; and other pristine natural trout waters.
Overview: Hatch Adventures Fishing Rentals
Hatch Adventures was formed by two Montana natives looking to provide an easy way for people to access the area at their own pace without the restrictions of packing heavy gear and being limited to outfitters’ schedules.
Its arsenal of rigs includes Toyota Tacomas and Jeep Wranglers equipped with top-mounted platforms from Go Fast Campers. It also offers Northwest River Supplies (NRS) 14-foot 2-inch rafts and deluxe fly fishing frames to tow behind. Rentals start at $100 per day and increase with added time and gear.
Hatch offered me a rental to see how its program stacks up. Read on for my experience using a Hatch rentals truck and boat on a recent trip.
Fall Is for Serious Anglers
Once school starts back up, most of the tourists vanish and the locals divert their attention to hunting. This leaves Montana wide open for trout-hungry, fly-rod-wielding adventurists.
Autumn’s lower evening temps create more productive environments for big trout. It also brings perfect camping weather to kick back at night around a fire and curl up in a warm sleeping bag outdoors.
One of the best things about renting from Hatch Adventures is that all you need to bring is your favorite fishing gear and a sleeping bag. Rigs are outfitted with the camping gear needed to spend the whole day on the river and countless nights camping.
I took out the Tacoma with my family. Every time I needed something, right down to a trash bag, it was loaded inside. Having all the checklists fulfilled already left us a lot more time to explore and enjoy our trip.
The equipment is so easy to use, you don’t need to be an outdoors guru to manage. The Hatch Adventure office runs the policy and procedures overview efficiently. We were on our way in no time. The crew dialed us on the Tacoma and camper combo quickly.
We went through your typical rental agreement, and then straight outside for a brief but thorough explanation on how to erect and close down the tent. There were no tent poles or instructions to worry about. Just pop the latch, and it’s set up. To close, just fold down the top, tuck in the tent on the sides, and slide the latch.
The Tacoma also boasts a frame system over the bed with pop-out windows. This gives easy access to your gear or provides a shaded hangout area during the day.
When it came time to set sail, I was a little anxious about launching and maneuvering the raft. I have limited experience with rowing drift boats, but I have more time rowing smaller rafts. I swiftly adjusted and felt solid.
My husband and I took turns rowing, and we floated the Madison River with my 7-year-old daughter, Emmy. She had plenty of room, and I felt she was very safe on the raft. The craft was super durable and smooth on the water. Basic rowing skills will get you by on most waterways in the area.
The only downside for me was no anchor. Back East, I’m used to dropping the anchor to set up on a fish and using it for pulling into shore. We suggested it be an option for those who are more comfortable, and Hatch Adventures seemed receptive to the idea.
You Get What You Pay For, and It’s a Lot!
The rental fees are very reasonable. The pop-up camper rentals are stocked with a nice-size cooler, camp grill with propane, camp table and chairs, cookware, coffee pot, flashlights, and a cushioned sleeping area. Additionally, there are sleeping bags, pillows, and bear spray for rent.
The raft rentals include a fully inflated and rigged raft on a trailer. The raft includes a complete kit to hit the water: the NRS fishing frame, NRS Anchor System, oars, cooler, dry bag, life jackets, pump, and repair kit. Tow the raft or schedule for delivery to your fishing spot.
Raft rentals cost $100 per day. The Tacoma Truck Camper rents out starting at $225 per day. And the Jeep Camper costs slightly less but also has less room inside; lacking the truck bed storage, it rents at $200 per day. There are also longer-duration discounts and lower off-season rates advertised on HatchAdventures.com.
In addition to pricing, you can find an extensive F.A.Q. on the site. The owners are happy to share local insider knowledge and point you in the right direction. The wealth of helpful information includes good eats, great fishing, and camping spots off the beaten path.
One Last Cast
Fly fishing Montana style is definitely more enjoyable with the right gear. My family was able to access so much more water and make trip decisions on the fly, no pun intended, thanks to the convenience of our Hatch Adventures mobile.
It was much easier to not deal with scheduling an outfitter, boat delivery, or car rentals. We felt at home on the road, and we’ll surely be using one of these rigs again.
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