Our Mission

To inspire dedicated stewardship of aquatic ecosystems while increasing the knowledge, professionalism, and ethics of fishing outfitters, guides, and the fly fishing industry.

Why we created Guiding for the Future.

In August 2016, 183 miles of the Upper Yellowstone River and its tributaries were closed to all water-based recreation due to a mass die-off of fish. To many of us in Montana’s fishing industry, this unprecedented closure was a huge wake-up call for two reasons. First, that business as usual will not suffice. And second, that it falls to us as certified guides and professionals to advocate for the health of these watersheds.

Montana’s rivers are the life blood of the state’s environment and economy. They continue to face increased demands to supply water, recreation, and environmental services. These demands — particularly in the face of increasing periods of drought and other stressors — affect the rivers’ resilience and fisheries, as well as the potential for conflict among users. This, in turn, impacts the future of our industry and appreciation of these beautiful places where we’re lucky enough to work.

“This course increased and improved my general knowledge of the key issues in my profession and gave me a better understanding of the landscape in which I work.”

Spring 2019 Cohort

2019 Course Attendee

Core Values and Objectives:


Provide our graduates with a strong core competence around the history, regulation, ethics, hydrology, biology, hydrology, and management. Our curriculum offers a depth of knowledge around pertinent issues, qualifying it as a valuable credential for outfitters and guides.


Help hone a cadre of more adept and skillful guides while seeking to provide tangible benefits for participating guides (e.g., more trips, better business dealings, additional pro-deals, as a FOAM member better rates on liability insurance).


Improve communications among fishing guides, the fly fishing industry, management agencies, landowners, and other river stakeholders for increased cooperation, reduced conflict, and improved fisheries.


Create a corps of engaged fishing guides who 1) are advocates and stewards of rivers and aquatic systems, 2) routinely participate in monitoring and assessment efforts, and 3) engage their clients and fellow citizens in the same.

About the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana.

With more than 800 members, FOAM has been Montana’s primary resource for professional guides and outfitters since 1978. In addition to offering services like insurance, our mission is to represent our members, provide political unity, promote the fishing industry, monitor fishing regulations, and more.

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