Tomorrow is the last day your 2019 license is valid. Be happy, 2020 is a leap year, and you got an extra day of Montana fly fishing this year! Hope you take advantage of the extra day- the weather looks great.
This year, FWP has made some changes in their computerized licensing system. One of the ramifications of this change is 2020 licenses cannot be purchased until March 1. While this may be a bit of an inconvenience, it’s not insurmountable. You can purchase your license on-line at https://app.mt.gov/als/index/index.html or we will be open on Sunday, and happy to get you and your new license together. Again, it’s a bit of a chore, but the licensing fees help keep our fisheries in shape, as well as keeping the rivers and woods free from poachers and other law breakers. Take the time to get your license- don’t fish dirty!
Your new license is going to look a lot different this year as well. Instead of the water-proof paper we’ve all become accustomed to, a Montana fishing license will now be printed on a plain piece of white paper. This may cause issues for some, especially hunters who will need to tag their game. FWP recommends carrying your tags and licenses in a Zip-Loc bag, which needs to be provided by the license holder.
New for 2020, your license is now valid if you carry a copy of it on your smart phone. While we understand not all license holders utilize this technology, for those who do this is very convenient. If you’re looking to reference this, on page 12 of the 2020 Fishing regulations, this statement is made- “A license on your smart phone is acceptable.” While the paper license may be a bit of an inconvenience, the ability to legally carry your license on your phone will make the use of paper much more acceptable.
Be ready for a few hiccoughs as we all gather to get our licenses. Keep in mind that this too shall pass, and long after we’ve forgotten it was a tiny hassle to schedule getting our licenses, we’ll be casting skwalas, dreaming of Salmon Flies and hoping for BWO’s through November. Happy fishing!