November 14, 2023
Pick up a copy of Fly Fisherman's special publication Gear Guide 2024 here!
We love gear with a story behind it. And because the fly-fishing community is so tightly knit, we also love small, family-owned businesses—so there's a lot to say about the homegrown Montana Casting Co.
Owner Scott Joyner built his first fly rod in 1994, and just a short while later he opened a fly shop in Four Corners, Montana. At that time, Scott and his best friend Craig were both guiding 200 days a year on Montana rivers. When they weren't guiding, they were often together, duck hunting and fishing until one day Scott declined an invitation from Craig. That day, Craig was hit and killed by a drunk driver.
Scott's world was turned upside down by the loss. He stopped guiding, stopped building fly rods, and sold his fly shop. He literally left it all behind and stopped fly fishing for half a decade. He couldn't do it without Craig ... until the day Scott's own son turned 10 and asked his dad to teach him to fly fish.
Today Scott Joyner and his wife Catherine (Cat) own and operate Montana Casting Co. in Helena, Montana, and their adult son Staiger Joyner is in charge of research and development.
Montana Casting Co. has three different rod series named after different public access sites in Montana: Warm Springs, Dearborn, and Craig. We fished the Warm Springs 4-piece rod. It's named after a location on the lower Madison, but the gritty rod works well almost anywhere you can find blue-collar trout from big rivers to small streams in the mountains. We used the Warm Springs to catch native brook trout on a Pennsylvania spring creek, but it's also right at home with westlope cutthroats in Montana's Big Belt Mountains.
Oh, and the family-owned MCC does more than sell rods, they offer machined aluminum performance reels, a lightweight backpacking reel, fly lines, leaders—and all the other components of a perfect cast.
$750 | montanacastingco.com