Growing up along the Yellowstone River in Billings, Montana, Dan Vermillion and his two brothers learned to fly-fish for trout when they were kids.

Vermillion: “It really requires you to be very plugged into what’s going on in the environment around you – on the water, in the air, with the sun.”

As adults, the brothers started a company called Sweetwater Travel. They lead fishing trips around the world, including in their home state.

But Vermillion says fly-fishing conditions in Montana are not what they used to be.

Vermillion: “The waters are just getting increasingly warm.”

Rising air temperatures are partly to blame. Plus, as mountain snowpack decreases, there’s less meltwater flowing into rivers. And with less water, the rivers heat up even faster.

When rivers get too warm, coldwater fish get stressed and can even die. So when conditions are really bad, fishing is sometimes prohibited.

Vermillion: “We have had to definitely adjust our operations.”

They've shifted many trips from August, which used to be the prime #fishing month, to June. Click To Tweet

For example, they’ve shifted many trips from August, which used to be the prime fishing month, to June.

For now, Vermillion’s business is still going strong.

But experts warn that climate change poses permanent threats to the region’s trout – and to the people that depend on them.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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