Monday Missouri River Labor Day Fishing Report
We have said it many times already this late summer and will have to say it again…
The fishing right now on the Missouri River outside of Craig Montana is about as good as it gets. We are gonna have a fabulous September! Honest.
Fact and Fiction for todays fishing report. We will tell you truths, and the lies. Many of you won’t believe the lies part, but that is the difference between admitting your faults, shedding your fears, and learning. I like to put fish in the net. That is my goal. To catch the fish. Truly an opt in deal here on the Mo.
Fact: The blind dry fly fishing is off the hook. Dread drift it. 18″-36″ moving water. Ants. Small hopper patterns. Try a skittering tan sz 16 caddis by itself or dangling off of another fly.
Fact: A spent caddis or a Translucent Emerger or a Buzzball picks up all of the remaining trout near your lead fly.
Fiction: Short leaders coupled with drifts badly dragging does not qualify as skittering. That is considered dragging. The fish, open mouths, will tell you if your drift is good.
Fact: Longer leaders coupled with long tippet lengths do attract more takes. Better drifts catch more fish.
Fact: Turning the leader over straight, with no slack in the equation, after the landing of the fly, is not what you want that leader and tippet section to do. Dudes like to straighten it out with nymphs too. That too is bad. Sinks slower man. Flies that land on the surface with no slack, like turning over the leader, straightening it out…do not drift well. This is fact. Many anglers believe, generally males, that landing you outfit perfectly straight is the correct thing to do. I ask you…“Where did you hear/learn that?” I’m looking forward to hearing the response from the audience. I am speaking directly to dry fly angling here my fishy friends.
Fiction: All hopper eating trout lie 1″ from the bank. True on big freestones. Totally false on the Missouri River. They also live in the center. Near and around subsurface structure. Commonly the bank is too shallow for fish to hold here on the Mo. And if you are fishing the left bank at 3pm…you may be about 5 hours too late to the party. Most fish the left bank. That is fact.
Fact: More pressure on the river this month than last. September will fish strong. But I gotta tell you folks that August fished as well as I can remember. Truly amazing trout fishing.
Fact: Nymphers will be fishing short most of the time. 2′-3′ will be the entire length of the common Mo River nymph rig for September and October. 4′ will be a long rig. Start at the 4′ end and move it accordingly. IF the fish are not eating the fly, you are probably in the wrong zone. Move it up or drop it down.
Fact: Sow, Scuds, Callibaetis sized PT’s for the lead fly. Any small techy sz 18 to sz 20 will suffice. Tiny and Techy. Buy bags of Pinch-Ons Palsa Tabs from Headhunters Fly Shop. Come in and we will line you out on the proper rigging systems. We are the education fly shop here in Craig.
Fiction: You don’t have to fish below Holter Dam. But if you do you will be treated to our large below the dam rainbows. The entire river is fishing well.
Fact: Trico’s for another couple weeks.
Fact: The Callibaetis fly is around in big enough numbers to get fish looking upwards in those soft and silty runs. When you find a single fish feeding all by his lonesome, float a Callibaetis near him and watch him turn.
Hot Tip: When you find a trout moving back and forth several feet to eat dries, don’t float the fly right down the center of his lane. Float it on the outside of his feeding width. Making the fish move aggressively, turning on the fly, is a fantastic eat. Aggressive eats create more hookups. Think about aggressive feeding behaviors. Make the fish commit, make him move for the fly. Make him eat the fly.
Fact: CraigLodging.com is your Missouri River Lodging Source. 35+ properties to satisfy your riverside lodging needs here on the Mo.
Fact: Slack line casts catch more dry fly fish.
Fact: When fishing for tour sipping Trico spinners, the first cast is the best cast. The first drift. That is the one they eat.
Fiction: The longer you spend casting at a fish the better your chances. Diminishing returns. Spend the time on the front end preparing to catch him. Fish don’t get corrective fishing behaviors. They are not rational creatures. Fish are instinctive creatures. That is fact.
Fact: Headhunters open daily 7am til 7pm. Open first and open last. Come by after your fishing day and peruse our Summer Sale Items, demo rods, fly lines, and more fly fishing gee-gaws you truly ned dangling from your vest…