Category Archives: Fishing Report
Really good fishing these days folks.
On any stretch of river you may find Caddis, Yellow Sally’s, a few remaining March Browns, BWO’s, Midges…keep the dry fly rod at the ready because you will need it.
Montana Fishing Report | Missouri River
Nymphing is heating up too, at least the fly selections have moved from Pink or Firebead only. Now you can use a PMD nymph, Yellow Sally, caddis, March Brown, midge…whatever you like to dangle subsurface is usually a good idea.
Anglers really spread out throughout the water from the dam to Cascade. Have fun out there, it is really fantastic.
Fish can be found not only on the soft sides but on the hard banks int he afternoons too. Anywhere you find bugs on the surface, you can find dish sub-surface…if you dig that sort of thing.
Flows are up at 4120cfs and should creep higher as we get closer to June. The water temps are magical at 54F. Honest. That is a great temp and the fish are damn happy.
Light winds and overcast skies will greet you on your next fly fishing journey to the Mo. Look for rising fish all day if you wish, they are out there…all you gotta do is find them. BWO Spinners can fool them, cripples too. How about the almighty Buzzball or a Half Dun Hatching. Emergers is a another bug you should have in your box.
June will be the month to be here this year folks. July is always great, so we need not talk about that. And, July is booked, save for a few days near the end of the month. Plan your June trip today and get in on some really sick PMD hatches with the ubiquitous caddis riverwide. You like dry fly angling? Yah, we thought so!
Lodging for the summer is dwindling if that is something you are interested in. Call Julie, Sara, or Ninch at the shop to get it squared away. Then, dream until your Missouri River Fly Fishing Dream Trip arrives.
Shop is open at 7am and open late til 8pm the front end of the week and 9pm on weekends. So, get on out here and get on some trout yo! We will see you here for the river’s best fly selection, the most knowledgeable staff, the freshest guides, and the best damn free Folger’s perked coffee int he canyon.
Good weather for the upcoming week. We like the overcast conditions. The trout do too.
Finishing up from the 7th Annual Craig Caddis Festival yesterday and moving forward to the busy week ahead. The trout are feeding well. The nymphing damn good, the dry fly bite expanding daily, and the streamer fishing is coming on too.
Montana Fishing Report | Missouri River
The recent conditions certainly help the bugger crowd. They are a joyous bunch.
Fishing is fine riverwide with many enjoying a different stretch everyday. Come and try a new reach the next time up? You may like it.
Shoot, try fishing a day where all you do is dry fly fish. Or if you are a staunch DFO feller, try sinking something. You both will learn a ton bout fishing the Missouri. If you are a streamer guy, try live baitin’. Should work. Continual learning is positive.
Look at the water temps and you will see we are nearing the best time of the year. May and June temps are conducive to leaping fish. Trout love 54F-57F. If you cannot make it in June, then come see us in October. I strongly suggest you look at your angling calendar and seriously contemplate getting on the Missouri River June 2013. It is gonna be quite good. Reminiscent of some of the drought years in the early mid 2000′s. Good stuff.
Lots of new flies in the shop if you have not stocked up in a while. Stop in and see Ninch, Thomas, Sara, Jess, or any of the staff and have them recommend a few hot flies.
The Dearborn River is open for fishing and we got flies for your voyage. Shuttles available as well. Swing by on your way to the Dearborn and we will take care of you.
All methods are on the table this week as many are employing the short leash in the afternoon. Deep in the morning. The Dry Fly Coalition can nearly fill the day with headhunting. Creep downstream and locate some sipping trout. Bank anglers are enjoying the lower flows accessing lots of river. It’s WFO man.
Shop open daily 7am til 9pm. We will see you in Craig this week for some Headhunting…
Thanks to Michael White and Nick English of Blue Ribbon Sales, our SIMMS Reps, for BBQ’ing and contributing to the Craig Caddis festival. These guys bring it! Carne Asada on corn torts with a fantastic Pico too. Thanks again Michael and Nick! Appreciate it greatly! So does the Craig Volunteer Fire Department with your generous $500 donation to the silent auction too.
Really some damn good fishing to be had on Montana’s Missouri River this May. It just keeps getting better. Honest. We are continually astounded at the fishing. Everybody is catching fish. Bank anglers, tubers, guide boats, rental boat users, pro’s to novices. It is all coming together this mid May!
Family friendly and full of BS and BBQ, businesses, fishing, Izaak’s and Joe’s Bar, a smattering f fly shops, Taco Carts, and attorney’s. Just how we like it. Parade at 3pm for kids too, and adults. BBQ begins at 4pm and lots of raffle items, live and silent auctions…come support our local Volunteer Fire Department this Saturday. Fish a little first, eat a lot later with live music on Izaak’s Log Jam beginning @ 2pm open mike, Ekelegein Jam Band @ 4pm and Rocket to Uranus @ 830pm.
Montana Fishing Report
Dry Fly Report | Great. Look for non windy overcast days with not much fishing pressure. Oh, that was today. Tomorrow? Could be more of the same. We can only hope.
Bugs are coming off in the mornings with Psuedo’s to greet you. Not many fish on them along with the midges, and leftovers from the previous day. Look hard and you may find a few.
By noon you should be getting ready. By 2pm it is game on. Find ‘em and make some decent drifts. You will be rewarded. March Browns, Baetis, Caddis down low, midges everywhere. You dig it?
Nymph Report | Great too. Long in the morning. 5′-6′ from bobber to split. Fish the deep stuff. Afternoons fish the short leash. Do it. It’s really productive. Shoulder to opposite hand tis the measurement. Take off the splitty and roll.
Streamer Report | Decent. Good on any given day. But the reports and action has been better than the past month. Maybe just more tossing them. The overcast skies have helped us get in the game on the streamer deal.
Fly Shop Hours | Open early and open late. We are in the store by 7am daily and open late for any fly fishing Missouri River needs. Shuttles, flies, rods, clothing, wader repair products, tip replacement, kick-ass logo shirts and hats, and the best river info in the universe.
Yes. True. Good on all accounts here on Montana’s Missouri River.
All those stories of greatness regaled by your friends are true. The dry fly bite is really terrific if you have placed yourself in the right place at the right time…and make the right cast. Yes, then you too can tell tall tales of greatness at the water cooler.
Remember: Never let the truth get in the way of a good fishing story!
Montana’s Missouri River Fishing Report
The nymphing is still on fire. Always is, but this spring has been something special. The sheer number of fish is monumental and they cannot stop eating. Tie on any PT family member in the afternoon. Tie on any FB or Scud in the morning. Drop them in the waer and get the net lubed up. Go get ‘em.
Water temps are in the red hot region. The fish are jumping and really pissed off. They, trout, love the 50′s. It is their favorite temperature to play and feed in. Don’t let the 50′s slip by you. Get out here and enjoy the slight pressure and the hopped up trout on Montana’s Missouri River.
The dry fly bite is as good as you make it. The upper river is experiencing great BWO Spinner Falss and the fish will respond to cripples, spinners, emergers, or even a samll PT dangled from your Adams. And, yes…Adams work well too.
They may even take your Adams for the March Brown flies in our area. Still seeing good number of spinners localized. Stop when you see those fish crashing something…like a March Brown fly. Stop and watch. You may stumble into something epic. Or you may just see some play fish, some teen-ager fish making a whole series of bad decisions…0ver, and over, and over.
Midges? Yes, still around. Have not seen the epic midge action as of late, but there is still hope. Don’t count them out. You see lots on the water and some fish are selecting them.
BWO’s? Still good action and good hatches. They gotta be waning as we move towards teh summer hatches like PMD’s, Caddis…need I say more? It’s gonna be real good the June. Epic I may state. Honest. More on that topic, that month later this week on this very Blog…
Weather for your Dry Fly Bite
Like the looks of that. Take the day, or week off of work. We’ll meet you on Headhunters Porch. Then you can slip over for an Izaak’s smoked meat dinner extravaganza. They got cocktails too…
Start planning your June Trip to the Missouri River. This year will be one of those years…like when you are telling stories a couple decades from now and say,
“Remember that dry fly event in June of ’13? Oh yeah, that was the…”
Just a little bit of everything right now. We’re definitely in a transition mode. Still spring, with a little bit of summer on the side. It’s warm enough outside to expect some summer bugs and fish behaviors, but the water has remained pretty cool until the last few warm days. Caddis, mayfly and terrestrials are all present. The weather is supposed to cool back off this week, so don’t expect to be wet wading.
Flows are low at 3800cfs. Great wading conditions all over the river. The whole river is fishing, and you can have excellent fishing on foot above Craig and in the Canyon. As mentioned above, you will need waders. That water is chilly.
Mother’s Day Caddis are present, but no one has really seen that great day time feeding frenzy. Some feeders, but mostly on BWO’s or March Brown’s. Nighttime is a different story. Bring some caddis emergers and adults.
On warmer afternoons you need to have a few BWO spinners. We always harp on this, but it seems as though few anglers make the switch from cripple to spinner when they need to. It’s a quick transition. Just keep your eyes on the surface.
A few Callibaetis and smaller “micro” caddis around as well. These hatches are localized, and are important in only a few places. If you are in that place, it pays to have some smaller CDC caddis and Callibaetis cripples. Or a Parachute Adams.
The Skwala thing is about over, but you may still see a bug or two. Even if you don’t, you can catch fish on larger attractors. The lower flows have fish looking up.
Nymphing is good to great on a variety of patterns that imitate mayflies and caddis. The UV Czech seems to be a staple, as are #14 mayfly nymphs that imitate March Brown nymphs. So they should be brown.
While a lot of different dries and nymphs are producing fish to different degrees, there is one common denominator. Purple.
Guide Nick Stipech and Austin Michels nailed the above beauty today. Well played Austin.
Fishing on the Missouri River is good right now. Very good. Bugs are hatching up and down the river, and if the weather cooperates, you’ll have no problem finding fish feeding on the surface. Too much sun and wind means you’ll be dragging nymphs around. You’ll catch even more.
Dry fly anglers have been concentrating on the middle and lower rivers. You’ll find more consistent hatches and feeding fish from Stickney Creek to Cascade. Bugs include March Brown’s, Baetis and Mother’s Day Caddis. The caddis are not in full swing yet, but they’re getting close.
On the upper river, you’ll find the same bugs, but fewer of them. Baetis are the main player. Finding consistent feeding fish is a little tougher up here, but you will find them. If headed that way we recommend that you have some baetis spinners with you. Maybe a midge/baetis crossover like the Purple Phase Loopwing.
Some of the most popular dry flies right now include Purple Haze, Harrop’s Last Chance Cripple (baetis and March Brown), Flag Cripples, Glarachute’s and a few caddis patterns during the evening.
For subsurface fishing, caddis pupa and larva are beginning to play a major role. The UV Czech is a top seller right now, and is very popular among our guides. Also important are Bloom’s Weight Fly, Grape Slushy, Translucent Pupa (which we have with a BH this year), and others.
Mayfly nymphs that imitate baetis are important, but larger March Brown imitations are very important on the lower river. We like Micro May’s, Military May’s, Pheasantails and larger Lightning Bugs in a #14. Using the same patterns in smaller sizes will work for baetis, but you should also have some Little Green Machines and Purple Lightning Bugs in #18-20.
A few folks have been tossing streamers, and doing ok to good. We would recommend hitting the river early and fishing below the Dearborn River confluence. The water clarity is perfect for streamer fishing below the Dearborn which is running off right now. We like throwing streamers in water that has a little color to it.
Speaking of the Dearborn, it IS NOT open to fishing yet. But it will be this coming weekend. It’s pretty dirty today, but would be doable if you’re a streamer junkie. Looking at the weather, it will probably be a bit better by the weekend.
Overall fish health is excellent this year. Many Rainbow’s are done spawning and are putting on weight quickly. Brown Trout are in great shape and we’re seeing plenty of fish in all age classes. This includes a relatively large number of fish over 23 inches. Yes, this is a good year to catch a big one.
So you say you don’t like to nymph (we all say that). Here’s Bob Stanley (above) with “the one” that ate a nymph. He caught this 2 footer with guide Brett Matula while fishing the Canyon. I changed my mind. I do want to nymph!
But dry flies work as well. Guide Nick Stipech sent us this pic of his buddy with a nice one they caught on a March Brown. Nick won’t say which
cripple fly he was using. Find a riser on the lower river mid-day, and chances are it’s looking for March Brown’s.
Yes, the fly fishing for trout is pretty darned good right now. As the weather heats up we expect to see more and more folks headed this way. They’ll be looking to escape dirty water as run-off begins. 86 degrees on Sun according to NOAA. That should do it.
Yes, more of a visual fishing report today. If that doesn’t get you excited to hit the Missouri River and hang out in Craig, MT…
Missouri River Flows
Great Falls Intl Airport, MT
Last Updated on May 23 2013, 12:53 am MDT
Current Conditions: Mostly Cloudy
Wind: East at 16mph
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They’re Just Sayin’
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- Squeeky Oar Lock on Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 5.19.13