Missouri River Fishing Report 3.12.13
The fishing is good, the weather is right, and an early spring is bringing us more varied scenario’s than we normally see in mid-March. Excellent streamer fishing in the Canyon, cloud induced dry fly action, and an entire river to fish. Great stuff.
In our excitement to take advantage of the great fishing, we often forget how lucky we are in these early years. Mid-March can typically be very cold with ice covering much of the river below Pelican Point, and some of it above.
No so this season, as we currently are fishing from the Dam to Cascade, anbd doin it with all methods. You can even catch fish on bamboo rods and streamers (see Luca above)!
The river is currently flowing at a pretty skinny 4300cfs, with water temperatures hovering around the 37 degree mark. Very, very nice conditions for this early in the year. You’ll see fish rising when the wether is right, and we’re getting to the time of year when you will see them rising when it’s not.
The Canyon has opened up early as well. While it is usually decent this early in the year, it’s better than that right now. Streamer fishing can be excellent, and if you would rather catch Brown’s, we recommend you head downstream. Nymph fishing is also good on the middle and lower floats, a pleasant surprise.
The upper river is busy and fishing great. Mainly a nymph game – typical for March – but you can have some epic dry fly fishing from the Dam to the Dearborn River confluence. Like BDE epic, if you don’t mind throwing midge patterns.
We are heading into a great week of weather. Some wind and precipitation, but some extremely warm temperatures during the latter half of the week.
Some Spring Tips:
- Streamer anglers need to have the sink tip on the ready. Not every where, but if you’re going to fish those deep banks in the Canyon, a fast sinking type 6 sink tip or poly-leader will increase your productivity.
- Lots of in-river Rainbow Trout redds (spawning beds) around right now. Stay off ‘em! Most are not where you would be wading, but those stomping around creek mouths for hours on end are disturbing the process.
- The Bull Pasture is not the only wade fishing access point on the Missouri River.
- If it’s cloudy in the afternoon and the deep nymphing slows down, switch to the “short-leash” rig. The fish may be feeding in the upper third of the water column. A bomb fly (Czech Nymph, Weight Fly, etc.) on the front followed by a black, red, or olive midge pupa should do it. If there are more than a handful of fish feeding on the surface, dry a dry dropper with a large double post Midge Cluster. You will get fish on the dry while prospecting.
- 4300 cfs is a low enough flow that smaller nymph and tippets can be a difference maker, especially when wade fishing.
- Try a big bead head Prince Nymph or other standard freestone pattern. Seriously.
- Trout feeding on midges are notorious for “cruising” while on the feed. Try and find fish feeding in or right next to the current. They will be easier. Those back eddy fish can move 20 feet between rises. Frustrating.
- Swinging small black or olive soft hackles can be productive if fish are obviously feeding near the surface.
We will see plenty of you out on the water this week, so stop by and say hi if you’re in the Craig area. Get an up to the minute Missouri River Fishing Report when you stop by for free coffee, shuttles and some new patterns to paw through.
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Missouri River Flows
Great Falls Intl Airport, MT
Last Updated on May 22 2013, 1:53 pm MDT
Current Conditions: Mostly Cloudy
Wind: East at 19mph
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