Top 10 Tips for Higher Water Success

10 Tips for High(er) Water Success

The flows this morning are 8360cfs. This is not high by historical flows, but is higher than some anglers are comfortable with.

High flows are aver 15K to us here on the Missouri. We will write another blog when she gets to that level, which we do not expect. The flows are similar to the 6K mark, but higher. Smart huh?!

Imagine the subsurface structure and put the flies on those structure points. Here is where long time Mo River Anglers thrive. They have a map of the bottom of the river etched in their minds and they are looking at it while fishing/drifting. Think of drop offs, bank lines, the old primary shelf, the secondary shelf…things like that. Fish love structure. They feed, hide, chill on structure points.

10 Tips for High(er) Water Success

  1. Stay on the inside bend while nymphing. The fish don’t like that turbulent water near or on the rip-rap banks at this temp and at these flows.
  2. Add a tip to your streamer line. If you are going to streamer fish, use a T-7 or T-8 tip to get it down to where the fish are.
  3. Don’t rip your streamer back to you like you are on some sort of dreamy Galloup TV shoot. Slow and easy with long pauses. Get the flies down to the fish and then begin your stripping magic.
  4. Look for other boats¬† catching fish. See and learn what they are doing and replicate their movements. Don’t cut them off or low hole them, they may mention it to you. But watch and learn.
  5. Chat with your fly shop, Headhunters, and glean some information from the staff. They are out fishing daily and will lend a hand in your success. Flies, split shot, technique, areas etc. Use them for knowledge and hints. Headhunters is transparent. We’ll tell you all we know.
  6. Add more weight if you are not flirting with the bottom of the river occasionally. If you do not get the bait in front of the trout, they will not eat it. Period.
  7. Float longer floats. Bigger, faster water will allow you to cover more water. There are only a few great runs per mile in these higher and accelerated flows.
  8. As the Hazel gang in Maupin always say, “Fish good water well.” If you find ’em, stay on ’em.
  9. Get good at striking the fly hard when the bobber moves. Only those who hit it more often catch more fish. Those who watch, well…you know the unfortunate answer to that equation.
  10. Dry fly guys look for the bugs and slow inside tucked out of the way environs. You know those spots. Get in there and look, watch, wait…then cast. The BWO’s are out, or sort of coming daily. The midge yesterday was pretty epic in some areas. It is definitly happening as the water temps climb. We waited a long time, now it is the time. It will get better daily. We may be a week out still for consistent daily dry fly action? Bring your dry rod, you may employ it!

An easy 10 Tips for High(er) Water Success today from your information experts here at Headhunters Fly Shop in downtown Craig MT. Stop in any time for info, a vast Missouri River specific fly selection, tons fly lines, shuttles, or just to chew the fat. We dig fly fishing talk!


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$300 Guide Trips, fishing report, fly fishing technique, Guide Trips, Midge Hatch, missouri river, Spring Fishing
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