2021 Hatches, Guide Trips, Lodging, and Booking Projections

2021 Hatches, Guide Trips, Lodging, and Booking Projections

This holiday period is a tie when many book their 2021 Guide Trips and lodging looking forward to the Mo River Season ahead.

A few insights, tips, suggestions and the like in this short article looking toward the future and your Missouri River fly fishing dreams!

January thru March 2021

Swing Season continues as we greet the New Year. Lots of Trout Spey action in the next couple months. Our World Class Trout Spey Guide Staff in unparalleled in the industry. Guide Trips and Casting Lessons will help you gain the upper hand this winter and spring. Look us up first for gear, lessons, guide trips, and lodging in 2021!

Midges. Some on the dry. Depends on the mood of the river. We have not seen great dry fly midging in a number of years. Will this be the year? We hope so.

BWO’s appear in April, the latter part. So don’t hold your breath on this one. A rare year will provide warm enough water temps to get them to begin showing in March. Skwala’s? Not really. Bot sort of sometimes. March Browns? They come in late Mid May and beyond.

Nymphing can be good depending on the water temperatures. With temps above 40F things are good to great. Below? Still winter. High catch rates on the pink nymph can be achieved. Not many folks around. Quiet.

Spring Special this year is $450 and runs March 15th thru April 30th. A change in rates for 2021.  Full rate @ $550 starts May 1st. A couple weeks after you pay those damn taxes.

Lodging? Available and discounted. Some properties are discounted. Call up our crack booking staff for the selection of discounted cabins. But Craig Trout Camp is discounted right here on the grounds in downtown Craig Montana. Winter and spring rates generally end on May 1st.

April and May 2021

April brings the first good dry fly fishing. Consistent? No, not really. The back end of the month can bring a few BWO afternoons. Midge fishing hit and miss, but some days decent. Skwalas? For those committing to long floats and not much action. But could yield one big brown trout on the big not so floaty dry fly.

Historically great nymph bite. The fish are coming out of the winter freezer and happy. Water temps reaching beyond the 40F mark and bugs are happy too.

The entire river begins to fish well from Holter Dam to Cascade. Fun times as the spring months bring more sun, air temps rising daily, and hungry trout.

May is an odd month. Most of the staff believe that May is the best fishing month of the year. Some of the larger Brown trout come not he streamer and chunky dry fly. Strip ’em or float ’em.

Hatches include the BWO, March Brown, Midge. Can be good dry fly. Local hatches provide some of the easiest targets of the season. The fish get real dumb on the March Brown. Brown trout love the March Brown. They will move for it. Not a consistent hatch though. In specific runs that your dry fly guide must be in touch with. Ask about it if you are booking, and we will fit the right guide with your wishes.

The streamer anglers get the big fish during the period. The rainbows are out of the river during this period filtering back in as they come off the spawn. If you like to hunt the big brown trout on this river, this is th period. The largest brown trout of the year come during this period.

Lodging? Fills up towards the back end of April, then becomes open in May. Discounted in April, full rate in May.

Guide Bookings? Books early for the latter part of April. That is the peak of the Spring Special @ $450/day.  May, full rate,  is wide open. Again, one of the staff favorites for fishing. Not many folks around, big fish to be had.

June and July 2021

Hatches include Caddis, PMD’s, Trico’s, terrestrials. Our bet two months for dry fly only anglers. Fish early and fish late. Fish all day long. Long days provide lots of angling opportunities.

Also, our busiest time of the year. The river is BUSY. Yes, BUSY. The Missouri River is busy. This is PEAK SEASON.

Because the fishing is fantastic. Nymphing excellent too. Some are here for the nymphing. Many are here for the dry fly opportunities. If you want to bring your dry fly game to the next level this is the period of time. If you want to be humbled, come this period. If you are a new dry fly angler, this may not be your time.


Take casting lessons, understand the difficulty of the dry fly period certainly as the months move by in July, that this is not for the rank beginner. It is, and can be difficult. For anglers that want to challenge themselves and are not afraid of going blank. That is a reality during these two months. Practice your dry fly casts including the rich mend/cast, distances of 25′ to 50′ casts, hyper accuracy, and be comfortable in winds above 10mph. Honest. Those who can utilize this period to improve and ready themselves for their long journey, the dry fly search, and understanding that one fish can be and is a reality when conditions are tough. Zero is sometimes the outcome. Manage your dry fly expectations here on the Missouri River. It is not a cutthroat river!

And then there are those days when the magic happens. It can happen in June and July. Dreams come true on the Mighty Mo.

Lodging books early. Guides book early. Like right now early. We are more than half booked in the June and July period as I write this blog. Julie mentioned that the period after the NEW YEAR is a heavy booking session. Get together with your friends and family and plan your trip for Missouri River Trip 2021.

CraigLodging.com and CraigTroutCamp.com will outline the lodging options we offer here on the river and in Craig. Headhunters handles about 40 lodging cabins, rooms, etc. By far the widest variety and selection on the river.

Our full time Missouri River guide staff is second to none. We do not travel to other rivers. We fish here on the Mo. What you get with Headhunters is a guide that fished yesterday, here on the Mo. Not at the other end of the state. You get the best of the best and we are happy and confident in our career fishing guides. Let us know your desires when you book.

Let our booking staff Julie or Sara know what your desires are. If you like to wreck ’em on nymphs, hunt heads looking for the bank sipping brown trout, or strip streamers til you are blue in the face.

Let us know your skill set too. We have guides for women, kids, and men. And, all of the above. We are fortunate to employ two female fishing guides too. Highly accomplished and in demand.

If you are in the front end of learning, if you like to fish with an older guide, a younger one, a guide who can row up river 27 times, or one who enjoys the intricacies of this fabulous river. And if you want to re-book your favorite, the time is now. Those fav’s go fast!

Communication when booking not only your fishing guide but your nightly lodging is important so we can cater to you, the angler!

406-235-3447 is your hotline. Call today and we will get your booking process started for 2021!


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  • This is not Headhunters just trying to book guides and rooms. The rooms and guides will be booked. I have been coming the same time now for 10 years and we book the guides and the rooms a year in advance.

    This is not a drill. I repeat this is not a drill.

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