December Missouri River Fishing Forecast
All good here on the Mo this early winter. Above average daily temps, along with the ubiquitous wind. Above average numbers of anglers this past November. A good fishing month overall with the dry fly bite conceivably better in November than October. The swing bite pretty good, but could be confusing at times.
Historic Average high daily temperates come in at 35F. The lows in the cellar at 15F. So pretty cold overall. But not this month or this early winter. Nope. Not too many moderate days as you well know. Pretty windy on and off. Seems like 1 of 2 are windy, per week. The good news is that you can certainly find some lee shores to shield yourself against the wind. Reasonable conditions are possible in this month of December as well. And, we at the shop open daily @ 8am for all you last minute and fly pattern needs. Demo rods on sale too!
Below average precipitation in the books this fall and does not look all that wet in the near future.
Flows are average at 4k. Will continue at this level throughout the coming winter. So wade fisherman and boat anglers alike at taking advantage of the river travel opps. Yes you can certainly learn about the subsurface structures as most are exposed. I love to get out and just walk. Walk in the water and check things out. Boots on the ground. Buckets, dips, declines, riffles, runs, tailouts, and the like. Put it all in your memory banks for when the conditions are not as friendly.
Nymphers like the Sow and Scud combo. You could use the Zebra too. Soon we will be in the Pink Fly Game that will run through March into April as well. No reason for split shot at the current time, but when the trout get into that deep and slow winter holding water you will find a split shot adding weight to your rig quite helpful.
Most will focus on the upper river for the nymph bite. The dam is once again popular for the wade and boat gang. Fishing to Craig is the other option. Although last winter many were fishing below the Craig section and enjoying success in the canyon.
Streamer anglers love it too. Getting out and wading around islands or stripping your bugger through a run on foot. Boat anglers will find lots of opportunities for bank angling. A nice depth for the entire river. Heavier sink tips required now, but I have found a couple streamer rods rigged for different depths can get you closer to the prize. Headhunters jammed full of streamer lines if you are Streamer-Curious this winter.
Swingers Unite. Lots of trout spey anglers in and out of the shop learning, buying, filling in tip kits, finding accessories for the spey game and getting the best local intel daily. Also Headhunters is your Trout Spey Education Center. Whether you want to get a casting lesson, a guide trip, or lodging for your weekend trip give us a shout first and we will guide you toward spey success.
Lots of Trout Spey Action out there this month as the bugs have been knocked down a couple notches for the trout food diet scale. Yessir. Leeches, Carey’s and Sparrows, buggers, and some flash will get it done. HH carries the Best Flies Under the Big Sky with the only Trout Spey fly selection on the Mighty Mo.
Dry Flies? Maybe? You will have to out there when it happens. The BWO’s are here? Some good afternoons with the mysterious BWO showing this past mid-week Midges maybe. Occasional opportunities for the dry fly guy. Localized for sure. I’d toss a cripple at them. Or an Adams. Or a Griffith’s Gnat.
Lodging is discounted locally too. Call 406-235-3447 to chat with Julie or Sara for lodging options in your price range. Lodging for a couple guests available in downtown Craig.
Shop open daily @ 9am. Some days a bit later if it is shitty out and the commute is in question. If it is near ZERO we may not be in the shop. Always call in advance if it is crappy and you are headed our way. The only daily shuttle biz all winter long here in Craig, rental boats, lodging, flies, hot coffee, local river info, maps, and so much more all December long…
And, don’t forget about Headhunters for your fly fishing gifts. We deliver to your doorstep!
Happy December. Let us know how to help this winter, this spring, this holiday period with gifts from the shop on the banks of the Mighty Mo. Headhunters is your source!