Friday July 5th Headhunters Fly Shop Fishing Report & Forecast
Fishing is fantastic here on the Mo. The best water levels, water temps, hatch timing, dry fly opportunities, Craig Montana vibe, outdoor music, and fishing in some years for the July period.
August is gonna rock too.
So here we go into the month of July. What to expect, weather, hatch timing and cycles, guide availability, lodging, water levels and temps, and fishing forecasts for the month ahead.
As always, thanks for reading and showing the love at Headhunters of Craig Montana. Stop in and see our unreal selection of HH Logo gear, massive sticker selection, truly the best and well stocked fly selection not eh Mo. 7wt dedicates his time to allowing you the satisfaction of knowing that we have the popular flies in stock, at all times!! Honest. And the sleepers that your buddies don’t have. A full time fly procurement director, 7wt, has your back.
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Water Flows: Just under 5K. Great wade fishing opp’s for you folks. Good boat flows too. Perfect levels for rising trout. We don’t like it as much when we get into the low 4K’s and lower. Not enough depth in some of those fantastic flats to make the trout feel comfortable. We love it at 5K and a bit higher. Will we see that? No. If anything the flows will be reduced as the month passes by. Expect to see flows at the 4K mark by the middle of the month, or lower. Heavy afternoon rain and thunderstorms can add some water to the system and prolong our 4K+ run. That would no the too bad.
Water Temps: 58F-61F for the time being. That works for us. And the trout. What we don’t want is too high temps near the 70F mark. With the cooler July temps, a bit below normal, we may not see the spike in water temps. Today’s forecast high at 75F with the future 10 day forecast including some air temps reaching the upper 80’s. 90F will change the equation. For the time being, let’s enjoy the spot we are at. The fish like it lower to. Not high. Too high a water temp, less oxygen, less feeding fish, less action. Bad for all parties.
The best June fishing in some time. The best July fishing in a number of years. Will August continue the streak?
July Weather Forecast: Average daytime highs are 83F. Average night time lows are 51F. Average rainfall 1.5″. Bring ranger on your trip, or in the boat, or in the car. Afternoon thunderstorms are common. And can be quite wet. Already fellers out there getting too wet. Don’t try to be a meteorologist out there. Try being an angler. I have had clients recently predict the weather for the day. Predicting no rain. Then it rained a ton. So, always bring it. Trust me, I’m a fishing guide. Buy your sunscreen at House of Headhunters. Yessir. Headhunters is also your SIMMS Exclusive Dealer in Craig MT. The best in raingear. Also some sale raingear at HH. Get it!
Pale Morning Duns: Daily. A great hatch this summer. Started June 20th. 12 days late. Approximately. Mother Nature dictates the hatch cycle. Not this fly shop. Sorry, you can blame us for other events, not the hatch cycle bro’. Daily hatches have kept us stoked. Cripples, spinners, emerges, and duns. That is the order you should tie them on. Unless you have your own magic! Then, by all means, use that pattern! Spinner falls massive at some point in the day. The last couple weeks spinners on the water almost all day long. The hatch should last another couple weeks. We hope it goes longer. Sized 14-18. Pinkish, yellowish, orangish, light greenish. Yes, duns and spinners and cripples in all of those flavors. Be prepared for anything. PMD fishing can be frustrating. That is why the sheer number of PMD patters is so overwhelming. Why not have them all. OR, just fish the one you love. Force feed them man. It can be done.
Tip of the Day: Throw at the fish. Don’t try to make those hero drifts. You are not a hero man. Hero’s are those who do the simple things best, and consistently. Those are trout fishing hero’s! Stay within your comfort zone. Those who drift it too long, don’t get them. Throw at the target. At his head. At the fish. Throw at them. Directly. And employ your slack line drift of choice. Then, repeat.
Caddis: More and more everyday. Saw the first daytime caddis emergence in 10 years last week. Then saw it again repeated the following day. The daily thunderstorms spawn the caddis explosion. The caddis emergers are good. The caddis flies that lay flat on the water are good. Spents, emergers, and duns. All good in our mind. The trout too. Come by for kick ass caddis patterns. We got ’em. I’ve been loving some old school flies as of late. Fish the ones you love. Strong in the canyon. Good below as well all the way to Cascade. Moving well on he upper as the days go by. A varied caddis selection will get you through the times when the mayflies are not producing.
Yellow Sally’s: Fished with 7wt this last week and he got ’em on the Yellow Sally, on the upper river. So, fishing them in the middle sections and beyond will produce some fish too. An under fished fly, pattern, on the Mo. That is why you should look into a few for your box. Fishing the nymph in the canyon and beyond will bring them to the net. Low riders are good as this yellow baby stone runs on the water. We have lots of Sally patterns understanding that not all shops buy into the Sally. 7wt has them in stock for you here in Craig. Baby Chubby’s? We have bins full of them in Royal, yellow, purple, brown, tan, pink…you get the idea. We have the Chubby’s!
Trico’s: On tap. Next week we think.
Late July and August: Gonna be great. As July winds down, we see fewer anglers on the water. Weekends that are hot, above 80F, bring lots of non-anglers to the water. Rafters, bobbers, tubers, families. We love them all. Mid-Week we see fewer floaters. Fish mid week if you can. If you like solace, come in August. If you like dry fly, technical dry fly fishing, come in August. If you like fishing terrestrials? Come in August. If you don’t like nymphing in the high and hot sun? Don’t come in August. A dry fly month for sure. Harder, smarter fish. Yes. If you like tossing big giant flies into riffles and runs and expect all day long action? Don’t come here in August. The Madison, Yellowstone, and other westside river can provide that for you. Our August fishing is not all that easy. IT does require some skill as the fish are kind of smart. We here at HH love it. We haven’t always loved it. Some years are not so good. But the past 2, and this year, are different with the water temps not being crazy high. And that is the difference, the game changer, the deal man.
Garbage: Had a friend of HH mention to me that he has been picking up garbage a lot out there on the River. A reminder to all. Be compassionate about this resource. Pack it out. Be a steward of the Mo. And, be polite out there. Lots of river. Lots of space. Don’t crowd anglers. Do the right thing. We, you, and all of us appreciate it. Set a good example. Lead by example.
Take a Kid Fishing: Your kid, neighbor kid, your sisters kid. Introduce positive outdoor activities to the youth of this world. Be a mentor.
Saturday July 6th @ Izaaks: The Sleeping Giants with 710 Ashbury on the Izaak’s Log Jam. Sponsored by Headhunters , Izaak’s and Keeper of the Green. BBQ out front, outdoor bar, and dancing in the streets. See you in Craig tomorrow night for the best in Craig live music. This one will be really fun. Our local Grateful Dead cover band. See you there!
Headhunters Fly Shop and Guide Service: Open daily 630 am til 9pm. Early and late. And all of it in-between. See us for the Best Flies in the Big Sky, shuttles all day long, guides, lodging, free coffee, the only free Wifi beyond Izaak’s (they have cell coverage and WiFi too!) Cell Booster for your cell calls in Craig, the coolest logo gear on the planet, stickers, SIMMS, Costa, Smith Optics, sun gear, Buff’s, sungloves, raingear, flyfishing gee-gaws, and the best in customer service on the river. Enjoy your weekend!
CDC & Elk Caddis$2.50 Select options
CDC Para-spinner PMD$2.50 Select options
D&D Cripple PMD$2.50 Select options
Fistful of Whitey Die-cut Sticker$5.95 Read more
Outrigger Caddis$2.50 Select options
Rasta Lunker Die Cut Sticker$4.95 – $12.95 Select options
UV Para Ant Fly Tying Kit$29.95 Read more