Headhunters Missouri River Weekend Outlook
Hoppers, ants, Trico’s.
Weather will be warm in the afternoons. A good time to drift, nap, or drink.
This is a slow period for the Missouri River. Late August is always slow. And the fishing is not at the peak. It just isn’t. But some moments of brilliance tossing the big bug. Purple, Pink, and Yellow. Or tan if you want. Yellowish-Tan?
Trico mornings are slow. You gotta find a couple. A couple larger fish. Lots of the juvenile trout are out there feeding. And by lots I mean lots. You can pull up to a pod, and find that there are all under 12″. Some pods under 4″. And some are not podded up. Look for that larger single off by himself quietly chugging tiny little Trico Spinners.
Try a larger fall caddis. Not the October, no. A tan 12 or 14. Could blind that one out there. Or a larger Translucent Emerger? How about that.
Nymphers are enjoying the weed free environs of the upper river. The dam is the cleanest water. Small black flies are the key. HH has literally 10’s of thousands of them in stock. And all of the tech dam flies that you may need for when the trout become selective.
On the reaches below the dam, lots of weed out there too. A five on our weed scale. Maybe a six. But that is the Mo in the later summer. No different than any other year. Status Quo for us. If you don’t like weeds donate to the cause by joining the Upper Missouri River Watershed Alliance, UMOWA, and help them figure out the weed deal. Have they always been here? Are there factors that contribute to the weeds? Are fly shops really to blame for everything including national policy? UMOWA has a new website debuting soon. This is the existing site. The new site is gonna be cool!
Should be light traffic as we move through the final two weeks of summer. September is shaping up well. How about October for your fishing trip this fall? We love the fall. And Swing anglers are getting stoked for cooler mornings, BWO’s on the horizon, leeches on their minds.
Shop open daily earlier than the rest. Shuttles, fully stocked fly bins, sale items including rental wading boots, demo rods, discontinued fly lines, all kinds of HH T’s…
Enjoy your weekend ahead. BBQ up some good meat. Enjoy your friends and family safely.
Here is my take on the weeds. Too many dissolved nutrients in the water emanating from Canyon Ferry which in turn has been burdened with massive nutrient overloads emanating from agriculture (mostly intensive potato farming) further upstream. This results in annual toxic algae blooms in Canyon Ferry (along with slime and other nasties) Obviously these excess nutrients, especially phosphorus are being washed down through Hauser and Holter into the MO tailwaters. FWP has refused to examine nor even consider an obvious solution which is to introduce a pelagic plankton feeding species such as ciscos to the upper end of the MO system despite them being a huge success in Fort Peck. Ciscos would not be able to migrate upstream as Toston Dam blocks upstream migration, and there is no suitable habitat there anyway nor upstream of any tributary . Downstream migration the same, yes many would take the ride over the dam as walleye, perch and yes as many of the Holter stocked rainbows perpetually in the river do. The net result of a cisco stocking would be to greatly improve the forage for walleye and trout in the reservoirs, walleyes especially as they now prey extensively on the stocked trout along with the wild browns which are in trouble in Canyon Ferry according to FWP. Ciscos would clean up the nutrient overloading by converting it to fish that would occupy the unused deep and open waters in the reservoirs and advocating for common sense solutions would go a LONG way in uniting fly and gear fishermen. Not to mention making recreational boaters happy that their kids and dogs won’t die of algae poisoning.
My 2 cents.