Monday morning here in Craig and we are adjusting nicely to the holiday week ahead. Most of you will be traveling to or from family and friends houses for the holiday. Any of you planning on doing some fishing?
We are open daily for the college kids that grace the river on their time off. Bozeman, Butte, Whitefish, Kalispell, Missoula, and certainly Great Falls and Helena anglers will be traipsing around the river for the next couple weeks. Be sure to stop in and se us for a hot cup of coffee or suggestions on fishing locales and definitely fly selection.
The boat ramps looked good yesterday all but the historically difficult winter boat ramp of Mountain Palace. No worries on the rest of them. Anglers are fishing all the way to Prewitt Creek with the most anglers of course up top. Not necessarily all the way up, but certainly above the lower reach.
Duck hunters are out in force too. So, look before you walk a mile into a swing run. You can find another perfectly good run elsewhere. After the new year the hunters will be cleaning their guns again counting the days til the next waterfowl season.
Winter Guide trips available for $400 if you are at all interested in a holiday guide trip. We generally do a few guide trips this week ahead. The day after Christmas is always a good time. Friends and family bugging the shit out of you? Send them on a trip with Headhunters. All inclusive winter trips with flies, hot soup, and education included. Swing and nymph trips are the way to go. Ben, Max, Brent, Kurt, Ryan, and Beth all available for winter fun.
Craig Trout Camp open during the holidays too. Rainbow and Brown Cabins @ $125 and the Craig House starts @ $250.
Missouri River Holiday Week Fishing Report
Pretty damn good for the most part. Anglers in the shop yesterday reported a good bite. Most of the time. Those who didi not get the hook-ups they wanted were found to be fishing water too much like summer water. The anglers in the slow and boring soft runs are having better consistent success. The most common way to not catch fish is always fishing the wrong kind of winter water.
Swingers getting them with Clousers, buggers, Zonkers, leeches, smolts, and the Shock and Awe! Kreelex is a perennial favorite. Check out the Just Add Vise Kits for many of the flies we list here on this very blog. A very popular winter time activity is sitting at the vise preparing for your summer 2016 Missouri River trip.
Those nymphers out there are getting it done with winter fare. Pink flies are best. Try Ninch’s Bubble Yum Scud in #10 or #12. The Barbie is back in stock too. A red beaded fruity devil. The Amex, Rainbow, Tailwater Sow, a plethora of fire beads in the sow, scud, or soft hackled versions are always in favor…
We love to lead the bobber downhill with our fly line this time of year therefor seeing the take when it happens. Too much slack line is a killer. Want help on this concept? ask anybody at the shop for technique hints.
Same goes for the swingers out there. Lots of Trout Spey anglers flooding the river during Montana’s long winter. Ninch was explaining his tight line swing technique the other day. Again, not too much slack out there adding to his hook-up rate. Jigging the fly in that tighter line manner has proved to be successful when those fish are not as aggressive. But the word is that the fish have been pretty grabby out there in the swung patterns.
Nicnh is fishing a Skagit line with a medium (T-11) iMOW tip and a weighted fly. Deep and slow water has been his ticket. On the inside or along the winter inside seams. Great water above Wolf Creek Bridge for winter swingers and nymphers alike. Remember that Headhunters is a perfect place to try out your next Trout Spey rod on the river. The only shop on the Mo with 2 handed demo rods. And demo rods we have. 20+ to choose from. Also, need to find that perfect line for your existing spey rod? We got those too. Form RIO, OPST, and Airflo. Headhunters is your Spey store for all of Montana.
Flows at 3300cfs and temps at 33.5F. Typical winter levels for both. Watch for ice not he shorelines, check boat ramps for safety, and get your shuttle from Headhunters. Open daily at 8am. Open Christmas Eve 8-12pm. We are open 364 days a year. Closed Christmas to rest…