Late July Missouri River Fly Fishing Forecast

Late July Missouri River Fly Fishing Forecast

Late July Missouri River Fly Fishing Forecast

The best July we have had as far as dry fly fishing in some time. Honest. I have not den here as long as some, but longer than many and that is Squeeky’s personal opinion. John agrees as well.

We were talking on the porch a couple days ago about how we felt in early July about the bite, the health of the river, the weeds, etc. and we felt it would drop off with the advent of weeds, water temps, early PMD hatch waning, and such.

But, thankfully we were wrong. It is fishing quite well. Good PMD spinner falls continue, great Trico hatches, and Caddis can keep you entertained for some afternoon action.

Below is the Late July Missouri River Fly Fishing Forecast from the local information, education, entertainment, and customer service fly shop in Craig Montana…Headhunters.

Weather and Fire/Smoke

Variable. Air Temps over 100F have been brutal. But today at the outside desk of Squeeky it is a nice 52F. Yesterday morning even cooler at 46F. Today’s peak is in the mid 90’s. So seasonal weather with some occasional afternoon thunderstorms. Which have sparked a few wildfires in our area. Smoke drapes the foothills with BBQ like atmospheres.

No need for a mask yet. Afternoons with the wind can be smoky but in the mornings it seems to have gone elsewhere. Call if you are concerned about the smoke levels. Should not be here long.

Warmer temps throughout the month. Bring sunscreen and sun hats. If you need sun protection we have it all inside the cozy and air conditioned confines of Headhunters Fly Shop in downtown Craig Montana. Gloves, hats, neck gaiters, sunscreen, bug dope,a nd more!


Not terrible. More to come. A few weeds get on your dry fly. Of course more on your nymph. Streamers? Every cast. Warm night and bright hot days will increase the growth. Check back in two weeks and we’ll tell you how things are going.

So, why not dry fly for the month. Nothing against nymphing. It pays my mortgage monthly, although…on one of the top dry fly fisheries in the world, in a great dry fly month, why not toss the dry fly? You need not throw the tiny fly at techy sipping Brown trout. You can roll an ant or hoper or beetle or chubby and learn a bit too. Why not. Ben Hardy and I spoke about it last night. He’s right in espousing the attributes of fun, learning, and skill set building. Expand your horizons. Do it. Enjoy it. Learn. It’s good for your constitution.


Late July Missouri River Fly Fishing ForecastGood man. PMD’s still on their way out. 8 weeks is the period that we have enjoyed them. SO a good run for the light colored mayfly of the Mo. Spinner falls have been good and give those trout another option on the daily bug menu. So they may stick another couple weeks? Maybe.

Trico’s are the bug of the day, week, month. Trico’s can run 8-12 weeks in some capacity. We are hoping for another long run again this year. The two precious the Trico’s have hatched into September. That is good because the next mayfly on the list is that damned pseudocloen and it get going in August.

Hatching daily in the a.m. and spinner fall happens about 9am. SO be in position for this morning event. Spinners work. Trusty Rusty Spinners work. Clusters work. Singles work. CDC winged emerges work. Knock downs work. Spent caddis patterns work. And more work too. Today what works? I don’t know yet. I’m on the keyboard. You’ll have to poll the river returnees this afternoon. Any given day any given pattern. You gotta go to know.

I do know that Dead Flies Don’t Swim and dragging your fly over their heads usually does not get the desired response front he trout. That I do know.

Caddis are out there daily. A bundle around in the mornings too. Skittering, dying, egg laying and the like. Blind it in and around good brown trout holding water and you will be rewarded. This fly can drag! Hooray! Well, not drag. Move yes. If you can move it properly you can be surprised by the attention it gets from trout. But twitching, skittering, moving the caddis pattern is much different than dragging it across the water. It is a learned behavior/skill. Get out there and work on it. Watching a video about this will not work man. Fishing more? Always a good idea.

Evenings provide a good caddis bite too. Not many out there at that time of day. Enjoy it.

Caddis patterns in pods, fished properly to dingle risers, as well as the blind presentations are effective on the Missouri River. A good caddis box has down winged, fuzzy, or realistic, primarily brown/tan colored imitations. Those flies that lay in the water, low profiled, hardly visible work well.

Gotta love a caddis fly!

Missouri River Air & Water Temps

Water temps up and down. Commonly the water temps reach their highest in the month of July. July is the hottest month in Montana beating August by about  1/2 of 1 degree as a daily peak air temperature.

So cooler nights will help tremendously. We cannot do much about the daytime temps. They are hot. But the cooler evenings we encourage. Mother Nature is our friend.

Missouri River Water Flows

In the 4200 cfs range. They will stay that way for the summer. Let’s hope. Will get in touch with Stephanie Micek today and confirm the summer flows.

Montana Summer Weekends


Headhunters Fly Shop and Guide Service

Open daily 6am til 9pm. Come by anytime for all you may need on the water. Lots to choose from and we encourage to visit all of the fly shops in our area. Free coffee on the western porch every morning along with the best in fly selection, info, guides, lodging, sun wear, HH Logo Wear, and so much more at the friendly fly shop in Craig.


Air Temps, Caddis, Fires, Forecast, July, missouri river, PMD, smoke, trico, Water Temps, Weeds, Weekends
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