May Missouri River Fishing Forecast
Today on the Headhunters Fly Shop Blog you get the May Missouri River Fishing Forecast.
What to expect, wish for, and believe for the month ahead.
Here we go out of April running full speed into the jaws of May! Hooray. Maybe spring will greet us this Month of May.
Things to look forward to in May include…
More water. How much? Again we can only speculate, smartly. The answer is more. Although we do not believe we will endure the epic spring flows of these previous year. Nope. Only an auto fo nature will allow that to happen again. Hold your breath!
We are currently at 11,400 cfs. Inflows at Toston are currently 10,800 cfs. We will see more. More rain, or more sun both equal more water in our Missouri River system. Will we see water in the 20K range? Maybe. Only Mother Nature knows. Watch the forecast.
But we truly believe that we will ultimately have a normal water year. This early high(er) water shows that the management style has certainly changed post 2010. Mitigate early. Follow the models that the computer spits out. And then if we see additional precipitation in our drainage late, or from now until the 4th week in June, the model dictates that it come up. As you remember the water managers will peak the lake, fill Canyon Ferry lake on the 4th weekend in June. That is always the plan.
Missouri River Water tools…
- Holter Dam USGS Missouri River Current Flows
- Montana Snow Water Equivalent Map
- Canyon Ferry Lake Level
- Toston Dam USGS Missouri River Current Flows
Missouri River May Weather and Water Forecast
May is the second rainiest month of the year. The only one that exceeds May is June. So bring that rain gear as you come to the Mo for some kick ass May fishing. Thunderstorms can sneak up on us when fishing towards a few risers.
Sun also plays a role this month. Sometimes we see temperatures into the 90’s. Yep. Sunscreen is also a good idea this wet and warm month.
Missouri River May Hatch Forecast
Blue Winged Olives
BWO’s through the month. They have just started on the lower river. They will be in full swing in the space of this coming week. The weather looks and feels like BWO weather with snow and rain yesterday, and into the week ahead.
We live on the nymph and sometimes the dry fly with the BWO. Overcast skies keep the bugs on the water much longer than the sunny days but as we have learned from wonderfully insightful Headhunters Blog writers that BWO’s are certainly present even under the high and bright skies
Nymphs are always a good idea for the subsurface baetis. Slender bodied skinny nymphs are definitely popular these days and rightfully so. HH has what you need when fishing the Mo. Your information and stocked fly pattern shop when fishing the Missouri River.
The dry fly is king. Cripples, emerges, and spinners are always a good place to start. Fish then one you love. Or the one that the trout love.
Dry-Dropper is a favored technique as well. An Adams or a Purple Haze with your favorite dropper hung off of the back. Some sort of PT derivation will suffice.
BWO’s are always a part of the May Missouri River Fishing Forecast
About over. But there will be some staggers left int eh water column for the next week. Big cripples, knock downs, and spinners make good MB patterns. Try the Adams, the P-Haze and like on this bug as w3ell. They do like them. HH has at least 10 March Brown Dry Fly patterns on hand for your angling pleasures.
Mother’s Day Caddis
Showing up in big numbers. Down river of Mid Canon. The lower canyon can be filled with them. The Cascade stretch can be ripe as well. Go out and find these fish. This is allow a short lived event. Don’t blink because you may miss them. I would get out there now.
X Caddis, Missing Link, Weilenman’s CDC and Elk…or any of the caddis patterns you dig may work. The caddis fish during the spring are real dumb. I like real dumb trout.
How about a caddis pupa or a soft hackle for this treat? Yep. Smart.
Pale Morning Duns
Pale Morning Duns, PMD’s, may come in the back end of the month. A lot of water warming will have to occur, as we are far behind annual water temperature norms. It s far more likely to see our first PMD’s of the season in the first week or two of June. And we are behind the curve with water temps. Generally the PMD comes the 4th, 5th, 6th of June and lasts 6-8 weeks. It will come. But not the early arrival which can happen the last week of May. No, probably not in May this year.
More on patterns and techniques as we get closer to the PMD dates. Look for a helpful June Forecast Missouri River Fly Fishing Guide here on the only information web source on Montana’s Missouri River.
Ants and Beetles
Fish them from May til October. An ant pattern or a flying ant pattern or a black beetle can bring a fish from the bottom. Those of you who are believes…you know who you are. I know you try to convert a few anglers every year…but that is tough. Stick to your guns. I am a believer.Took me a while though…
Missouri River May Traffic
If you like crowds…come on a Saturday.
If you don’t try the mid week stroll. Way better. Weekends have been dam busy this year so keep that in mind when calling in sick to your job. Call in sick Monday’s or Tuesdays.
June and July are pretty stacked with anglers too. May will be nice, and fishing well!
Caddis Festival Saturday May 18th. See you in Craig for our 13th Annual Craig Caddis Fest and BBQ Cook-Off. Live and silent auction, BBQ bites for $3, Parade for any and all to participate in or just watch, raffles, Izaak’s and Joe’s open…fun for the entire family. Begins at 4pm Sat May 18th.
Preparedness is Imperative
Be safe. High water is faster, deeper, tougher. Know where your life jackets are. Oars. Oar locks. Don’t tie knots in your anchor rope. Only drop your anchor in shallow soft water. Wade fishing is tough too. The water is deep. The water is fast. Be safe. Ask questions. Don’t be shy. Be safe. Bring warm clothing. It is Montana in the spring months. It can snow. It can rain. It will blow! Check out Richard’s recent post about boat and water safety.
May is a fun time to be here on the Mo. It may be one of the only rivers to fish this spring. So be prepared. There will be a lot of boats and anglers in a small amount of water. Visit your favorite Craig Fly Shop, Headhunters, often. They have the flies you need along with the pertinent information. The good stuff man.
- Headhunters has fly fishing guides for those of you displaced from the wade fishing game. We are here to help. Just ask us. Open daily 8am til 7pm. As the sun gets higher the shop will be open longer.
- Check out the Comprehensive Missouri River Lodging Site www.CraigLodging.com for 30+ lodging options!
- Izaak’s of Craig open Wednesday thru Sunday 4-9pm
- Joe’s Bar daily 8am-2am
- Missouri River Eats for Sando’s and stream side lunches. Call Kelly up or check out her website and pre-order your lunches.
- Shotgun Annie’s Wolf Creek Eatery
- The Oasis in Wolf Creek is open. Inquire within for weekly hours.
- The Canyon Store in Wolf Creek open daily at 7am with gas and convenience items.
Headhunters Fly Shop and Guide Service
Open daily at 8am. Guide Trips available, your lodging resource and the Home of the Craig Trout Camp, look up properties outside of Craig on www.craiglodging.com. SIMMS, RIO, Sage Fly Rods, HH Logo Gear, Orvis, Echo Fly Rods, TONS OF COOL STICKERS, flies from Solitude, RIO, Umpqua, Montana Fly Company, Yellowstone Fly Goods, Rainy’s, and more, newly added Just Add Vise Kits, sunglasses from SMITH, Costa, Suncloud, and Fisherman Eyewear, Fishpond, and great selection of river nets numbering well over 30, the best selection of flies, and the friendliest knowledgable fishy shop staff on the planet.
Remember that Headhunters is the Trout Spey Montana Headquarters. Anything you may need including rods, tips, lines, leaders, guide trips, accessories…you are just a call away from greatness. Our knowledgeable Trout Spey Staff is ready to help. 406-235-3447.
Come visit us in Craig. Open daily til 7pm.