May Missouri River Tips for Fly Fishing success!

May Missouri River Tips for Fly Fishing success!

May Missouri River Tips for Fly Fishing success!

Hello all out there in TroutLand! May 16th today. Generally lots of folks in town for our Annual Craig Caddis Festival and BBQ Cook-Off. But not today. Cancelled because of Covid-19. But it is rescheduled for Saturday August 29th. This will most likely be the permanent future date as the May date brings rain every year!

A couple hot tips or suggestions for the Missouri River angler as we move through the month of May.

  • Fish the Dearborn River this year. The flows are just perfect and the water temps could not be in a better place. Today is the traditional opener for the creeks and streams in the state, so it will be super busy for the near future. But then, get out on a weekday and enjoy this little gem.  It is a long drift, so use your time wisely. Stop in and chat with the staff about flies and such. We do have guides that fish the Dearborn and are ready to go! This is the year you fish the Dearborn!
  • Why not try a float to Cascade. If you have not been down to the lower river the spring is wonderful time to get out there and enjoy the flat lower reach. Great for tossing blind dry flies and streamers. Sometimes the big brown comes out of the Cascade run. BWO’s and March Browns along with the Mothers Day Caddis can make it a great day! May is good! If the wind is blowing from the north, skip it and try again another day.
  • Short in the afternoon. The trout are hungry and the fish are moving around int eh water column. IF the bugs are moving around, and your indicator is not, try changing the depth. We often say int he morning that if you are not brushing the bottom often you are not near enough to the trout. But, in the afternoon as the bugs are moving upwards in the water column try moving the bobber closer to the flies! Take off the split and fish in the 2’4′ depth. Why not toss it at the banks and seams. Short Leash can work!
  • A big Adams along with dropper can make your day. I love a sz. 10 or a sz. 12 Adams, or Purple Haze with a Little Green Machine or a Two Bit Hooker ties from the bend about two feet or longer. Fish it in that skinny water for some great tugs! Do not disregard the power of the Adams, a big Parachute Adams. Headhunters has the black posted variety as well. Perfect for those glare afternoons we co commonly see here on the MO!
  • Get out of the boat. Those who fish from the boat all the time, should pull over, drop the anchor, and wade fish some of these great islands and flats. You learn a ton while knee deep in the river! Honest. Or, get in a boat. Also a great learning opportunity. Also, a change of direction can spawn new ideas! New techniques. A new love for the sport.
  • Get a guided trip. Lots of our local anglers and Montana residents hire a guide a couple days a year to update their skill set. A learning tool, the guide, that can increase your knowledge base. Book today. We have guides available!

A few good tips for your spring bite out there on the Missouri River near Craig Montana. We are rolling here downtown daily 8-6 with extended operations hours around the weekends. Give us a shout  406-235-3447 for an up to the minute fishing report, shuttle service, or to chat the afternoon away talking about trout!


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  • Washington fly guy looking for a hook up, quarantine still in effect?

    Tom Fishhead Allen

    • Yes. Unfortunately. Should hear an update later this week. Will immediately update you here on this very blog and our social platforms as well Tom!

  • Hey Mark and Crew,
    Locals headed your way this weekend, do you have any updated info? Hopefully floating WC Bridge to Craig…
    Can’t wait to see ya…from a distance 🙂

    • All good Matt. March Browns, Caddis, BWO’s on the lower. Nymphing good on the upper. Sows, scuds, PT’s large and small, worms, etc. Call the shop for an up to the minute fly fishing report 406-235-3447