May Higher Water Report

Memorial Day Weekend Fishing Report Headhunters Fly Shop

Memorial Day Weekend Fishing Report Headhunters Fly Shop

Weather and Flows

Higher and higher she goes. When she will stop? We think soon? Inflows at 25K at Toston. Flows here locally 18K and change. A warm weekend with Thunderstorms occurring in the afternoons. That will do it.

We have not achieved our May rainfall numbers. Current precipitation totals for the Month are at 1.40 inches. 0.48 inches behind average. But we have a few more days to reach that 1.88 inch total. Will we get there? I think so. Spotty rainfall for the remainder of the month.  A daily T-Storm pattern.

Missouri River High Water Fly Selection

A broader selection is needed as we move out of PINK mode into some thing a bit more fun. You can still rock the worm/sow combo with success but many have been fooling around with more.

Mayfly Patterns

Mayflies large and small have been gracing the rigs of many this past couple weeks with the coming weeks seeing even more focus on the slender bodied insect.

Try larger mayfly nymphs for afternoon love in the canyon. Finding that Bacon & Eggs is not producing as well as it did last week? Try any one of the popular mayfly nymph patterns at your favorite fly shop. Go in and take a look around. I have been fond of the Peep Show. But Tungsten Redemption, Tungsten Reckoner, Ninch’s Ball Gag, Tung Head PT, any of the PT and GRHE’s tung head patterns will get it done.

Hey, PMD’s are in the water column folks. Time waits for no bug. BWO’s and PMD’s bot evident. March Browns too. A few to choose from. Which will work for you? Try a couple new patterns this next trip. Broaden your fishing horizons!

Caddis Pupa

Oh man. Late May is the time to get on the caddis pupa in the canyon and beyond. June too.  Along with the mayfly nymphs in the water column the caddis join the sub-surface insect parade. Keep in mind that before we see the bugs in our atmosphere, they have spent 50 weeks maturing below the watery surface.

Yellow Sallies

You can start rocking these too. Top to bottom. Toss a couple of these in your box and bring out when the bobber floats for too long.

Zonker and Zirdles

Beyond the worm and the Czech Nymph top flies you can also go the big attractor fly route too. Zirdles, Rubber Legs, Zonkers, Buggers, Leeches, and the like can live as your top fly.

Soak it. Mend.

Get it deep. If you are not touching the bottom occasionally you are not covering the fish efficiently. Put on that split. Lots of them. Come by for the best split shot selection in the canyon. Yep, bragging about that one! We got bobbers too. All of the most popular 2018 colors as well.

No snags. No fish.

Squeeky’s Short List of Suggestions

Get it in, and Keep it in

Roll Casts. Hey, don’t roll cast with that long rig from the boat. It doesn’t work. Not once, not ever. Even if you move it shorter, harder, faster. Not enough rod tip movement to pull that heavily weighted rig in a viscous material that is anchored in 6′ of water. Doesn’t work. Not even if you try it a thousand times. It doesn’t work.

Pick it up and cast it. The beauty of the fly cast is that it never changes. You never have to make it up, or guess it out there. Get the fly end moving and continue to move it. It never changes. Short quick round rod tip movements do not work with heavy, long, anchored fly rigs. Honest. Not even if you continue to try and move the rod tip faster and shorter and rounder. Make sure you use a short round wrist movement. That seems to never work too.

The bobber cannot move by itself. Ever. If it moves something has happened. It is a fish, or the bottom. If it is a fish, hitting it is a good idea. Thinking about it does not equate to more fish in the net. If it is bottom, it will not automatically and magically come off of the bottom if you do nothing. Becoming static in fishing, and in life, is a bad idea. It doesn’t equate to success. Ever.

Safety First!

Safety is the primary objective of each and every trip on the river. Life jackets save lives. If you are not familiar with higher water flows get some information and learn yourself up on dangers, faster flows leading to less time to move your craft from danger. If you are not comfortable…just say no. Be on the lookout for those in danger or that look out of place. Watch your neighbor on the water. Be aware of your surroundings.

Sunken trees, logs, concrete posts, gates, steps, and other items may impede your downstream progress. Watch. Pay attention out there. It may not be the same conditions since the last time you were out. Don’t drop your anchor in fast water. Carry a knife to cut your rope if needed. Situational Awareness is your goal every time you are on the river at these flows.

It is not dangerous if you are aware of the conditions. Be aware out there. And be polite. That is good too.

Looking Ahead

June is around the corner. Book yourself a guide and some lodging for one of our favorite months in the calendar year. Lots of fun to be had in this first of the summer months. Warm weather, high water, and cold beer in Craig nightly. Call us up for your reservations today.

Headhunters Fly Shop, Guide Service, and Craig Trout Camp open daily 7am til at least 8pm. Earlier and later when the season permits the longer days! We love summer!

Check out the cool logo wear, trout fishing stickers, and a full array of summer flips, shades, sun shirts, sunscreen, hats, and more!


bobbers, Memorial Day Weekend, Split Shot, Squeeky Rants
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  • Tom Dickson
    May 29, 2018 6:18 am

    “Time waits for no bug.” “Come by for the best split shot selection in the canyon.”
    Both lines made me laugh!

    • Thanks Tom. Trying to lighten up the fishing world…sometimes soooo serious. Thanks for the comment. Love writing to see who’s paying attention. Squeeky

  • Not ever?

  • Yearly Party
    May 30, 2018 9:33 am

    I am making the call that the split shot hatch will be over June 12th. So put away your waders, your bobber and your split shot. Clean your line, put on your sandals and practice your reach cast. Things are looking up!

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