Mid July Missouri River Fishing Report

Mid July Missouri River Fishing Report

Mid July Missouri River Fishing Report begins and ends with the Trico hatch. Going strong here fishing central Montana’s Missouri River. It is the focus of most everyday.

Missouri River Trico Hatch

Timing is everything. You want to be in your spot or flat when the Trico’s fall from the sky back to the river. This happens daily at 9 or 10am. Later if the weather is cool in the morning and earlier if it has been warm during the nighttime hours. Lately the fall has been later as we are experiencing a cooler than average July. And we like the cooler weather. For certain.

It gives us a longer window in the future for fewer weeds, river issues, and less competition amongst boats and anglers with the weekender gang of non fishers. We love the non fisher gang too!

The male Trico hatches at dusk and hangs out over night waiting for the female to come off in the morning. If it rains the night before your day you may experience a lesser event int he am as well. No mates for the females as the males do not do well fighting against the rain. It knocks them out!

Flies that have been good for the Trico action include small skittering caddis. Yep. Sometimes the best Trico fly is not a Trico. I have an article on tap for tomorrow explaining this in length.

Double WIngs, CDC Trico Emegers, sunken Trico patterns, Harrop’s Soft Hackles, White Spinners, Harrop’s Spinner, and more. Griffith’s Gnat is a popular fly along with Quigley’s Mkidge Cluster and the Double Winger Midge Cluster. All good flies to have in your arsenal.

Missouri River Caddis Action

No mega daytime hatches but there is good action at night. Head out for the last couple hours and you will see a ton. Are they all over the water? Sometimes. Others not so much.

The caddis bite is good even without the bugs en masse. Would we rather have flies in our shirts, noses and ears all day long? Yep. But without that kind of nuisance the fish are keying on the caddis fly. Headhunters has a zillion caddis patterns that are Missouri River killers. Trans. Pupa and Emergers, Stocking Winged Caddis, Para Caddis, Harrop’s Palmered Caddis, Double Ducks, Corn Feds,  Micro Caddis, Angleo’s Burnt Wing, Missouri River Specials and many more in stock today at HH in Craig.

Go under the surface with emerges, soft hackles, pupa’s and the like for even more action. Spice up your fly life today!

Try green bugs in the canyon for an added punch to your bobber attack. Do it.

Terrestrials. Ants and Hoppers

It is time for the bigger bug. Not too many hoppers making noise as we float the Mo. Not many in the brush either. Will they come this year? Maybe. Be prepared if they do show. Is the Missouri one of the better Hopper rivers in the state of Montana? no. The Madison, the Yellowstone, and the creeks are all good bets for that kind of action but we do have our high points.

Ants are more in line with our trout fishery here in Craig and the canyon. Black, red, cinnamon, and bi-colored will all get some attention. We even have a purple one in stock. Yep, purple has made an appearance int he ant world.

Come by for Chubby’s, ants, beetles, and more at Headhunters. Widely known as the fly shop with the fly selection that is proven. And we do not hold bad flies hoping for that retail sale like others. If the fly does not produce we get them out of here. Sale bins are for bad flies. Not dust collection. No way! We are only interested in your fly fishing success. That is what drives Ninch’s focus to harbor the best flies and selection in the canyon and beyond.

Weather for the Week

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Warmer days and warmer nights this week ahead. That means an earlier start for your day if you want to get in on the dry fly action. The Trico dry fly action.

Missouri River Flows and Water Temps

4340cfs is the flow. Better than it could be. Not too bad for a low water year in most of the state. We are so fortunate to have good summer flows here in central Montana. We will continue this for the remainder of the summer.


The water temps have been much worse in years past. Meaning much higher than they are right now. A cooler June and July, mentioned above, has kept us at a reasonable water temp level. The weeds are not too bad either. Will they creep toward the surface and inundate the water column this summer? Who knows. Mother Nature will let us know in due time.

Headhunters Fly Shop and Guide Service

Open daily for all your Missouri River needs. We got your back not he Blackfoot River end too. Book a Blackfoot Trip in conjunction with your Missouri River trip. The best of both worlds including both tailwater and freestone rivers during one visit.

6am til 9pm. Flies, shuttles, the only SIMMS dealer not he river, Sage, RIO, Airlfo, SA, OPST, Loomis, Fenwick, Epic Glass, Abel, Hatch, Pflueger, Echo rods and reels, Orvis, Galvan, Dr. Slick, Howler Bros, 12 wt, Smith, Costa, Suncloud, Fisherman Eyewear, Clic, Fishpond, Umpqua, TroutHunter, Loon, Just Add Vise, J:Son, NRS and Adispose drifters and Inflatable Drifters for sale and rent, original art on all of our Logo’d T’s and hats, and much more.

Your Missouri River fly shop destination with the education, information, entertainment, WiFi, cell coverage, free coffee, and the longest standing full time staff on the river by a long shot…

Enjoy the rest of the summer here fishing Montana’s Missouri River with Headhunters.

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