Mid-Week Fishing Report 10.27.21

Mid-Week Fishing Report 10.27.21

Mid-Week Fishing Report 10.27.21

Flows: 2700cfs. Lower than mandated. Federally mandated suggests low flows are 2800cfs. Lower than that, by less than a centimeter.

Fish the faster water, has been the theme. But do not disregard the skinny flats when the clouds have the sun obscured. Saw a number of good fish come to the fly on Monday with the lights turned down low.

Water Temps: 52F. Dropping quickly. I’d come out sooner than later if you like to fish insects like the BWO. The continued weather patterns we will endure starting this weekend will drop the water temps rapidly and once we get below 40F no more insect fishing. Just pink bombs.

Big BWO’s like the water temps a bit cooler. So keep your eyes on the gauge and follow us here at Headhunters Fly Shop. None seen yet as mentioned above. Stock up with the larger BWO patterns as this event may happen. But I am not holding my breath as the fall BWO has been weak the previous several years. Slim at best.

Water for BWO’s? The dam to Cascade, and beyond. Those who fish here a ton can identify the water type, and specific runs that these bugs inhabit. The DFO gang knows and remembers epic BWO fishing  on those tightly guarded locations, runs, and flats.

The water temps for the next 20 degrees 52 and below are great for the swing family. And the 2 handed groups have been happy.


Mid-Week Fishing Report 10.27.21

Bugs Hatching: BWO’s small size 18, Baetis bicaudatus. Not the tricaudatus yet. But they may come. Later. You will have to be here for that one. You cannot learn about this kinda stuff only on the fishing report. You kinda gotta be here on the river. And don’t forget your see-able cripple patterns. The dark posted ones…

No October Caddis. But none ever really. Generally see about ten adults. I’m currently holding at 5 of them. Touched one. Cool bug. Not any success from those tossing the floating big orange out there. September is the month where you fish the subsurface bug with success.

Big Adams are hatching. The 12 to 16. They are hatching.

Feel of the River: Good. Low. You can really see the structure of the river. If you like it high, come backs me other time. If you like to wade fish, fish this fall.

Nobody is at the dam.

Nymphers have been fishing the traditional Missouri River runs with classic fall nymphing patterns utilizing historic short leash techniques.

Hah. Love saying that kinda shit. Learned it from a feller that talks more than I do in the Big Hole. Mark Lane.

Nymphers. Flies that rule include Rainbow Czech Nymph, Czech Nymph Olive, Firebead, SJW, T-beaded Sows, Tailwater Sows, any kind of sow you like (proper presentation trumps all fly selection in my mind. If you drag it around out there, the fly pattern makes no difference. The right fly presented badly, or in the wrong water, still sucks.) Two Bit Hookers, Little Green Machine, Double Dipped Ruby Head, Brsuh Hog, GRHE, PT, Bubble Yum Scud, Rainbow Weight Fly, Purple Weight Fly, Red Beaded PWF, Radiation Baetis, Zebra in green, purple, red, olive, black, cream, pink-fish cream, with a black thread hit near the bead, black beaded Zebra, Pink Beaded Zebra, Frenchie, Ball Gag Nymph, S & M, Olive PT, Olive tow Bit Hooker, Tungsten Magic Fly BWO, Tungsten magic Fly Zebra, Little Black Mo, Micro May Brown, Micro May Olive, Ju Ju Baetis, JuJu Black, Ju Ju Brown, Rainbow Warrior, Grape Slushy, Sili-Scud and a few others. Come by for more.

Short Leash. I like 4′ to my first fly. But I am the anomaly. And guides of my age. The short leash to most is a total length of 2′-3′. Total length from bibber to bottom fly. SO adjust your weight and length as you wish. But don’t add the split shot. If you have fished here at all, or if you come into the shop based on reports like this grossly heavy on the fat, then you should know that the water is historically low, therefore split shot is not needed.

Rig for the skinny waters and fish it wherever. Most of the time we are tossing it in fast deep slots, like 1′-4′ of water. And skipping the BS in-between.

Streamer Fisher Fella’s and Ladies. Great. Fish the skinny sand the fast deeper with an intermediate line. If you need help with a new line, come by the shop for the best in FLY LINE SELECTION in the canyon. Yup.

Or a dry line. But the best streamer anglers are fishing a streamer specific fly line.

Streamer patterns that anglers have been rocking include Beth’s Britches, any cool leech pattern, Kreelex, Ramp 2 Ramp, Goldie, Montana Intruder, Fruit Roll Up, Skiddish Smolt, Clouser Minnow, Home Invader, Black Buggers, Zonkers, Thin Mint.

The DFO Family. Great drifts once again leading the charge of importance. Secondly, the correct pattern. You all know you may have to ascertain the correct stage of BWO development before attaching a fly. But the pattens that work consistently here not eh Mo include any visible or invisible cripple pattern. A CDC emerger or soft hackle.

And while not all that popular for the other mayfly hatches here in central Montana the BWO dun is a rock star for our fall mayfly offering. Hence the Adams. Fish it. Have several post colors on hand for differing light conditions. Black, White, Pink, Dun colored etc.

Swing Season. Full speed ahead. Soft hackles, mid sized wets, and streamers are all finding their way into your 2 handed day. Many have been enjoying the Scandi dry line game as the conditions may not have been better int eh past decade and beyond. So much terrain to scrape over and through that the number of fishable runs is simply mind-blowing. Never have we witnessed this perfect marriage of water temps, fish activeness, accessibility, trout spey lines and fly patterns available all at the same moment.

Headhunters will help you find that happy place in your trout spey journey.

While the Scandi crowd is jumping for joy the Skagit gang will argue that digging bit deeper is smart. A few in the shop have been scratching some fo those buckets that needed to be itched. So, be creative and dig deeply into your mental archives of Mo River structures and develop an attack for success.

Tips, leaders, the best Trout Spey fly line retailer with the knowledge to back it up, 2 Handed Rods galore, flies, spey specific reels, swivels, spey rod sox, and technique info at Headhunters of Craig.

Headhunters Fly Shop and Guide Service. Open daily 8-6. We never close. We are headlong into our fall session. River traffic is waning. Guide trips daily. Lodging nightly. Shuttle service open all year ’round. More and more spey trips as the tone of the river heads that direction. The pace is slower. It’s nice. Later starts, later finishes. That first Bourbon always tastes so good after the day on the river. Fall. It smells good.

1169 words. A fishing report full of meat. Approx. 2 hours to write. And we write a ton on this very blog site. That is daily. 5803 blogs and counting. 14 years worth. Not one comparison in fly fishing. Not one. A guy could choke on that kind of meat.

Previous Post
Thin Mint JAV Tying Video
Next Post
Friday Foto from Headhunters of Craig

Related Posts


  • Detailed report – best I’ve ever seen in my 50 years of fly fishing. Thanks, Mark!

    • Thanks Bob. We’ll keep pumping them out. ‘Cause, somebody’s got to keep the education, entertainment, information, and fishing reports fresh here on the Mighty Mo.

  • Terry Armstrong
    October 28, 2021 9:02 am

    Mark I know what a pain it is to keep putting these blog post out, but it is much appreciated.

    May your next cast never be your last!

  • This time of year, when bourbon tastes better out of an old tin cup and the weather reminds you that you’re alive, is a good time to review Robert Traver’s Testament of a Fisherman. Your report makes me hunger for fall on the Missouri.

    “I fish because I love to;

    Because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly;

    Because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturing I thus escape;

    Because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion;

    Because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience;

    Because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don’t want to waste the trip; because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters;

    Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness;

    Because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there;

    Because maybe one day I will catch a mermaid;

    And, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant – and not nearly so much fun. ”

  • Judge John D. Voelker…proud Yooper

  • See you tomorrow, y’all.

Comments are closed.