Missouri River Fishing Report April 29th 2018
Not normal Missouri River fishing. Lower than average catch rates. Difficult situations. Fluctuations in the water couple times a week. Swollen feeder creeks like the Dearborn and Little Prickly Pear. Lots of boats. No wade fishing to speak of. That is our reality.
And we are one of the only fishable rivers in the state. Soon to be the only, save for a couple hold outs i.e. Spring Creeks and the like.
Welcome to the Missouri River Craig Montana
You could be reading this if you are gonna be displaced by spring time flows around the state. Remind your guide to stop in to Headhunters for a coffee refill and a cup full of flies. The Missouri River is fortunate to never have too much water. We certainly can be rammed into the upper river as we are today. The feeders will clear up rapidly. A couple days at most for LPP, and the Dearborn can clear up in 24 hours.
What will happen this time? Boy, I don’t know.
We are fishable. It is difficult.
The fish are moving around and are freaked out too.
You will see a couple techniques out there. Fishing toward the bank. And fishing away from he bank. Both are good ideas. Be patient. Lots of boats on the water. You will see the players working together to create the orchestra. Watch what is happening and get in. There is an etiquette level on the river too. But it changes with the water conditions. You will be close to other boats. Be comfortable. Understand the orchestration of boat movement. Then be polite and get it. Watch to learn. Ask questions
Don’t drop your anchor in spots that have too much flow. Don’t drop your anchor near rip rap banks. Be safe. The water is twice the speed it was last time you came. That is important to remember.
Nut Shell Nymphing Report
Worms, Scuds, Sows, and some BWO nymphs, Rubber Legs, Zirdle Bugs, Black Buggers, Zonkers, Leeches, Firebeads, March Brown Nymphs and Caddis Pupa.
Bobber to Split length 6’+. Some I hear as long as 11′. I like somewhere shaded to the former. Too long is too long. Although those who get the fly there and hold it there…catch more fish. A fine line for sure.
Inside out. Or outside in. Both getting fish.
Throw it in to the bank. Strip it across sunken bars and islands. Not too many wade ops. Get a streamer line that sinks. An intermediate may not get it done this time. Deeper bank lines that at lower water levels. Again, a reminder. The Missouri River high(er) water fishing style requires you to change according to the current conditions. You will not be able to approach like you normally do this spring.
Dry Fly Report
Catching a few. If you are gonna play this game you probably should commit in the afternoons to finding a few. Chasing bobber down the river expecting to “find a few” may not be all too fruitful. You gotta commit to greatness to find greatness. BWO’s on the lower reaches. But, currently muddy on the lower reaches.
Come by for the right BWO’s. If you find a couple, the drift is king again this year. Right now an attractor style mayfly will work. If you want killer cripples, we got ’em in downtown Craig @ Headhunters.
Missouri River Water Flows
Currently 10,600cfs. Water temps moved much higher this week and currently at 46F. The water will go higher. The tributaries will clear. the BWO’ will come in big numbers. We may or may not have lots of sit rising. More likely a few, not a lot. It is only late April. Way more excitement to come.
Headhunters Fly Shop
Open daily 8-7. Shuttles all day long for the late comers. Rental boats. All the killer gear for your Missouri River stay. Lodging galore at www.craiglodging.com. Let us help during the high water periods here, there, and everywhere. We are fishing here in Craig Montana.