Missouri River Headhunters Fishing Report June 24th 2020

Missouri River Headhunters Fishing Report June 24th 2020

Photo: Mike Farris tying up another PMD dry fly to fool the Misouri River sipping trout Tuesday Morning.

Water levels flirting with 10K as the water managers evacuate the flood pool that was reached when the lake fill level passed beyond 97%. Currently 100% the lake will be drained towards the 97% pool as we may see another rain event the front end of next week.

If that does not materialize the waters will recede. But we expect the flows to remain at the 10K mark thru Friday, maybe longer. Always keep it here as HH is your information source keeping the finger on the pulse of Craig Montana.

The fishing is good. Nymphing very good as the PMD bite has been strong. Deep or short will get your net wet. Long with no weight, long with lots of shot, long with tungsten beaded patterns to get you there over center river bars and shallow edges. Your short leash rig needs to be longer in the higher flows.

Streamer fishing? Have not heard. Do not see anglers tossing the bugger out there. Most are nymphing or looking for heads.

Dry fly bite is good. Lots of bugs on the water with the PMD leading the pack. Caddis evident as well and some fish are on the caddis. Others the PMD. And many as Mother Mo is a hard luck educator are not catchable at all. I certainly found many fish that did not entertain our flies at all. Good drifts included.

Spoke with another tenured 20 year plus guide at the take out this evening as we were the last two on the water, the older guides like us in the half century club, about the difficult dry fly success rate. Bomb proof. Mouths tied shut. A difficult conversion today for sure. But that is dry fly fishing on the Mo. Some days they eat all of your great drag free offerings…today? Not so much.

Sally’s everywhere in the canyon. Stop by Headhunters to get a couple Sally patterns if you stumble on the Sally Hatch of the decade.  Caddis strong up and down. Drakes next week? Trico’s the week following. PMD’s daily. Spinner falls been happening at about 9am. PMD Emergence off and on all day long in some reaches. Skittering caddis present.

The phone has been ringing off the hook at Headhunters in Craig Montana. Julie booking guide trips and lodging. The empty spots left open by the pandemic are filling quickly as the flights in and out are expanding. Also Helena Town Car Company will drive you anywhere. Yes. Anywhere. Need to fly out of SLC? Helena Town Car. Flying into Bozeman and need a ride to the river? HTC. Give them a call 406-437-8585 and let them help you get to Craig Montana. 

Give us a shout if you need any river advice, flies, shuttles, guides, lodging on the river and beyond, and the Best Flies Under the Big Sky at Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig.

Headhunters Fly Shop and Guide Service Open Daily at 7am.



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  • I have never fished the Mo this high. Am I going to need some extra weight on the anchor or does she hold about the same as at 6k? Can’t wait to get there Monday morning!

    • I assume you’re talking about your boat anchor? If you have a 30lb anchor (or heavier) you should be fine. I you run a lighter anchor, you may have trouble in a few spots. Also, be careful about anchoring in fast/deep current! Every time we experience flows over 10K somebody sinks a boat anchoring in fast water with too little scope in too much water.

      • Yep, boat anchor. Thanks John, I’ll run a longer rope and I think I know the really bad spots to avoid up top. I don’t want to end up with the Darwin Award for the summer.

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