Missouri River Fly Fishing January Forecast

Missouri River Fly Fishing January Forecast

January Missouri River Weather Forecast

Pretty stable for the next ten days with air temps in the mid 30’s at night along with daily highs in the mid 40’s. Lots of cloud cover predicted so may be a decent time to fish?

The average temperature for January includes a highs of 35F and lows of 15F with 0.51 inches of precip which adds up to about 9″ of snow. The wind chill can be impressive with winds from the north. The prevailing wind is generally from the southwest which is not nearly as biting as the evil northern wind. Check out the 2023 totals here on US Climate Great Falls site.

The water temperatures are terribly cold. Currently hovering around 33-ish. The frigid well below zero temperatures for a good long spell has the river locked in a winters grasp. Anglers out this weekend including a great Friday not he river yesterday!


The water levels are holding in the lower than average zone by  about 1400cfs. Don’t know as of posting what the water direction will be before the end of the wet season in June, but we do know our snowpack is a touch above average.

January Fishing Forecast

Cold. Our coldest fishing month. Or one of the top 3. Again we will not know the outcome until later this spring. The winter-like November and December have led us into quite a boring start for the New Year. Wear warm clothes, warmer socks, and bring your Thermos. Average daily temps have been recorded in the 30’s.

Morning fishing is for those who like to sneak out there before the fish are bothered by the winter sun. Some wait until after breakfast to begin their slow journey to the river. Fish the noon til 4pm slot until the sun stays out later if you like the meat of the day.  As the winter fades to spring then you may begin to enjoy the morning more often. But that is a couple, or a few months away.

Nymphers come on strong in January. The primary attack for fish catching includes anything pink. Or at least start with anything and then figure it out. Firebeads are really a hot ticket in the next couple months. Really strong through the end of spring.

Fish the real winter water all month long. The stale stuff. Almost stopped, yet still moving.  The inside bends towards the end of the moving area. Then focus on depth. The water is pretty low so go with shorter than normal rigs. Split or not is your choice. A house divided on this lead filled topic.

Swingers comprise about half of the winter Missouri River angling participation stats. Skagit fishers are getting fish on the line. Fishing pretty well from top thru the canyon. Check with the shop before heading out for not only boat ramp health but shelf ice coverage.

Headhunters Fly Shop

Open daily for all things Trout. Your leading Montana fly shop for all things Trout Spey. We have the full lines of RIO, Scientific Angler, OPST, and Airflo spey lines, tips ,and accessories. Headhunters Fly Shop is the authority in this arena with the entirety of the staff engaged and involved with the two handed rod all winter long.

January is a busy month for booking spring, summer, and fall guide trips and nightly Missouri River lodging. You want to start your Missouri River legacy this year? Or continue your family Montana trip? Start making your Montana trout memories by getting your name on the books for 2023.

Headhunters open daily 9-5.  Enjoy your January whether you be skiing, finishing up the waterfowl season, fishing, or hibernating. Give us a shout. We love talking trout!

fishing, January, Missouri River January Forecast, Slush, spey, troutspey, Weather
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