Missouri River March Fishing Forecast
Things to think about in March
We are already a few days into the 3rd month here on the Missouri River. The Missouri River March Fishing Forecast looks strong. Average water levels and warming water temps are what we will see this month along with more and more midge flies near the surface.
The weather while unpredictable this year already will grace us with both kinds of days. Good ones and bad ones. The question being which kind of day do we really want. I thing both. We do need to add to our snowpack mountainside to insure adequate water flows for the summer. More snow is always better than not enough. We have not had a significant snowpack and/or run-off event in 3 years. 2016 will hopefully bring a historic flush to us this spring and early summer.
Remember the high water years of ’08-’11? 4 consecutive years of better than average water. While some complain when the water levels are such that the dry fly fishing does not get rolling until late July we here on the Mo plead for that action again. The haters will hate. The hate club complains when we do not have enough water too. They hate on us when the weather is hot mid-summer and the weekend warriors from the region fill our waters with rafts, tubes, and non-fishing recreationalists.
The remainder of us must hope for the best and prepare for the worst. The worst would be a decline in snowpack depth, unseasonably warm days and more importantly nights. Stop. That is the end of that discussion.
The best case scenario is that we add to the already waning snowpack with spring snowfall. Cold nights and cooler days will help as well. A normal March would be OK. A wetter than normal March would be real good my friends. As I have commonly asked for here on this Missouri River information blog I suggest we all take part in a rain and snow dance. In the privacy of your own home please. While your wife and kids are out. They already are suspect of your dancing style…
Missouri River March Fishing Forecast
March is the first month of the calendar year that we can expect relatively level or predictable fishing. IT is also the first month with enough daily bugs to hopefully find a few rising fish. the nymphing heats up and the streamer fishing can be as good as it gets on any given day.
Missouri River March Hatches
Midges. Maybe an occasional BWO. Skwalas? The game is midges though. Depending on the year, and we don’t know until after it happens, the midge fishing can be damn good. Meaning topwater action. The midge are thick if you dip your flies beneath the surface.
Nymphing is real good with any number of subsurface patterns. Black is the most popular color but do not forget to include an olive or green midge pattern. Both deep nymphing techniques with some adjustment of distance from bobber to fly, or split. The midge fly is something that may be attached to your rig all month long.
If the month is inordinately warm we will see some BWO’s popping here and there. The water temps would have to move toward 40F and beyond to see more than a few. Don’t hold your breath. But if we see a bundle of them then we are headed the wrong direction as far as weather and precipitation goes.
Skwalas? Oh maybe. Again, the later in the month would be more of a draw. We don’t have a ton of then anyway. But the fish will come to the topwater offer if you trust it for 8 hours a day. You gotta believe.
Missouri River March Weather
The daily air temps are nearly 10 degrees higher than the previous month. The historic precipitation is up as well. March generally brings nearly an inch of rain. And we will take it. How about more than an inch this March. Remember that snow/rain dance you promised to do?
Still prepare for any mountain, Rocky Mountain, conditions when fishing the month of March in Montana. It can change in a heartbeat. Full winter regalia is always nearby when fishing the Mo this time of year.
Expect temps in the mid 40’s and some wind. The ubiquitous Montana wind. We have never liked it. But, a necessary evil for sure.
What to expect Fishing the Missouri in March
A crap shoot really. Mostly good with some not so good. If the early winter is any indication the fishing can go ether way during the day. Mostly hit and miss is what we hear from the anglers coming back in and giving us a post battle report.
What we are seeing is that some days the nymphing is good, and others not as good. The streamer fishing has been more consistent…which is the strange part. Usually the other way around.
You can expect the midge to show during the calm afternoons with certainly the late afternoons towards the last light producing a good rise. Stay out late. Get in late and stay the course.
Swing the Fly
Many anglers out and about this second to last true Swing Season month. As you know many anglers in the shop daily looking for Trout Spey lines, iMOW tips, and our wide selection of Trout Spey demo rods. And then they are out there swinging through runs. Most are having success bringing a few to hand.
The best time to swing the fly on this river is pre-weed. The weeds get tough as we move into July. So, if you like to toss the two handed rod come on out and get on the water this month. April too. Good action will be had until the aquatic vegetation becomes overwhelming.
Headhunters Spring Special starts March 15th
Cheap lodging and cheap guide trips starting March 15th. Call the shop for details on the guide trips and any questions you may have about specific lodging options. A full day fishing with lunch and drinks. All terminal tackle included. All you need is your new ’16 Montana fishing license and a smile.
Headhunters Spring Special is $350 for the day. We get a ton of folks from the region including Bozeman, Whitefish, Billings, Spokane, Calgary, Great Falls, Helena, and many more small towns in Montana.
Headhunters Fly Shop March ’16
Open daily @ 8am. March is a fun month as we see many summer items coming into the store daily. Ninch tells me that the fly selection is growing weekly. 10’s of 1000’s of flies have passed through the Headhunters front door. Now is the time that the direction will change as they make their way out the door and onto the water.
New stuff from SIMMS, Abel, two handed rods from Echo and Orvis, fly lines from RIO, and of course the flies. Tons.
Rental boats sitting in the yard until you take them out. Guides at the ready. Shop staff making coffee. All smiles all the way around. See you in Craig, in March!
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