Missouri River May Fly Fishing Forecast
Here we go out of April running full speed into the jaws of May! Hooray. Maybe spring will greet us this Month of May.
Things to look forward to in May include…
More water. How much? Again we can only speculate, smartly. The answer is more.
We are currently at 11K cfs. Inflows at Toston are currently 14K cfs. We will see more. More rain, or more sun both equal more water in our Missouri River system. Will we see water in the 20K range? Maybe. Only Mother Nature knows. Watch the forecast.
Missouri River Water tools…
- Holter Dam USGS Missouri River Current Flows
- Montana Snow Water Equivalent Map
- Canyon Ferry Lake Level
- Toston Dam USGS Missouri River Current Flows
BWO’s. They have only just started on the Mo the 4th week of April. So we will have them well into May, if not through May into June. Some years high(er) water coupled with cooler water temps we see the Olives last well into June. 2011 I fished a lights out baetis hatch June 16th. It was the final push that year, and a good one!
The lower river will have them before we see them in Craig. We have seen them in Craig and beyond but then again not in huge numbers. This seems like it will be the week. They have to come!
Some decent dry fly fishing already. Not riverwide. Spotty at best. You gotta stay true to the dry if you want to catch them on the dry. Look in soft water. Back eddies. Bank lines. Adams, cripples, emergers. All of the flies you love to fish. Our fish cannot stay away from a well presented cripple. Meaning not dragging around on the surface!
Dry fly fishing is available. It is not great great. Lower water fishing is not what we are doing here this May. Yes there are dry fly fishing opportunities out there. Not too many though. Although, you never know until you go!
PMDs late in the month. Maybe. More like June. And we are behind the curve with water temps. Generally the PMD comes the 4th, 5th, 6th of June and lasts 6-8 weeks. It will come. But not the early arrival in May this year.
Mother’s Day Caddis. Mid month? All bugs are attached to a water temp. I have no idea what this fly hatches at. Mid-Monthish. We love a size 14 Craig Mathew’s X-Caddis. We have these and many more here on the only Missouri River comprehensive on-line fly selection. Check it.
March Browns. Like the Mother’s Day Caddis this hatch is short in duration. 7-10 days. And you may not even see them when you overhear some yahoo’s chatting about it at the bar. This mystery hatch is just that. Some years does not come off well. Last year it did not come off well. The year before? I think it did. Really once every 3 fishing years you get into some real good March Brown fishing. Always smart to have a few patterns in your box to capitalize on this special May hatch.
Preparedness is Imperative
Be safe. High water is faster, deeper, tougher. Know where your life jackets are. Oars. Oar locks. Don’t tie knots in your anchor rope. Only drop your anchor in shallow soft water. Wade fishing is tough too. The water is deep. The water is fast. Be safe. Ask questions. Don’t be shy. Be safe. Bring warm clothing. It is Montana in the spring months. It can snow. It can rain. It will blow!
May is a fun time to be here on the Mo. It may be one of the only rivers to fish this spring. So be prepared. There will be a lot of boats and anglers in a small amount of water. Visit your favorite Craig Fly Shop Headhunters often. They have the flies you need along with the pertinent information. The good stuff man.
- Headhunters has fly fishing guides for those of you displaced from the wade fishing game. We are here to help. Just ask us. Open daily 730am til 7pm. As the sun gets higher the shop will be open longer.
- Check out the Comprehensive Missouri River Lodging Site www.CraigLodging.com for 30+ lodging options!
- Izaak’s of Craig open Wednesday thru Sunday 4-9pm
- Joe’s Bar daily 8am-2am
- Papa’s in Craig we think daily.
- Missouri River Eats for Sando’s and stream side lunches. Call Kelly up or check out her website and pre-order your lunches.
- Shotgun Annie’s Wolf Creek Eatery
- We here that the Oasis in Wolf Creek is opening May 4th.
- The Canyon Store in Wolf Creek open daily at 7am with gas and convenience items.
Checking your website daily even though I will not get up there til mid Sept. Appreciate what you all do and look forward to introducing our fishing party to the folks at the shop.
Thanks John. We can’t wait til you get here either! The water will be perfect when you arrive. Cloudy, overcast, calm. Perfect!
Mark , great blog ( as usual ) ….especially the safety issue .
Thanks Mick. Safety first!
Great post, thank you. And Great Pic!