Winter. Still winter here fishing Montana’s Missouri River.
While the weather dictates the number of folks plying their winter fishing trade the fish simply don’t care how hard it blows, how much snow is falling, or if you’d rather be on the couch eating spaghetti.
They gotta eat.
Montanan’s fish in the winter. Most, I meant all, of the anglers around are either from Helena, Great Falls, Bozeman, Whitefish/Kalispell, Billings, or some other minute Montana community. Most of the use days on Montana’s rivers come from residents. Not really known. Yes it’s true. And they really like to get out when the pressure is reduced, like now. Winter time fishes well. They would tell me not to tell you that. Stay home until June.
But if you gotta come now, we can help. Guides, lodging, info, flies…
Missouri River Montana
The January Missouri River fishing report. It’s good. Good for winter. Not many dry fly opportunities, but a few here and there on the right day, in the right spot, with the right fly. If you had to tie on a dry fly, try a midge cluster. Our current favorite is Dominick’s Purple Reneball. Look in back eddies, soft insides, stale waters for your dry fly opportunities.
Streamer fishers have been getting them in many spots during the swing. Not as may on the strip. Reports of fish grabbing the fly are not as common as the fish just being on. Meaning they eat the damn fly so softly, that we generally do not feel it. The best way to keep these trout on the line, is simply not to feel it until it’s tight. I know we can screw up the take/strike if we are paying attention when the fish climbs on.
Natural colored patterns, whites, with not as much shiny as of late. So, take that as you will. Fish the flies you think should work and they probably will. Confidence is the key. And a spot of whiskey now and then.
Nymphers rejoice in the cooler water temperatures as the fish can only be harbored in a few spots. Flies that work all winter long include anything large and fruity flavored. Leaded is not a bad idea. Beaded. Or fish soft water and let it soak.
Missouri River Montana Flows, Water Temps, Weather
Water flows are 2K less than historical data would indicate. The water managers are holding their cards as the last years minor mismanagement dictates that they hold some water until the spring approaches and the rain-soaked Genie pokes her head out of the the bottle. Flows are currently @ 3000cfs. We expect to see this flow for months.
Water temps are about average at 35F. 1 degree cooler than last year at this time. It has been cooler, but not as cool as history has shown us. We are still a few degrees above our seasonal air temperature norms and the water temps reflect that. We are usually about a degree colder.[forecast]
Snow this midweek. We like it.
Fly Tying Night in America at the shop tonight, Wednesday @ 6pm. A few of the regulars will be attending. And you? We’d love to see you. Give us a shout and we’ll hold a chair for you.
Shop open daily. Guides out this last week. None scheduled for this week. How about the next week. February will signal the time to start fishing in 2014…