Montana Fishing Report

Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 10.17.13

Pissing rain and sleet for Wednesday on the Missouri River. We call that kind of weather good. Perfect.

Epic by some standards. All who walked in the shop this evening, albeit cold, were raving about the fishing. Yes, they were quite pleased.

Baetis, Pseudo’s, some October Caddis adults around too. Choose one of them and get it outside the boat.

Montana Fishing Report | Missouri River

A few fall reminders to improve your catch rates. Your enjoyment is up to you. We can’t help that man. It”s all you.

  1.  Any cast that lands outside the boat is a good cast.
  2. Cast long, short drift. Cast short, long drift.
  3. When tossing flies at rising fish. Cast at them. Not above them 12 feet. Cast at them. Honest. You will be happier.
  4. Bring Handwarmers, hats, gloves, soup, coffee, whiskey. It can be cold out there and the weather can change in a Montana Minute.
  5. Don’t inhale or huff Fly-Agra. Only guides are qualified for that behavior.
  6. You can skin cats many, many ways. Choose your fly fishing style and enjoy the day.

Bugs on all reaches on any given day. Concentrations of said bugs do vary between reaches. One day the upper is pooping, the next the lower. Sometimes, it is riverwide. Some of the big baetis seen here and there. No mega big bug hatches yet. Midges and that damn small greyish stubby diptera seen daily as well. Be prepared with crips, emergers, half duns, hatching, transitional duns for the mayflies and zebra’s for the latter.

A few choices for your rigging right now. Most follow the bugs upwards in the water column as the day progresses. Nymphing rigs with split shot int he mornings before noon. Mid range from nooner til about two. Then short as you can stand it.

Montana Fishing Report
Columbus Day Baetis

The next level for you nymphing folks. Dry flies. Try them. Do it.


You ever noticed how the hardcore dry fly snobs like talking shit about nymphers?

What if fall the nymphers became dry fly anglers?

Wouldn’t the dry fly flats become more crowded if you increased the population of dry fly anglers?

Would the number be tenfold?

Do you think the Dry Fly Only gang would like that?


Just posing a question on today’s Montana Fishing Report

Dry fly fans have been doing well on the good ‘ol Parachute Adams. Any number of cripples, RS2’s…or whatever Ninch has you throwing. Split Wing BWO’s, Stop in and see our large BWO section today. Some are matching the hatch while others are tossing impressionistic patterns and doing well. Certainly fooling a few. Remember: Presentation can be more important than the pattern. Commonly is. If the fly is dragging, the pattern choice becomes moot.

Streamer guys are hanging in there. No reports of grandeur. Not yet. Keep tossing them boys. Good things will happen.

Squeeky Wisdom: As in life, as in fishing. Keep casting. Good things will happen. It’s when you stop casting, that’s when the darkness creeps in…

Tons of information in this here fishing report today. Are you taking notes?

Weather will be sun driven for a few days then some clouds become more common. Do your shitty weather dance and bring it our way.


Flows are at 3ooocfs and water temps continue to fall slightly during the day time periods as well. Under 52F as the day open this morning. Fog and steam on and around the river. No need to start early. Let the morning weather warm and then go prepared!

Headhunters Fly Shop & Guide Service open daily for any Missouri River Montana needs you may have. Gloves, hats, handwarmers, coffee, SAGE Fly Rods, Rio Fly Lines, SIMMS Raingear and Waders, base layers, fleece tops, KAST waterproof gloves, the best selection of flies in Craig, information, and a good heater to stand near. 7am-8pm daily.






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