Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 5.18.15

Thew weather went into a shitty wet and cold yet normal May pattern this last week. Will it remain the same this coming week? Only Mother Nature knows.

The weatherman has some insights too…maybe.

We saw the value of kick ass rain gear this last week though. Gore-Tex does the best job. Period. SIMMS gear heads did stay dry. SIMMS was here BBQ’ing along with Montana Fly Co and we thank them for their participation the Caddis Festival and Drift Boat Drive-In.

How much did it rain here in Craig? Rainfall for the previous 3 days at the Dearborn measured 2.66 inches. In Wolf Creek the measurement was 1.7 inches. Look at the results here. Did it affect the current situation and future situation of summer flows? Maybe. Maybe not.

While May and June are the 2 wettest months in Montana where upon we receive over half of our yearly precipitation, it generally does not affect the summer flow outcomes. Does it hurt? No, we like it. It greens up the joint too.

Will it fill the reservoir faster, or get us to the magic 97% fill goal? No, I do not think so. But it will add a bit of water for our summer ahead. We are currently at the 84%+ level. Need `13% to get to the last week in June fill goal.

Check out the inflows at Toston below. Will this help? Oh yeah. But the same statement is valid here too. Probably too little too late. But if the rain continues to fall from the sky, it could alter the path a bit.

On the Rise at Toston

The Dearborn looks like it has topped out at 695 cfs, up from below 200 cfs before the rain storm and the Pear is at 209 cfs up from about 50 cfs.

Are the feeder creeks blowing mud into the main stem of the Missouri? Yep. Pretty muddy and off color on Sunday. What will today bring? Some settling will occur but it may take a few days. Get out your dirt snake box and have at ‘er.

Check with the shop on our Missouri River Hotline 877-DRY-FLYS. We got your back and give us a shout for any river questions or stop in for a shuttle on your way out.

The water temps have dropped right out of the 50’s and will remain that way for a few days until the sun shines yet again. Current water temps at 48F and water flows at 4400 cfs. They have risen as well and if you add LPP and the Dearborn add another grand onto that figure.

Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 5.18.15

It is the date that Mount St. Helens blew in 1980. If you are interested in history, and for our Washington readers.

Here in Craig all is well. Nymphing very good to great. Keeping your hands warm enough to grasp the rod int eh north winds has been tough, but good fishing always keeps you warmer. All of the regular spring players will work. The slender bodied mayfly stuff will work for 3 mayfly species this week.

March Browns, BWO’s and PMD nymphs are on the menu. Close what you like and try it. If that don’t work, change it up. And keep in mind that before we see more Caddis on the surface they are in the mix subsurface. Just like the PMD mention above you need to remember that the life cycle previous to the adult stage we and you and most love so dearly begins under the surface a year before we see the dun..

Pay attention to depths and be willing to adjust accordingly. Those who practice static fishing behaviors…are happy with the results I guess, or they would change. Remember that bugs move into secondary shelf lanes when moving towards the surface. Smart fish follow that model. So do smart anglers.

Dry fly fishing? Good. Search and Ye shall find. Ask the Ninch, or Sara, or Braden, or Dewey, or who ever you may be standing next to and we can outline a reach that will fit your needs.

Again two of the Mayfly Brothers will get you some takes. MB’s and BWO’s are the hero’s in this story. Caddis are on the back burner until warmer temps return.

Streamer anglers love the shitty weather. Chuck and duck. Strip and set. Most of us love May for the bigger fish on the bigger fly. Small and boring streamer patterns have been getting it done. Remember it is all about the flash.

That is the latest from the river as we know it. Guides out daily, lodging in any one of our over 20 strong options, the best fly selection, the only SIMMS dealer on the river, Headhunters Logo Wear, shop open daily @ 7am.


dry fly, Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 5.18.15, Nymphers Unite, Streamer Action
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1 Comment.

  • Mark
    Appreciate your insight concerning up coming flows. Our Mi group will be on the river 7/7 – 7/18. Looking forward to PMDs, spent caddis and the ever popular tricos. If we can keep the flows above 3800 we will be happy


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