Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 8.18.14

Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 8.18.14

August is here. We are here. The trout are here.


The upshot of the week is this. It is short and bittersweet.

Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 8.18.14


Mornings can be really great. Strong hatches riverside. The most pressure is on the upper. If you want some solace from the rest fish below Craig somewhere. If you want even more? Fish below Mid Canon. If you like the lower reach, fish there. You will have good to great Trico fishing if the wind does not blow too hard and send the spinner fall to north to Great Falls.

The thought is that Trico’s may hatch throughout the rest of August. Maybe into Septemebr. That is the historical pattern. Whether Mother Nature follows that path, we just do not know. But we think it should be strong for another 2-3 weeks.

Spinners are the key to your success. Try another non Trico pattern if you wish. It can be the key to Trico success. Or just keep tossing different and odd Trico flies until the fish cooperate. A sunken Trico can do wonders as well. Zebra?


No, not really. Actually not at all. Fish caddis patterns with success here on the Missouri but not for the Caddis Hatch man. Maybe next year. P.S. You want a boat load of caddis flies for cheap?


No, not really. Well sort of. The nymphing for most has been pretty piss poor. I’m not saying that if you drown a worm, or a Zebra, or a Little Green Machine, or  Juju Baetis, or some sort of Caddis Pupa you will not find success. Because you will find a few. But we are familiar with net use when nymphing and that is certainly not the case this last couple weeks.

Moments of brilliance yes. A total annihilation? No, not really.

Come in and wee the latest news here int eh shop and we can put you on the right track. The latest info is found here locally from those who have there finger on the pulse of the Missouri.

It will turn around soon? We think? Every day is truly different. Not much consistency. The month of September is one of our finest nymphing months and it bleeds into October and November. So hang on to your hats, your bobbers, your net. It will bounce back.

Hopper Fishing

Good to great to not so good to terrible. All things heard in the bar ad in the shop. We love to fish the big fly here as so often we are squinting to see the tiny dry fly. So fishing a size 10 or better is a pretty good day/deal. Pink and purple continue to rule with red, gold, and green creeping up the scale.

Ants and beetles are making some waves as well. Blooms, Arrick’s Blooms Hopper and Cricket seem to be coaxing some trout into making bad decisions. Small and large flies are what you should be tossing. Ambiguous? Yep. You catch ’em on what you are tossing. Fishing the middle river is the key. Not all fish lay on the bank. Some do. We like to look for 18″-36″ of moving water and present the bug. Wait, twitch, wait, wait some more and watch it get sucked.

Kiss it. Lick it. Swallow it. Hammer it. Suck it. Eat it.

We have a fantastic Hopper selection at the shop. Well over 120 bins stuffed full of foamies, hair wings, and the like. The ants box has some jewels in it too.

Weather and Flows

Flows are holding at a respectable 4500cfs and the water temps are fluctuation between 64F and 68F daily. Not much movement above the 68F mark this year. July is our hottest month here in central Montana so we do not expect there to be any further upwards movement in regards to Missouri River water temps.


We are approaching the end of summer as we move into Autumn. The colors will change and the Baetis will come. Hopefully we get a big October Caddis showing too. Cross your fly fishing fingers and we will see you in the fall. It really is nice as the days become shorter and the fish friskier!

Headhunters Fly Shop & Guide Service

Now is the time to book your late summer and fall fly fishing trip to the Missouri River in Craig Montana. Check out CraigLodging.com for housing and Headhunters for all your guiding and rental boat and rod, reel, and wader needs. Don’t let the fall fly fishing season slip by you. Book today.

Headhunters Fly Shop open daily @ 7am and well into the evening hours closing @ 9pm. Stop in for your Sun Bum sunscreen, new RIO In Touch Fly Lines, hoppers galore, GINK, SAGE Method fly rods, Dr. Slick, Howler Bros, SIMMS fall wear, toques, and sungear too.

Dry Flies, Grasshoppers, Hoppers, missouri river, Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 8.18.14, Trico's
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