Missouri River Montana Holiday Fishing Report 5.23.15

Missouri River Montana Holiday Fishing Report 5.23.15

While it has been kinda hit and miss today seems to be fishing quite well.

Reports in at lunch from the gang fishing WC to below Craig somewheres validate that the weather pattern has settled in and the fish are responding.

The hatch activity due to the sunny weather in the previous 3 days has keep the top water bite to a level below average. Unless you are a headhunter and are on the search…then you may find a few more than the average bear.

Today? Today and the remainder of the weekend will present overcast skies alone with positive hatch cycles.

Lots of fun folks in our region as a bachelor party, a few long time Headhunters fishing groups, and maybe you will round out the gang here for the holiday long weekend.

Missouri River Montana Holiday Fishing Report 5.23.15

Nymphing Report: Good to great today. This last week hit and miss. Tomorrow? Who knows. But as I eluded to above the weather pattern is falling into this, this drizzly overcast deal. Way better than the winds from the north and high bright sun.

Fish will congregate in skinnier waters as they feel more comfortable with the weather, the lack of predators from above, and the bug population moves into the secondary feeding lanes.

Deep has been the key but with the rain, look for the behavior above to come on strong.

Boats are dribbling in to the shop this afternoon as I write the second part of the fishing report for  the holiday weekend and the reports as as strong as they were at noon time. A few HH boats were on the lower reaches and tell tales of hard rain, a good bite, but the dry flies were drowned  or being sunken at the time of torrential rain departures from the river.

Good thing that Izaak’s and Joe’s Bar are open daily for the drenched indi’s needing to warm their bones.

March Brown nymphs, PMD nymphs, caddis nymphs, and the FB stuff still working fine. Rainbow Czech nymphs along with a Little Green Machine will still get the job done. Want to branch out and try some other mayfly nymph patterns? We got ’em here at Headhunters. The most expansive and creative fly bins in the canyon. Bar None. Ninch will show you some flies you have only dreamed about. The nice thing with new patterns coming out and being fished guinea pig is that the fish have not seen it all. New flavors of flies do not always work…or do they?

Flies- Size 14 Pheasant Tail, Tungsten Split Case PMD, Tungsten Redemption, BH Poxy Back PMD’s, Tungsten Reckoner, Electric Caddis, Grape Slushie, Blooms Tungstens Dark, and Little Green Machines.

Dry Fly Report: Good if you dig that sort of thing. Epic? No, not really. Maybe tomorrow and the following day Monday. Maybe next week will bring back the daily dry fly bite?

March Browns still in the house as we move deeper to the latter parts of May. Later than normal? No. The water temps dictate the entire hatch cycle. And angle of sun, and water temps, and angle of sun…etc. So as we see the stabilizing of the temps we see a longer BWO and MB hatch cycle. The water temps have slowed the progress of our spring caddis but we can keep that on the back burner for another few days. It will return, they certainly will.

Remember that the dry flies do not need to be seen for the subsurface stages including the larval and pupal to be effective.

Conversation with a feller at the bar…Feller: “Huh? I did not see any PMD’s today. How did you know to fish the nymph? Me: Well, they gotta be under the surface moving about before they emerge into our atmosphere. If the hatch begins in a couple weeks, don’t you think that they are partying in their watery environs? Feller: Huh? Guess I never thought of that.

John Arnold reminds me of his favorite time to fish the Caddis Pupa. It is now, before the main hatch starts. He stated that he loves fishing the pupa in May. The best time to fish it really.

Back to the Dry Fly Report in progress: The regular spots, the usual suspects for the dry fly lanes are producing. The subtle soft spots are even more intriguing. Look hard at likely locals and ye shall find a few. Watch and learn. Understand the feeding pattern and make a few practice drifts before setting out after the trout prey. Those who approach quietly and drift with purpose, not hope like some, usually fare better.

March Brown cripples, BWO Spinners, Buzzballs, Harrops CDC Emergers, Purple Craze, Cluster Midge, Stockingwing Caddis, Outrigger Caddis, Dancing Caddis

Streamer Report: Sink tips are back in style. Th higher water levels and off color water have made it a better game than the past few days. Overcast and muddy. A story made for your streamer chucking successes. Those who get after it and strip until their arms are tired and sore have good catch reports.

Here again the normal flash will kill it. With the Black Bugger, Krafts Kreelex, Clouser Minnow, Rabbit Zonkers, Skittish Smolt, Coffeys Sparkle Minnow, Dolly Lama

Missouri River Flow Predictions…

Who really knows other than Mother Nature. But, but the inflows are stronger with the recent rainfalls around the state including our massive drainage. Will they affect the summer flows? Maybe. A long shot really. The Canyon Ferry reservoir is up to 87.2% Creeping upwards. Need 10% ion the next month. Boy, it could really happen. Then we may expect mid summer flows to be closer to the 4K mark than the mid 3K predictions. We of course will keep you abreast of the water situation here on the Headhunters Info Super Site.

Inflows at Toston below. You can see the orange or red triangle for the median daily flows and you can also see we are below that historical quotient.


Inflows at Toston. USGS Toston Missouri River

Remember that the flows mimicked this in the early, mid, into the latter part of the last decade. We made it through then, we will again. I’m rooting for Mother Nature to guide us along.

How about this weekend with the recent deluge of rain in Craig? Little Prickly Pear currently 123cfs but she will jump back upwards as will the Dearborn with this spit today. Dearborn is muddy this afternoon with flows currently at 675cfs and climbing again. Check us out for the up to the minute Dearborn flows and coloration. We do guide the Dearborn River if you are so inclined. Call us @ 406-235-3447 for additional info and inquiries about guided trips on this small stream jewel in our back yard.

May is one off our favorite months. Most of the shop staff love this month. Fewer folks, great overall fishing, some real good dry fly action along with streamer action as a side note…

Fly Shop open daily from 7am-8pm. Shuttles, flies, killer logo wear, SIMMS, SAGE, RIO, Abel, Nautilus, and much much more!


BWO, Caddis, fishing report, March Brown, May Fishing, Memorial Day, Missouri River Montana Holiday Fishing Report 5.23.15, PMD
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