Pale Morning Duns are part of your day here fly fishing Montana’s Missouri River in June.

We love June as the bugs participate more willingly everyday. While the weather this last week has been really shitty, the fishing has stood up. The rain pouring out of the clouds Wednesday was impressive. A real test to your waders and your rain jacket. Better have a good one or go home early. You don’t want to go home early do you?

Mark’s PMD Tips for catching more Missouri River Trout

Squeeky’s PMD Box for the Missouri River. It is one of my favorite hatches and in years past it certainly was. Is it today? Yes, I like the hatch that is currently going on. As the caddis become thicker, it will change.

Who doesn’t love tossing Rusty Spinners at bank sipping’ brown trouts? I for one do.

The Pale Morning Duns that come off include the Ephemerella infrequens and the Ephemerella inermis. The big one and the little one.

The trout will eat duns on occasion. The first drift is the right time to fool those finicky trout with the dun. It is the right time to trick them in every situation.


Do not be the guy who pisses the fish off on the first drift. Don’t be that guy.


Who is that guy? Many anglers try to get the trout on their first cast after identifying rising trout. They cast the fly near the trout, do not have enough line pulled off the reel, strip line off as the fly is rapidly approaching the target, the fly slides, the fish eats it, and that guy misses the trout because he is busy stripping line off the reel.

Squeeky’s Strong Suggestion: Do all that shit before you make your first presentation. Well, only if you want to catch more fish on dry flies.

Most fish are not caught on the first cast. Does not matter that you make multiple presentations beyond the first drift. The fish are aware that a dragging Rusty Spinner is not all that attractive, or appealing, or edible. Think about it.

Most fish are caught on the first drift though. Make it a good one. Do not rush. The fish is eating, no rush man. No rush.

Make sure you have the appropriate amount of line off the reel. Make a couple drifts on the outside of the fish. Meaning not near him. A couple feet on the near side will suffice. Make sure you understand the drift before you toss the fly into the zone.

Then when you have all the prep out of the way, make your presentation. It is amazing what the element of surprise will do for your net. It gets it wet. The element of surpass is eliminated if you drag your fly across their heads several times before making your first decent drag free drift.

Remember: If you are fishing spinner patterns they should not drag. Spinners are dead. Dead flies do not swim, twitch, move…and they certainly do not drag!

Go out there and make some good presentations to our freely rising trout. Approach the situation like you want to catch the fish. You are hunting a wild animal. Act like it.

Sounds like straight talk here on the fly fishing blog straight outta Headhunters Fly Shop? Just honesty here today. Put yourself in successful situations and you will be rewarded.

As in life, as in fishing. Just keep casting and good things will happen.  -SOL


Squeeky’s Missouri River Montana PMD Box

Missouri River Montana PMD Box

Row 1 L2R: Harrop’s PMD Spinner Blonde version, Brook’s PMD Sprout, Hackle Stackers and Hairwing Duns, Silverman’s Spinner & Hi-Vis Rusty, Harrop’s Rusty Spinner.

Row 2: Nymen’s PMD Cripple & Quigley’s Cripple, Limestone Cripple, CDC Harrop’s Cripples, Haystack PMD, Quigley’s Rusty Cripple, Harrop’s Hi-Viz CDC Para Rusty Spinner.

Row 3: Half-Dun Hatching, Trapped PMD Dun, Para PMD & Hackle Stackers, Para-PMD’s,  Poly Wing Rusty Spinner.

Row 4: PMD RS2’s and other CDC Emergers, CDC Transitional Duns & Captive Duns, Pink Parachutes & Hackle Stackers, Emergent PMD’s, some sort of yellow tipped,eager/dun/spinner thingy’s, Harrop’s Pale Green CDC PMD Hi-VIz Spinners

We will see your this month plying your PMD trade here in Craig fishing Montana’s Missouri River. The PMD factory of central Montana.


Hey Mister…Pssst. Film Event tomorrow night at Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig.



Fishing Tips, fly fishing technique, Missouri River Montana PMD Box, Pale Morning Duns, Squeeky's PMD Tips
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1 Comment.

  • Mark,
    Miss the MO! We need to make another visit soon. You and your staff were great to us on our last visit a couple of years ago…cookout, sharing stream info etc. Hopefully we’ll get a chance in the near future to visit again. BTW I sent a few of my Kinzua Fly Fishers” brethren to your shop last summer. I’ll be sure they stop again this year.
    Thank Bub!
    Ray Geary

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