The shortest day of the year. Not a bad day to fish the Missouri River near Craig Montana.
The fish gotta eat, even on the shortest day.
Terry Armstrong casting a 2 handed rod this last week on the Missouri River. Terry loves to fish. And fish he does with his 2 handed rod, a bamboo from Sweetgrass, and a few other favorites he has acquired over the years. You can commonly see Terry fishing the Mo a couple days a week.
Headhunters open daily, and today at 8am. We will be open for a short day on the 24th and closed, the only day of the year, closed on Christmas Day. Back open at 8am on the 26th, Canada’s Boxing Day. We will have a few guide trips out the week following Christmas. You could get on board with a post Christmas week guide trip. $300 Spey trips and $400 regular guide trips. Give us a shout for a timely guide trip this Christmas season.
The fishing? Good. Nymphing is really quite good in the winter months. The fish are only in specifically painfully slow water. Deep and slow. When you find them, you got them.
The weather for the week ahead is normal. Some snow, some clouds, some wind, and you. Highs in the upper 30’s and into the 40’s.
Pink is the word. The latest word on the street, or river, is Pink Lightening Bugs in the am and moving toward the AMEX Czech, Firebead, or Caviar type flies. Sows are still in fashion with Zebra’s never falling from grace.
Find the slowest stuff and ply your trade. Use the right amount of split. You can go split less if you desire. The slower water allows the flies to be int he zone a while, slower water more time in the water sinking…keep them in and hit ’em hard if the bobber hiccups. Stop in and we can get you pointed in the right winter direction. We got it all from bobbers to split shots to the right flies and a clue about the right kind of water.
The water temps are holding at their historically normal levels. 36.5F is quite normal. When it gets colder than 36F things do slow down a bit. But if it stays in this range warming a quarter of a degree once in a while the fish stay pretty active. They gotta eat.
Water flows are below the historical average but that is quite common in the last decade. Lower snow packs and levels have required the water managers to err on the safe side. Flows are 4400cfs with the norm being nearly 5000cfs. A nice wade fishing level. Anything near 5K is a good winter flow and makes for easy access.
Rainbows are quite healthy in the winter. They do gain weight as the winter moves towards early spring. They spawn in the spring and hence the weight gain. Browns are losing the fat as the winter progresses and the rainbows are going the other direction. Rainbows lose fat in the summer months post spawn.
The streamer and 2 handed anglers are faring well this week too. The river didi have a green tint to it the last couple weeks. Still does.
Smaller flies have been the theme. Black buggers, black leeches, bastardized buggers, Skip’s Minnows, Skiddish Smolts, R2R, Superflash Zonkers, Micro Zonkers, and many more. Come in for a great streamer selection, best on the river.
Your streamer store on the Mo with a plethora of sink tips, VersiLeaders from RIO, cut to length Airflo sinking leaders, Scandi and Skagit lines, several different running lines, and reels to boot from Abel, Nautilus, Hatch, Echo, Orvis.
Dry fly fishing? Not so good this week but the weather can get the bugs excited. Snow and sleet can get the midges all worked up. But every day is a new day. Clusters with a tiny Zebra dangling from it can be great. Our midge selection is up to date and filled with goodies for winter and spring midging.
We have a ton of DEMO Rods for you to try this week. Kick ass sale items like fly lines, SIMMS wading boots, HH Logo’d items like long and short sleeve shirts, hats, SIMMS Logo’d fishing shirts, flip flops, a nice selection of sale flies, and accessories galore!
Remember the store is open daily 8-5. Short hours open til noon on the 24th and closed on the 25th. Happy holidays and safe travels as you make your way to friends and family this week.