July 31 Missouri River Fishing Report

Monday Morning July 31 Missouri River Fishing Report

Monday Morning July 31 Missouri River Fishing Report

Trico’s. Going good. Some mornings they seem to not get out of bed though. So, we hope they are getting after it as you are out on the water. Yesterday was a good day. Floated Craig to Mid Canon and lots of action. Less pressure from anglers allowed the fish to rise freely for hours and hours. But, make the first couple count. Casts I mean. Even good drifts through some of those fish put them down. High and bright sun along with a couple months of hard core pressure have educated the Missouri River trout. And, yes, pods of fish rising.

Hoppers. Pink and purple. Green and tan. Yellow too. Any color of the rainbow or any fly pattern you like. Not enough info on the hopper bite yet to give you c=some conclusive information here not his educationally slanted blog. Come in and ask Ninch. He knows. Lots of afternoon action on them. If you get a take a mile that is good. Some days have been stellar. But yet others not as good. Fish the 18″-36″ moving water. Banklines too. Hoppers are fun. You all know how to fish the hopper pattern. Don’t you?

Ants. Yes. Red and black. Check out yesterdays fly box selection. Fish them. Need a few more to add to your ant arsenal? We got ’em at the shop. Flying ones are good too!

Caddis. Some around but not as many as we had even last week. So a few out there. Don’t count on them to get you through the afternoon. Take a break in the afternoon and early evening. Some around near dark. A skittering or spent caddis will get the job done. Spruce Moths seem to work as well. You should have a few at the ready though. Stock up on them at Headhunters, the best fly selection on the Missouri River for sure. Come price it to yourself. Stop in today!

PMD’s. Done. A few last bugs holding on. A good run for the PMD this year again as we saw the first emergence in late May. Then really strong through June and into July. They did disappear about the end of the third week of July. SO a strong 8 weeks in my book. A few spinner falls left but not anything to write home about. We look forward  to next year. Good-bye PMD’s.

Weather. Hot. Smoky too. Looks like some cooler temperatures in the near future. At least we are not touch the century mark like we did yesterday. Mid 90’s a week from now. Let’s turn it around for the month of August. Last August was stellar. Could we see fantastic fishing conditions and weather this August? Maybe?!

July 31 Missouri River Fishing ReportWater Temps. About average here too. Some years it gets to 70F in the month of July. Not this year. If the summer continues to be hot we will see it move upwards a bit. But as August historically is about 1/2 of 1 degree cooler than July, we should be OK. If we follow the average.

July 31 Missouri River Fishing Report

Water Flows. 4070cfs. Average for this time of year. Look at those triangles not eh chart. That is the median daily flow for that date for the last 71 years. So, right on the average there. Should continue to be the same for the foreseeable future. Through next March. Unless it isn’t. Expect it to stay the same.

July 31 Missouri River Fishing ReportWeeds. Lots of them. Not tons of the gooey shit in the water column yet. But I expect we will see that goo develop as the warm weather continues. So keep it tuned here for more updates. Nymphing can be difficult with that shit in the water. Short leashing can be good as it does not penetrate the water as deeply. Your choice. It is all bad. Why not just dry fly your day away…

Headhunters Hours and Craig MT Lodging. Open daily 6-9. Lodging available for the foreseeable future. Guides too. August is one of our slower months as the rest of Montana is generally fishing quite well. Lots of restrictions out there so check your local waters to see if there are any rules to fishing later in the day. OR ask us. Headhunters Fly Shop is the information source in the central Montana corridor.


Ants, Augsut, Caddis, fishing report, Hoppers, July, PMD's, Terrestrials, Trico's
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  • See some Blooms parachute ants in the flycup photo. Best ant pattern on the river! My friend Dave doesn’t hang his name on a fly that isn’t stellar. I see your bins are full of them and every one should carry some. Just sayin.
    Second, the drum duet at the start of Adam Ants video is one of the best riffs of all time. Nice.
    Third, since I love your videos (like the reachcast video the other day) I watch them over and over because you have skills, dude, and because I like to watch other people fish. Bet I spend at least half my time on the river watching both floaters and waders fish too. It’s an old, old habit and a good way to learn something new too. Back to your recent reachcast video. Great casting technique (I’m jealous). Then you flip those subtle little mends and feed some extra line I’m sure without thinking about it or mentioning it! If there is only one thing I could use as a comparative as to how you fish and I do (not mentioning of course that we’re both STUNNINGLY handsome) it’s mending. I never think about mending I just do it- think it’s an automatic for you too. Sorry that ,as always, I’m wordy and boring but I have a point.
    Back to the people I watch on the river. At least 50% of them never mend and a huge percentage of those that ARE trying to mend -even those with guides telling them to mend – don’t do it right, especially with a dry. They try to mend a dry like they do a nymph rig and bobber.
    I’ve watched a video of yours where you demonstrate to a client how to mend a nymph rig from a boat. Good video. But (and its only my personal opinion) I think that mending a nymph rig or streamer is more forgiving than is a dry. Tomorrow begins my 59th August of fly fishing Montana water. As you say, In August the fish become more gunshy and wary and the fishing is more and more technical and I agree. Besides that, those goddam pseudos are about to start and folks could practice mending while they aren’t catching any fish. Ha.
    So, TO THE POINT OF ALL THIS ( yeah you say). How about you and John doing one of your short how to videos all about how to mend a dry fly or mending in general? Not only would it make a great post. You could use it in your Advanced Flyfishing School in October. As I said, Mark, you show skills in your video blurbs. At least think about it ,ok?
    In closing this commentary, I’d like to share what I’m going to title “An Old Flyfishers Lament”

    When I was young, I had a routine when preparing to go fishing. I went to the store and bought “IceyHot” to rub on the aches and pains I got while playing in the city league softball game the previous night, aspirin to fix the hangover headache I fostered drinking too many beers after that game, and a twelve pack of more beers and ice for the cooler I was taking along up the river to fish. I never worried about energy- it was always
    Now I find myself referred to as a “senior citizen”. But I still stop at the store when I’m getting ready to head up the river to fish, only the purchases have changed. I buy a couple of Red Bull’s so I’ll have energy. I don’t buy aspirin I buy Aleve to treat the pains in my joints I carry in knees hips and shoulders because I wasn’t smart enough to quit playing softball until I started hurting myself. I don’t by twelve packs anymore. I buy two six packs- one six of beer (because I’m not THAT old) and one six pack of Ensure- chocolate flavored- because my wife makes me. I buy Metamucil in case I can’t poop. And I buy Preparation H in case the Metamucil kicks in. I don’t think that getting old SUCKS, but I DO think that Old walks to the river wearing Suck’s waders…

    You guys have a great August at Headhunters. I’ll keep reading every day. And one of these days when I’m in the shop, as I often am, I’ll introduce myself so you can put a face on the guy who writes those long bullshit comments.

    • Tom Dickson
      July 31, 2017 8:52 pm

      What a great post from RussJ. Hope I’m still hammerin’ the MO when I’m his age.

    • Oh, Russ. A pleasure to read your comment this morning. Still laughing at your honest humor!!! It may be in the works as Scumliner and I shot a video yesterday. Some more in the future I hope! As you will, keep it tuned here for all that we got…and some days it si not much. Yet others…good content. Today? Maybe not. Just honesty again. As you so well state in your reply above. Great stuff Russ J. Thanks.


  • just reading the word ‘poop’ from an old guy makes a great read.

  • Great post and reply by Russ. He is spot on for making a mending video. I am sure many others would enjoying watching it too.

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