September Missouri River Fly Fishing Forecast

September Missouri River Fly Fishing Forecast

The Short September Synopsis

The fishing has been as strong in August as it has in many, many years. We believe that the fishing will continue to be strong through the month of September as well. Generally September is not a terrific dry fly month but yet again we go against the historical data and predict September will fish well on the surface well into the month if not all the way through.

One of the top nymphing months with consistent catch rates fishing with success the shallow nymph rigs. The streamer fishing picks up as we move through the month. A strong fishing month that is consistently popular on the Missouri River. 


You like tossing larger Adams. How about the Purple Haze? We do too. The Callibaetis are out. In 5 or 6 runs. But no fear my fishy friends. That is enough for you to capitalize on these easy larger bodied mayflies. The trout just love ’em. They will move a considerable distance to pluck them from the surface film.


Red. Black. Red and Black. Banks. Mid-River. In those soft spots below weed mats. Throw them.

You will never know unless you throw?


A great month to toss the hopper. Like ant placement you need not be on the bank. You can, but you gotta be one of the first to show that fish the obvious hopper pattern. Purple and tan have both been hot in August. By the time we get into September, it really could be any color. We have always liked pink. Headhunters is your hopper source ont eh Missouri River.


The late summer/autumn caddis is here this year. That is good for your dry fly game in the month of September. A refreshing opportunity. When you find those damn Pseudocleoen rising fish they will most likely eat a well presented small 16 or 18 tan or cinnamon caddis pattern. Downwinged of course. Even if you do not see the caddis presently on the water, toss it. Or tie on the Callibaetis. That is the other secret fly.

Don’t forget the October Caddis. In September you say? Yes, we do say. John and I have always believed in the October Caddis patterns, in September. Dry or wet, or nymphal, get the sz 8 Orange Devils from your fly box and see what they can do. A good swinging fly.


Trico’s will hatch well into the month of September. 2016 and 2017 the bite was into the third week of the month. Yes. Smaller numbers, but enough to get the morning fish interested. Tiny technical single winged Trico patterns are a must. And the best presentation skills you possess. And, the…then maybe the trout will respond. Or not. A tough customer that early fall trout on the Mo, can be.


The little green devils of the month. Most guides keep rowing when they see the trout feeding on this micro mayfly. But he nymphing can be just fantastic. Truly good for the afternoon session when these little green fellers show themselves after lunch. A larger Adams can be the trick. Callibaetis Cripples run through them will get the larger fish to move  an inch or two.

Nymphers Unite

The nymphing in September scores near the top in months with dyne-mite nymphing numbers. The weeds can play role in your frustration level but you will soon learn how to shake them and rip them off therefor clearing the say for more use of the net.

Short Leash is the key to success and many fishing guides will have you casting these light and very short sans split rigs to the fishiest of lanes here on the Missouri.

The entire river once again opens up. Fishing from Holter Dam all the way to the tiny ‘burb of Cascade is really good. Water temps cool, crowds go south for the winter, and we have ourselves a fishing wonderland through the month fo November. September kicks off our favorite time fo the year year. The fall period. Shorter days, longer cool nights, un-real fishing.

The Streamer Gang Wakes Up!

The streamer junkies come out of their long summer slumber. Many Montana guides come on out to see if they can hook up with a number of butterscotch colored brown trout. As the month regresses the streamer bite is better. Some of the weeds have cleared out leaving wide open streamer trenches for you to explore.

Swingers Too.

The Two Handed Trout Spey Gang is making their move as well. More and more Trout Spey anglers come through the shop each fall and this one will be no different. We expect to see a larger faction this year as the last winter was not good to winter and late fall anglers. Too cold and too snowy. So they are ready for a long swing season!

Headhunters is your DEMO HQ. We have rods from Sage, Loomis, ECHO, Anderson Custom Rods, Orvis, an Redington to choose from. Ooodles of DEMO LINES  from RIO, SA, OPST, Wulff, and more. Tips, leaders, all of the cool accessories to bring your spey game to the next level. Lessons, guide trips…Headhunters is your Montana Trout Spey Headquaters. Give us a call today for any of your spey questions. We have the answers!

Missouri River September Weather, Flows, Water Temps

Average daily temperatures range from 45F as the average low with 75F as the average high temperature. It rains an avg. of 4 days. It can be windy. Per usual here on the Mighty Mo, all months!

Flows for the 2018 season will hove around 4200 cfs. Average. Just fine. Some weeds out there but the cooler nights will have them heading downriver soon.

Water temps will fall through the month. We don’t mind it at all. The water temps fall back into the 50’s which the trout just love. Jumpin’ and runnin’ ahead in September.

Autumn has Arrived!

Plan your fall trip to the Missouri River today. We have the lodging you need at either Craig Trout Camp here in downtown Craig and lots of riverfront properties and beyond at

Guides, rental boats, information, instruction, lodging…and always free coffee in the morning. We look forward to seeing you on the porch at Headhunters of Craig this Autumn!

Call our Missouri River Trout Hotline 406-235-3447 today!
Autumn, Fall, September, September Missouri River Fly Fishing Forecast
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