Silly Saturday Scenery

Silly Saturday Scenery

Silly Saturday Scenery

Awful nice out there.

Love October.

Hey some are saying we do not state the truth on this report. That they don’t like how we present information. that we should change the way we operate here in Craiglandia. That we should be more honest.

A simple answer for you folks. Don’t read it anymore.

Some facts about the Mo River and Headhunters Blog.

Yes there are weeds in this river. If you don’t like weeds in your river, don’t fish here. The Madison is a nice river near a nice town, Bozeman.

Some days there are more people and anglers on the river than you remember and/or it bothers you. There are some crappier rivers around here. Go fish them. No crowds or people. Simple, problem solved. I’ll give you that insight for free.

Yes, there are nymphers out there. Just because you think it is bad does not make those anglers bad people.

A fishing report is a statement about what has already happened. It does not predict the future or pretend too. It is mostly what happened to Mark, today’s author SOL, in his past couple of days fishing and guiding along with some questions to other fishing guides and anglers. Sometimes it is about what John has witnessed and fished out there on the river. If you don’t want to read what has already happened, you don’t have to. You can stop right here.

Yes, it is fishing out there. Some days it is not as good as the previous report. True man. And the report is personal. It is a report from an individual who fishes here a lot. Not occasionally. My, our, your experiences are different from each other. SOL has fished here since 1992, a lot. So when I write the report it is from my angle, my experience(s), my day, my guests, not yours. Comprende? 

Some days the fish do not eat the fly well. Yes, I said it. Happy now?

And again. Some days are better than others. Some days the fish do not eat well. Some days the angler can suck, like you. Like me. It happens. And some days the fish eat well and we are all heroes. That is what seeking wild trout to eat your sometimes not perfectly presented fly will do. Some days we get lucky. You and me. And the fish eats a badly presented fly. That, is what happens out there whilst fishing bro.

Better anglers catch more fish. Those who practice casting catch more fish. Those who fish more than 3 days a year, catch more fish. Those who fish 200 days a year learn things that most recreational anglers will never learn, understand, and certainly not replicate the fishing skill sets that those who fish a ton exhibit often. Just truth man. Those who do it more, are almost always better than those who do it less. So grow up and understand that we, you, me are not all equal as anglers.

There are anglers that fish 200/- days annually and stack together decades of those numbers. Those anglers are better than most. They catch more fish. They are better at fishing than most. Some anglers fish more in one year, than some may in their entire life. And that is a reality that exists.

To become really good at fly fishing takes decades, not days.

Some days the rower sucks and you cannot get a drift at all. That happens too.

Some days the fella in back catches all the fish. The guy in back of the boat?!?!?! Think about that one!

If you do not like challenging fishing conditions like wind, sun, other anglers, rising and falling waters, Mother Nature, rising fish, snotty fish, Lock Jawed Fish, gift fish, chop, glare, non-floating dry flies, fly shops, daily pics and updates…please do not read this blog and go somewhere else.

Try staying in your own yard. Or better yet, inside your house. Then you, me, and the rest will be happier.

This is a daily fishing blog about Headhunters Life. Life on the river, about the bugs, people, lifestyles, a daily update about Montana’s Missouri River provided by Headhunters of Craig. You do not have to read it. This is an opt-in program. If you don’t believe it, like it, dig it…you can stop checking in. We’d appreciate your understanding. If this makes your blood boil, quit it man. Jesus. Do the smart thing. Opt-Out.

We have published over 5100 articles and fishing reports. We’re going to keep plodding along. We share 30 social posts beyond this blog weekly. Information is part of our mission. Education, entertainment, and customer service round out the other three HH foundational beliefs.

This is a free blog. We do not charge you for this content. You do not get to decide the content. You do not get to dictate policy. This is a free blog provided online, for free. If you do not like it, take charge of your rights and stop reading! Opt-Out. Find another source of Missouri River information. Try the TV. How about the radio. Or other daily Missouri River blogs.

For the normal anglers/readers/people who understand variables in nature, in fishing, in style, and personalities…Thanks for reading. Happy Saturday. See you on the water. Love you all, this is a blog meant for the other set, not you.

(But not you haters) Stop reading this blog.



Trust Me. I’m a Fishing Guide.




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  • allan roberts
    October 5, 2019 5:15 am

    I read your report….everyday….thanks guys.
    Those who have eyes….but do not see….that the Missouri River and all the surrounding country….and the wildlife….is an extrodinary gift to us all….and it is not all about the catching….if you want to keep score ….go bowling.

  • I agree.
    Remember when Mom told you to keep your mouth shut if you have nothing nice to say? Well, shut the hell up and go read a blog or fishing report that provides you with the reality you’re expecting to be fed. Quit your bitchin’ or go home! Thank you Mark for the best blog and reports. And thank you John for filling in when Mark is on vacation.

  • Keep on keeping on. It’s funny how bad most anglers suck, yet think they are the next incarnation of Lefty Kreh. 4 days a year times 20 years does not an experienced angler make. And fishing does not equate to practice.

  • Since I first fished it may years ago I’ve always felt The Mo to be the best dry fly river I’ve ever fished and I’ve fished ALL of them. The fish are there – they have to eat-whether or not you can catch them is up to your skill level. Go fish.

  • I think you guys rock. There’s roughly 5,000 fish per mile out there on the Mo, so it’s humbling to own a shitty day out there. Some people don’t like it. Their bad, you’ll learn more from a tough day than an easy one.

    Keep up the great blog, it goes great with my morning coffee.

  • One of the best reports going, well done team!

  • Headhunters blog is my favorite read of the day… I always appreciate the beta and the perspective.

    I’m someone that does get 150 days or more on the water, and the Mo always teaches me something new. I bring my own boat, and some days I do get seriously reduced by tough fishing. That’s part of the game, and the part that I like to figure out! Sometimes it’s a grind, but if you put your time into figuring it out then good things happen. The Mo always offers great potential. It’s one of my favorite rivers in the world.

    I’ll be hopping in my rig ASAP and driving 16 hours to Craig. I’ve been guiding all season at home and desperately waiting for some “me” time on the Mo. Good bad, or ugly… I’ll take it.

    Thank you, Headhunters, for your diligence. See you in a couple days.

  • dan from ohio
    October 5, 2019 8:10 am

    ” …fishing conditions like wind, sun, other anglers, rising and falling waters, Mother Nature, rising fish, snotty fish, Lock Jawed Fish, gift fish, chop, glare, non-floating dry flies…”
    Besides being a beautiful fishery, these factors are EXACTLY why I pull from Ohio every summer and stay for 3 months- I am not the least bit interested in easy, stupid fish- it kinda surprises me that anybody would want that. Just keep up the great work Mark, and everybody at HH! I for one have learned a lot over the years from you guys, and improving my craft is as important to me as getting yanks.

  • Hamish Rickett
    October 5, 2019 8:44 am

    Mark and John, I love your blog. 5000! Wow, that’s a ton of free advice and done nearly every day—that’s a lot of work. I sit down every morning and take a listen to what’s going on on the Mo’ and in your heads. Always entertaining and informative. Can’t see what folks have to complain about at all. Opt out and AMF I say as well.

    Keep it up, I’ll be right behind, reading and fishing.


  • Hamish Rickett
    October 5, 2019 8:46 am

    BTW, love the photos. You’ve got a good eye.

  • Steve McGrath
    October 5, 2019 9:03 am

    You guys are awesome. You tell it like it is. Keep up the good work. Many of today’s anglers think that if they buy the best gear and show up, the river and its fish owe them a stellar day. Doesn’t work that way. Put in your time and be grateful for the days when it all comes together. Use the tough days to learn and improve your craft.

    • Thanks Steve. Appreciate it. Miss you guys by the way.

    • Reuben Cochran
      October 7, 2019 9:13 pm

      I haven’t read the comments that inspired Mark’s post but I’ve been DIY flyfishing since 1986 and “Buzzball” Raisler is as passionate and sharing a fisherman as any I’ve ever chatted with. That’s been three or four times at most.

      If a fella isn’t happy with today’s catch, go back out tomorrow and change the narrative. If the next day the big river doesn’t treat you any better, go hike into a Cutthroat stream and get off the schneid.

      I love the Missouri yet have reduced my time spent on the river to about a dozen days a year as I prefer less company, but man, most of the best fishing days of my life were spent on that river. As were many of my slowest fishing days. But none of my days were bad. Cold north wind days excepted of course.

      Halfway though a glass of good bourbon I’ll tell you that my favorite quote is “Many fish all of their lives without realizing, it’s not the fish they’re after”. Not everyone gets that.

  • Love your blogs guys. They help
    Me get by during the times/stretches when I can’t be on the water. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to another 11 years of them!

  • Jeff Ferguson
    October 5, 2019 11:38 am

    Too bad these online peckerheads try to make other peoples days a little miserable. Good advice to them…opt-out. Carry on.

  • Michael Laird
    October 5, 2019 12:39 pm

    Can’t please them all guys. Your blog is informative and reliable. Are there alot of Orvis guides on river?
    Mark is there way to get negative of a picture from last year? Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • I fished the MO two weeks a year for four years and i loved it .I am from France and witout the priceless advices from Headhunters it would have been a tough ride .Thanks again .

  • Well said Mark. There’s a reason I have been making the trip to the Mo’ for 20 years — it doesn’t get any better. If you want to catch more fish on this river, stop complaining, get better at fishing, and listen to Mark.

  • Don’t know who’s doing the bitchin and don’t care. All I know is that for six years I’ve been reading your blog and fishing with you guys, it has been stellar. Last Tuesday was great, Wednesday was a little tougher, that’s the way it goes. Scheduled again for next year, I guess that I’m a glutton for punishment.

  • Snow flakes crying again. Go tell your momma. Sheeeessssh

  • I’m very surprised you had to write this, as one of the things I appreciate the most from HH is the honesty I get both from your online reports and your staff when I’m lucky enough to be in the shop. No BS. You give way more info than any other fly shop I know of, daily. Thank you.

    I have learned so much about the Mo, fishing tactics, ethics, fly tying, conservation, humor, rowing a boat, nymphing, reach-casts, fly lines, gear, fly rods and more from you guys, all for free. Thank you.

    Your positive impact goes further in the fly-fishing community than you know. We’re better off with you around. Thank you.

    Keep it coming, and tell that ding-dong pitching you shit next time to stay home and clean his garage

  • Remember it’s fishing. And if you can’t enjoy reading the HH blog and enjoy this river you’re missing out. I’d trade
    a bad day on the Mo for a good day at work!

  • If people measure fishing success purely based on the number of fish caught then they have completely missed the point. Honestly I wouldn’t expect them to understand a blog like this and I feel sorry for them on having no clue what it’s all about.

  • You guys have the best blog out there. People come to fish the MO and they can’t execute a proper reach cast, so they blame you guys, sad!

  • FlyFinaticLou
    October 5, 2019 3:33 pm

    What? Guess this Minnesota (?) Character has been Stewing in your Head for a couple days. Not good for the old Blood Pressure. I hope YOU are back to your normal fun loving, down to earth self come Wednesday > the Spey Clinic, and beyond. I’ve only met you for a brief in shop encounter last year, but seem to of gathered some insight into You via these wonderful informative and sometimes funny – but always entertaining “reports”! Love how your choice of music also inspires and helps get a bit closer with your psyche! Perhaps a Fun Rat Pak Video from the late -60s? Saw a doozie just yesterday via YouTube . . . seems the 3 “stooges” had been drinking . . . especially Dean Martin. Damn those darn weeds . . . they do have a way of “getting under ones skin,” but there in lies the Challenge! Make it FUN, make it your personal goal for the day to Best “those pesky weeds” – that is what any thoughtless person should tell themselves at days start. A grin, a smile, a piece of Humble Pie and it’s “gonna be a Great day tomorrow! ANY day is ALWAYS better than the previous . . . WHY? . . . cause you (were able to) wake
    up to greet it! See you in a few days as well . . . it may be a challenge, but it most certainly will be FUN.

  • Steve Ruszczyk
    October 5, 2019 4:00 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for all of the great staff at HH and for the blog that I read every day over coffee before starting work. I’m grateful for everything you folks do. The MO is one of the best and as far as shops go, HH has no equal. Don’t change a thing.

  • And that’s the way it is. (thanks Walter.)

  • Amen. If fishing was always easy, it would be boring as hell. If you shot an elk in the first 5 minutes of the season every year it would be boring as hell. Some of the most memorable days are the windy, shitty, snowing sideways days where you realize you didn’t bring near enough Fireball with you. It’s the Mo. It’s a fickle $@&#$*@ mistress. Well put man.

  • Mike Cummings
    October 5, 2019 5:44 pm

    I have been hanging around and fishing around Craig since 1967. Now, I am not that good of a fly fisherman, maybe adequate, and probably violate one or another of Mark’s casting, presentation, or technique commandments each hour I fish. I am, however, a pretty good judge of client service, environmental stewardship and business efficacy. Headhunters is simply the premiere model of a great place, run and staffed by great people.
    Trust me. I am an old man.

  • Geez I think the HH Blog is the most honest fishing report I’ve ever read, and I used to publish one myself! Thank you! What other report would tell you there are actually weeds in the river at certain times of the year that will (not might) foul you up or sometimes make landing that 18 incher impossible? What other report would tell you to set your expectations low when fishing a trico spinnerfall or presenting pseudos? What other report would tell you if you don’t get’em with the first drift you’re done? What other reports tell you that some days nymphing has been the way to go (dry flies are exciting and this leaves out the DOD crowd but 85% of a trout’s diet is eaten subsurface)? What other report would tell you the wind might blow you off the water? What other reports sometimes don’t even talk about the fishing but inform about threats to our waters or how to skijor in a dory?
    Maybe the cheery disposition and positive attitude of the authors leaves some readers to believe that the fishing is always great, when it’s really that life is great and fishing is great.
    Really good fishermen catch more fish, agreed, especially if they’ve got someone on the sticks with skill….and versatile fly fishermen who really know how to nymph (and use the right nymphs) and present a good downstream drift with a dry (and use the right dry) will always bring fish to hand on the Missouri — you hardly have to locate the fish, with 5000 fish per mile which seems to be the long term average, they’re everywhere!

  • You guys have the best report around, I wouldn’t let Stewart’s thoughts, if you can call them that, get to you.
    Also, comparing the upper Mississippi when it blows out below Brainerd and the Crow Wing to the Missouri at Craig in late Sept. early Oct. is the height of silliness (I’m being diplomatic in my choice of words).
    The former is a murky mess, the latter has a few weeds in it and requires a little more skill and patience than usual.

    I pretty much recommend you guys to everyone whenever the Missouri comes up. Keep up the good work guys, I’m sure I’ll see you this late fall and winter.

  • I love HeasHunters and the Mo! Keep it up!

  • Amen brother. 🙏. Nicely & rightly said.

  • I’ve been living in Helena and fishing the Missouri since the early ’90s but learn a lot from you. The entertainment is a bonus. This is a great blog.

  • The landscapers
    October 6, 2019 6:32 am

    Hey Mark, It’s fishing, some days they bite like Hell, some days they don’t. Some days it rains and the wind blows, other days the sun shines. If people can’t understand that, then screw them ! It’s the Mo, a big river that has its own personality and we love it!!!

  • WTF? This is the last thing I thought I would have to come across on this blog. I am sorry that you felt the need to post this. I am sure it is not an isolated thing either, and it kinda feels like a kick in the balls having to defend yourself and the shop. Blow it off man. Some people need to complain, criticize, and undermine—just to feel better about themselves. They probably have more than a few issues to deal with, and this is one way they can temporarily feel good…. We should feel sorry for them….. Help them. Maybe they should fish more and remember to look up to the skies once in awhile… or look that fish they just caught in the eye—and remember it is a gift….

    If it is competition from another fly shop or disgruntled guide hiding behind social media… Maybe they should get better…. or do yoga… …find their chi…. learn how to relate with folks. Maybe that would help them.

    For the Haters:

    I am not buddies with Mark Raisler (but that would be fine by me if we were), although his blog posts have made me feel like a friend.

    I am not a guide client of Mark, or HH (I am saving my pennies to do that one day). His blog posts gives me guide tips every day, I feel like he is guiding me, or at least pointing me in the right direction. HH doesn’t need to do this. It is after all, how they make a living. I understand some shit I just need to figure out on my own—stuff isn’t just handed to me. Hell; that’s half the fun.

    I tie flies. A lot of flies. Way too many flies. Hundreds and hundreds of flies. I do not need to buy flies. I feel bad when I buy flies (I am not a commercial tier, just a guy). I tie up flies that HH posts on their blog. Videos on how to tie their flies. Mo River flies. Flies the shop sells. HH doesn’t need to do this. It is, after all cutting into their business of selling flies. When I stop in to HH on my once-a-year journey from the midwest, Sarah and Mark know my frickin’ name, man. They give me advice and ask nothing in return… They even shared beers and burgers more than once…with anyone stopping by. So I buy flies.

    For SOL:
    It is because of your blogs posts: The friendly nature of your posts, the sharing of info, (and even the entertaining videos like your streamer junkie video-do more please), and the feel I get that you want to be genuine, share, and be as helpful as you can. This is why I do my little art thing for Caddis Fest. I have no personal connections to the area, you or your shop, or to Caddis Fest. Just the opportunity to fish the Mo once a year, learn from your blog posts, get a friendly smile when I come into HH.

    Could I spend a bunch of hours creating art and donating to other causes close to home? Yup. I sure could. But I don’t.

    Know why? Because I get the sense that you truly want to give back to your community, the Mo River, the greater fly fishing community. I get the feeling you put this above your own personal agenda. This is genuine. And this is something that I can get behind.

    I really don’t know you. You really don’t know me from the other rubes that circulate thru Craiglandia every summer, but yet the one time a year I talk to you for 15minutes, I feel we are brothers. Keep up the good work,…keep it genuine.

  • Not sure where you can find a better blog than yours? Keep it coming.

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