The Parks family – Missouri River regulars – enjoyed some great fishing over the weekend with us. Andrea shows off a nice Rainbow above, and Skylee does a great – possibly the best we’ve ever seen – Whitfish imitation at the bottom. Pics from HHGuide Braden Lewis.
We’re often hesitant to announce that fishing is “on” in March, as weather and conditions change quickly. But we’ve now had over a week of very solid and consistent fly fishing on the Missouri River, and I think it’s safe to say it’s go time. All fishing reports are good, and many are great. March fishing is often concentrated above Craig, but right now good fishing exists from Holter Dam to Cascade. And a look at the long range forecast shows good weather, relative to March.
Nymphing is the primary method being used right now, and the usual Pink and Gray patterns are the most productive. Ray Charles, Sow Bugs and Czech Nymphs with and without Firebeads are the most popular. We also have a few new “Spring” patterns you can check out in the bins. Zebra midges are also important, especially on the upper reaches. Worms are also working.
‘The streamer bite is not as consistent for most. Both big, gaudy flies and smaller, natural colored patterns are working. Finding the correct holding water is important. We like to focus on slower deeper runs using a sink-tip this time of year.
A fair amount of two-handed trout fishing going on, and most reports are very good. Headhunters Spey guide Mike McCune was guiding the last few days and reported great swing fishing. Smaller drab flies for Mike, would be my guess. The river is so low that heavy tips are not required. Start with a 5×5 and go from there.
Dry fly fishing appears to be showing signs of life. Midges are finally hatching in good enough numbers to bring up a few fish, especially on the upper River. Make sure and have both larger “cluster” patterns and some single midge imitations. We haven’t seen many Skwalas, but we’ve seen a few. I believe a few fish have been caught on the big bug, but only a few. But it’s not like they’re lining up at my door to tell me about it. You have to go to know. Stick with it.
In conclusion, great weather, the river is fishing top to bottom, and more than one technique is effective.
- Get your license online!
- Rainbow trout have begun to spawn, stay off those reds!
- Most of our area small streams are closed until the 3rd Saturday in May. Check the regulation!