State of Montana’s Missouri River 7.5.22

State of Montana’s Missouri River 7.5.22

Rating? Oh I think a 9. Not overly stuffed today. July 5th. This since was the day that the cork came out. But that month is now June. And July plays second fiddle. Not that July is not busy, and many would say “crowded”, but not in the way it was ten years ago. It has and was, the beginning of the true dry fly period.


Lots of non-anglers on the water for the holiday weekend. Less anglers. A family weekend was had by all. Drenching thunderstorms stoked all near and far. Flash floods in some fishing ‘burbs coupled with a safe fireworks weekend due to the wet surroundings.

June has become the peak month on the Mo. July comes in a close second, but does not feel like it today on the historic Trico start date. While Trico’s are on the lower, and not in large numbers yet, the breadth of this hatch will begin in a few days. Some years mid month. This year? We think within the week.


Weather is a crap shoot as is June. Hot. July is our hottest month. Sometimes daily T-Storms in the afternoon can disrupt the natural procession of insects. Meaning that if you have a real good PMD, or Caddis hatch in the morning or mid day, and the rain comes in hard, all the insects get beaten to the ground, literally, by the heavy rains. And therefore, no spinner fall or spent caddis PMD action in the am. Dry fly guys don’t really get rolling til later during those periods of weather. Daily highs can reach into the 90’s and beyond. Bring rain gear, sun gear, and your cooler.

Flows will hover around the 4K mark with fluctuations happening as the BOR/DNRC see fit. Forecast to be stable for the remainder of the summer. We are thankful for that. Level, stable flows are good for both the fish and the angler.

Current water temps in the 60F range. We would like to see it stay in the the low end of the 60’s. Will it? Probably not. Long term forecast air temps include temps in the 90’s. That is hot. Cool night can help. Will we witness that? Maybe. We do not need temps creeping towards the 70F mark. Not good for the fish, or the anglers.

Pale Morning Duns

PMD’s continue to be strong. Just finished a healthy dry fly session for the last 2 weeks of the month. Fantastic is how we would rate that period. For the dry fly and the nymph alike. Great catch rates whether you are a Dry Fly Only angler, or for those who like to drown the nymphs below an indicator, fun was had by all.

PMD patterns working well this week include several derivations of the Rusty Spinner. Biot Wing, Hi-Vis PMD Spinner, Quig’s Hackle Stacker, CDC PMD Spinner, CDC Para Spinner, Jake’s Wet Body Spinner, Ninch’s Sacked Out Spinner Rusty. Emergers? Yep. CDC Biot Emerger, Half Dun Hatching, Floating Wet PMD. Cripples too. Last Chance Cripple, CDC Cripple, Limestone Cripple, Ninch’s Hangman PMD Cripple, Quig’s Film Critic, Sparkle Flag Cripple Pink or Yellow, Daigle’s PFD Parachute Crip.


A player in July. Good caddis hats he’s the past couple weeks as they have been gaining strength. Good blind dry fishing with the caddis. Ant too. Throw one you can see. Skittering around daily. Downwind tent winged patterns do well here. Hi floaters like the Elk Hair, Goddard, high floaty foamy patterns built for freestone anglers are not as well received here locally.

Fish the merger with confidence. Fish the spent with confidence. Patterns that you cannot see are more appealing to our trout.

Hi Vis Tape Wing, CDC and Elk, Translucent Pupa nd Emerger, Hi Vis Spent Caddis, Double Duck, Harrop’s Palmered Caddis, OUtrigger Caddis, Flambe, Buzzball, Bloom’s Caddis, Missing Link.

Swing a soft hackle to them if you like. Fun times.


On the lower end of the fishable reaches below Mid Canon currently. Will move up river as the month progresses. Early morning emergences produce mid morning spinner falls. Clusters on the early end of the event. Spinners not eh back end. But as the fish see the minuscule Trico fly for the first time they, as all front end hatches, go bonkers. The fish get a bit stupid for a short period. How long is the stupid phase? No long enough. But a week of very good to great cluster Trico fishing.

More on this event as it happens. But, for those who love the techy dry fly game July is your month. Get in on the front end as the selectiveness of trout becomes a real deal here on the Mighty Mo in the late summer month(s). The dry fly fish can get real smart. Reach casts, slack line presentations, and not showing the enemy your fly badly are important factors in angling success.


Yup. Hopper late, ants early.


Not right now. But weeds will impact the nymphers if they grow this month. Currently a non-issue.

Nymph Fishing

Great. 4′-5′ under an indicator. Caddis Pupa and PMD nymphs are king. Center of the river. Drift ’em.

Holter Dam to Cascade MT

All fishing well. All reaches. Get out there.

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Caddis, Forecast, July, PMD, State of the Mo, trico
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