Tuesday Fishing Report Montana's Missouri River near Craig

Tuesday Fishing Report Montana’s Missouri River near Craig

Tuesday Fishing Report Montana’s Missouri River near Craig

Photo Credit Rob Baldwin

All good here on the Mo.

May-like weather in the Rockies has presented a week or so of unstable systems moving through releasing precipitation daily here in central Montana. More for the next ten days as well with a high of 81F today peaking us for the period. The first week of June will bring, yes, June-like weather. Highs in the mid to low 70’s with T-Storms possible generally daily.

Water levels will remain at this height-ish through out the front and of June as well.

Mo River Flows: 8380cfs

Dearborn Flows: 768cfs and hiccuping daily.

Little Prickly Pear Flows: 191cfs and on the long and slow decline.

Both of the tributaries have tossed the mud out. While there is some color to the emanating waters it is not enough to care about. And of course Sheep Creek is clear.

A warning to Wade Anglers: The water is higher than our summer average. It is near the average for YTD though. Flows above 6000cfs are difficult to wade in. Stepping in the water can bring it to the top of your waders. Flows at 8K and beyond make it very difficult. BE safe and recognize the dangers of playing in the water.

Speaking with many long timers here at the shop this last week about the status of the run-off 2023 and all have spoken the same words…that we are beyond the half way mark, over the top, nearing the back end of the run off. Are we there yet? Nope. Not close. But, headed that direction.

I agree. Will speak with the dam manager hopefully today and report it here Wednesday on your information network for all things Missouri River.

So what will flows be next month? Our guess is only a huge rain event will change the trajectory at this point. Our guess is currently 8K or below. 6K? Don’t know yet. Only will know after the fact. Mother Nature is a slippery gal.

Here is the image below of what we are looking at currently. Below our historic average. YTD. Warm weather has run that snow and water from the hills faster than normal.

Normal would be 100% YTD. Average. Look at the title bar. SNOTEL % of Normal

Tuesday Fishing Report Montana's Missouri River near Craig
Lower than average…


Nymphers: Deeper than normal. 6-7′ to a big mayfly nymph or a small mayfly nymph or a worm or a big sow bug generally with a B or a BB split shot. Lots of boats in eddies getting them. Sows are king along with little mayfly nymphs of your liking. The tech stuff is good. You can also toss it at the bank with shorter rig. Fun stuff.

Dry Fly Anglers: Dawn and dusk. The two best times to find them. BWO’s, some caddis lower on the river, some midge. Drift is the primary objective. Keep that in mind. Soft hackles trailing your dry is not a terrible second. The sun in then sky is your enemy. Look for soft insides, tailouts, and the like. They are out there, but few and far between. Look at all the killer spots and you will find a few. We are on the cusp on greatness though. We hope.

Streamer Chuckers: Chuck ’em at the banks with heavier tips and jig that dirty bug. White is still hot. Black and smaller. Swingers are finding a couple on larger soft hackles and Woolley buggers like the Blue Tailed Bugger/Beth’s Britches. Olive out there as well.

Headed into the summer session. Looking forward to the caddis and PMD season.

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  • wayne e clayton
    May 30, 2023 6:06 am

    Hi Mark.
    What happened with the meeting about a proposed extra parking lot?

  • My Own Party
    May 30, 2023 9:27 am

    Agree. Looks like run-off has peaked from the snowpack. Gallatin, Jefferson, and Madison all trending down. Up to the rain gods now.

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