Great Falls, Montana Fishing Report 08.09.18

Great Falls Fishing Report

Missouri River

It’s well under the 5K mark.  Easy wading, easy rowing and less water to wonder where the fish are.  There are lots of dry fly possibilities too.  There are easy dry fly and challenging dry fly presentation options.  You can decide how to play it.


The little zebra stuff is keeping rods bent from the dam to the Wolf Creek Bridge.  The fishing can be really good in that reach, especially in the mornings.  In the canyon, olive caddis pupa and purple or gold weight flies are a good choice in the morning. The scud sow range of flies along with jig hares and PT’s are the go-to for the remainder of the day.  If in doubt, roll the zirdle.

Dry Flies

Trico’s are so thick, it looks like smoke on the water some mornings. If your Trico game is strong, you can really have some fun right now.

Ants and beetles are great attractor choices and a few fish are starting to fall for hoppers. Whether you fail or succeed at the trico game, you can fish the fun flies after the morning hatch and spinner fall.

They can’t last much longer, but pmds are still in the mix along with a few caddis.  A rusty spinner or small caddis should always be a consideration along with the buzzball.  Ever skate a buzzball?


As the big hatches of caddis and pmds fade, the streamer game picks up.  Fish will become more opportunistic again and more likely to chase a bigger meal.  Flash N’ Grabs, skiddish, sparkle minnows and krystal buggers are favorites this time of year.

Local Streams

The heat is on this week.  You’ll want to go out at dawn or head for the mountains.  Fishing in lower-elevation rivers and streams is not a good idea during the day, given high air and water temperatures presently.  The Sun River is the first in the state to go to Hoot Owl restrictions.

The Lower Missouri River

You’ll want to pack a cooler with lots of ice and cold beverages and keep it close while you hunt for tailing carp and drum.  Maybe you’ll pick up a few smallmouth or even a catfish.  Walleye, pike and the ever aggressive goldeye are also in the mix.  Have fun and see how many species you can catch on the fly.

See past reports from the Great Falls region here, or click here to view all northwest regional reports.

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North 40 Fly Shop got its start in Great Falls, Montana when a couple fishheads snapped up a pile of closeout items and offered them for sale on a single pegboard wall. Today, we offer the largest selection of fly-tying materials in the area, along with a broad range of high-quality rods, reels and lines, plus gear and apparel, from dedicated fly-fishing specific brands. We spread our love of fly-fishing through fly-tying classes, spey claves, and community outreach, and run our shop with this motto: Beginner or expert—you’re welcome here. We love Montana and are proud to call the Missouri River our home water. While we always keep our finger on the pulse of the mighty Mo, we are surrounded by many other great rivers, streams and lakes and offer insider tips on these waters. Beyond Montana, we host destination trips to Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Christmas Island and Belize.

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