Great Falls Fishing Report

We get it—Big Sky Country offers some of the best trout fishing options in the West, and if you’re lucky enough to be in the Great Falls area you get a crack at what many people would call the very best. That’s the Missouri River for you—major dry fly possibilities and, always, the opportunity to land a beast on dry, dropper or streamer. But the opps don’t stop there—many small streams offer great fishing for rainbows, browns and cutthroats, and the area lakes, including Canyon Ferry, Pishkin, Hauser and Holter—to name only a few—kick out big trout, plus walleye and pike. The only problem you may have while fishing around Great Falls is deciding where to fish.
  • montana fishing report 12.21.17

    Missouri River

    I’ve been shut out from my weekly Missouri River fishing day for three weeks in a row now. Winter has a firm grip on Montana. The thermometer briefly rose enough last Saturday for a few anglers to venture forth and reports were good. Then the snow rolled back in and the temps plunged below zero. Right now the Mo is running over 5,500 cubic feet per second out of Holter. Fishing will be best close to the dam. The river is going to be slushy and full of ice as it moves downstream. We are just waiting for the next thaw.

    Winter on the Missouri River

    Fish will be stationed near drop-offs and shelves, or cruising the slower inside turns. Look for walking-speed current or slower. Most days, the action picks up around 11 a.m. and falls off quick as the sun drops. If you get out in the afternoon on a milder day, the water temp will warm up that one precious degree or two that really gets the fish moving. When we get those 35 to 45-plus degree days, its game on.

    Trout Spey

    Always a great activity during the winter months, trout spey has become standard practice. Scandi or integrated floating lines and long leaders work great in slower flows. Skagit heads with sink tips work best for dropping flies off shelves. Best Winter Flies on the Missouri River?


    Trout Medusa, Montana Mini Intruder, Kreelex, TFP Polar Minnow, Jawbreaker Tubes, Vendetta Cray, Grand Master Phoenix, BB Damsel Dragon Bugger, GB Bugger, OB Squirrel Leech, RL Thin Mint, TFP Balanced Squirrels and Balanced Leeches.


    Skurps, Pink Caviar Scud, Pink Ray’s, Pink Fire Bead Sow, Pink Poxyback Sow, Pink Soft Hackle Sow, Pink Firebead Soft Hackle Sow, Pink Crush, Mini Mo Czech, Rainbow Weight Fly, Pink Thunderbug, Rainbow Warrior, TFP Tufted Zebra, TFP Mo Zebra, JuJubee Midge, Zebra Midge, Tailwater Tiny, Tung Teaser, Gut Bomb Sow, Tailwater Sow, Rainbow Czechs, Worms, Eggs


    Griffiths, Cluster Midge, CDC Midge Adult, Hanging Midge, Para Adams

    Fly Tying Season and Events

    Fly Tiers are always welcome at our fly shop counter. Grab a stool and tie a fly or two.

    Missouri River Fly Fishers Banquet tickets on sale now for February 24th.

     Click here to see past Great Falls reports, or here to view all northwest regional reports.