Missouri River Report
June 21, 2017
This year, we’ve got two recurring themes on the Missouri River. Water and wind. There has been plenty of water out there and while it may impact the options for wading anglers, it sure is good for the fish. After pushing 12K at the end of last week, the flows are back down to 9,500 below Holter Dam today.
By this time last year, the river was getting choked with weeds. With our higher flows this year, they are barely even noticeable yet. While they will certainly pop up as the water drops, we’ve had several months of clean fishing. I really appreciate that.
Regardless of where the water has been, the fishing has been stellar most days. Nymphing with sow bugs, caddis pupa and PMD’s will keep you entertained between dry fly sessions. Lots of flies are working and it always amazes me how many people have differing hot flies. I believe that’s a good thing. If your first choices don’t pan out, keep changing patterns until you find your primary players.
Despite the incessant wind most days, fish have been on the rise to abundant hatches of Caddis and PMD Mayflies. It’s seldom easy to chase trout on the Missouri on the dry fly. They usually demand precise fly placement and perfect drifts. Maybe it’s because of the wind and deeper flows lately, but they have actually seemed a little more gullible.
I’ve heard several stories recently of “best dry fly fishing I’ve ever had on the Missouri River”—there have been some excellent windows out there when the conditions, and the fish, have cooperated.
Water temps have been bouncing between 57 and 60 degrees. That’s a great range for hatches and the trout are firing on their metabolic peak. While I was on the oars recently, I watched several hooked fish launch over 4’ vertically in the air. Who does not love that?
One thing that is always certain about the Missouri River is this: it’s a dynamic fishery. You may find yourself in the thick of an amazingly productive day or two, or you might show up on that day when everyone is scratching their heads and telling stories about the recent days that you missed. I’ve been on both sides of that picture, and more often the later when it comes to the dry fly days. The only way to experience the best days is to be out there every chance you can.
It’s full on summertime now. The days are warm and long. The trout are living well on abundant hatches. Anglers are out experiencing great days on the water. If you like fly fishing, you should probably join the fun. Stop in if you need help getting outfitted. There's always someone here ready to assist you in preparing for your great days.