Missouri River Fishing Report – May 23rd, 2017

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Missouri River Fly Fishing Montana
Fly fishing on the Missouri River has been decent. Not great, and not terrible either. The biggest news of the past few days is the rising water levels on the Missouri River. We have gone from just over 7,00o cfs to 11,300 cfs in just about a week. So this has some of the fish a little freaked out. Unfortunately, this weather and water level change comes just as the caddis were starting to pop pretty well on the lower stretches of the Missouri River.

So it is a nymphing game now for sure. Most are running 6-7′ deep, to a split shot or two. The wire worm is the favorite lead fly these days. The bigger, the better. Then follow it up with a larger (size 14 or so) sow bug, ray charles, Czech nymph or maybe a caddis down in the lower stretches. Today, the wire worm and a psycho prince seemed to be the best combo. Once we were downstream a bit further, a silveys caddis was decent as well.

Expect more of the same for the coming weeks. Who knows how long we will have this much water. Or, where the water will top out. Some say we will see 15K. Others think we have seen as much as we will. But who really knows. Sure seems like we haven’t really begun to melt much of the snow in the mountains. So I would lean on the side of seeing much more water to come. Or at least high water like this throughout all of June. But again, who really knows at this point.

The higher water is going to make it a little tougher for the dry fly game. Any tough, we mean probably non existent for the time being. Hopefully, if they can leave the river at one stable level, we might find some shred of normalcy. But for now, don’t bet on it. The dry flies will have to wait for a while.

So for now, the river will run high and off color. Plenty of fish will be caught deep, and a few shallow. When you find one fish, you found a bunch. They are sitting in slower holes and hanging out. So be patient and work them thoroughly. Don’t be shocked if you don’t pick up too many fish in between “honey holes”. That has kind of been the norm. Keep the faith, and those nymphs in the water!

We are on the water all week. Check back as we continue to watch water levels, hatches and the weather. We will report back if and when things change again.

Contact Us with any questions, for an up to the minute report or to book your Missouri River fishing trip.

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