Missouri River Fishing Report – October 3rd, 2017

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Missouri River Dry Fly Fishing

Fly fishing on the Missouri River in Montana continues to be very good these days. We are experiencing some “typical” Fall weather here in Montana. Seems that the fish are enjoying it quite a bit.

With the cooler weather we’ve been having, since mid September, the water has slowly began cooling. This has allowed us a steady hatch of pseudos, caddis and even a few bigger baetis have been seen lately. So it has been pretty much a dry fly show around here, which is perfect.

Brighter days are the toughest for those looking for action on the surface. Some days, you will see bugs and nothing eating them. Others, no signs of bugs or trout anywhere. Particularly, the bugs have been very sparse above Craig on the sunny days. There are a few pseudos here and there, but rising trout have been few and far between.

Our best bug action has been in the canyon and below. Even on brighter days, we are still finding plenty of bugs on the surface and fish eating them. This has held true through much of the lower stretches, although the Cascade zone can be a little slim some days too. But not near as bad as upstream.

We’ve been running a caddis and mayfly blind. Then stopping on consistent risers as we find them. This has been the program for the past week or two, and continues to work very well. The action won’t be lights out in the morning hours. But the afternoon will make it all worth the effort. And there will be plenty of targets to post up on along the way as well. Of course more and more as the day goes on.

On the cloudier days, or days with rain, snow, etc… There are bugs and fish everywhere, river wide. But we have certainly had more sun, and short shots of weather, than the other way around. So be prepared for either scenario.

We have had some luck in the morning hours with streamers. Our best have been small, unweighted and fished very shallow on floating lines. As the sun climbs higher in the sky, you will notice your action declining. But with the cooler weather trends, expect this to improve. Also, with the colder weather, we should see these weeds all begin to settle and exit our lives for the winter. This will make the streamer fishing much easier as well.

For those who want to nymph, reports have been very good there as well. Many are preferring to fish deep, with a crawfish and small mayfly behind it. A few are running shallow, especially in the afternoons, with two smaller flies. Our preference would be to run the short leash all day long, fishing in very skinny water. Sow bugs, scuds and tiny mayflies are ideal, suspended 12-18″ below some palsa tabs. Hit every seamline you see… or any other spot that looks like it should hod a trout.

We are just coming out of our first measurable snow here on the Mo. 5″ blanketed the driftboat this morning. Most of this will be gone very soon. We are looking at high pressure and a couple of nights in the low 20’s now, then warming into the weekend. With this cold weather, we will begin to see a few more bugs, once the weather returns. We had already just began seeing our first BWO’s downstream (mainly during crappy weather). With this latest cold snap, it should drop the water temps right in the zone to where these bugs could pop with the next shot of rain or snow that we get. You will most certainly want to be here for that!


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