Montana Fishing Report 06/24/11

Well at least the weather has been getting better in Montana, we don’t feel like we guiding in Alaska any more (no more wearing rain jackets every day). However, fishing is very inconsistent. One day it’s good the next not so much. We had the McCord’s from Houston Texas up for the last several days and we’ve seen both mediocre and great conditions.

Day one was on DePuy spring creek which was good but the fish were extra picky, mostly due to a light PMD hatch (and the afternoon hail storm). Day two was one of the best dry fly days in recent years on Armstrong spring creek as the PMDs poured off the stream from about 9 am until 2 pm. Meredith caught this taped 18″ on a No Hackle dry at about 1 pm and it gave us a beautiful fight. That evening we ran up to the Missouri River and after Watching the Fly Fishing Film Festival in Craig, Montana we spent today working hard to boat about a dozen fish. The fish up here are spotty mostly due to the 20,000+ cfs of water they are releasing from the dam. It’s not that the fish aren’t used to big water, it’s that they, like some kind of stability. When the boys at the dam keep upping the flows every day the trout aren’t super happy. Regardless the fish can be caught and when the dozen or so fish you land average about 16″ and extra fat the day still seems like a better day than you could spend working in an office
Well, that’s all for now, but we’ll post some more reports again soon seeing as it’s full on go time for fishing.

– somewhere near the water via iPad

The Day After the Big Night in the Big City

So after a great day of fishing on the Missouri River how do you follow it up? Obviously, you celebrate one of the owners of Headhunters fly shop Mark Raisler’s birthday with a barbecue then head up to Great Falls for a night out in the big city. I mean why not, especially when you get a call from some beautiful women friends that are going for a night involving limos and dancing. Really you don’t have any choice.

So what do you do after the big night? Again there’s really no choice but to gather up the pieces, find your friends and hit the water. The best cure for a hangover is to put a bend in the rod and release a few big fish. As you can see the 20″ rainbow Steve is gripping looks like it’ll have a slight hangover tomorrow.

– somewhere near the water via iPad

Missouri River Fishing Report 06/09/11

Montana Fly Fishing Tripschoose All Inclusive Inset

Well it was yet another cold and rainy day on the Missouri River. We decided to wait and see if the heavy morning rain would let up a bit. It didn’t. Regardless the fishing was still pretty good. If you could handle being wet and a bit cold the trout were still eating the in the soft water.

Currently the Missouri River is at 14,100 cfs but the Little Prickly Pear is over 2,000 cfs (and muddy) and the Dearborn Is over 5,000 cfs. All the rain has made fishing below Craig very difficult as the water is very dirty. However at the moment there are relatively few boats on the water and boating 20+ fish a day is pretty common.

Our best bugs are a variety of sow bugs, scuds and as always the worm. Fishing is still all deep nymphing at about 8 to 10 feet with a big 3/0 split shot. Not super fun to cast but with a good guide rowing the boat, keeping pace with the indicators hooking up on big rainbow and browns is worth it.

Also it’s currently the only fishing in the state.

– somewhere near the water via iPad

Missouri River Fishing Report 06/04/11

We’ve been up on the Missouri River in Craig, Montana for the past several days and despite the less than stellar weather (read as cold and rainy), we managed to have some pretty successful fishing. Currently, Missouri is 14,600 cfs, which is fairly high water flows, but the nymphing is still good – 20 to 30 fish days are doable.

The Dearborn River is still muddying the lower river so Dam to Dearborn accesses are the only real options for fishing at the moment. The predicted warm weather is probably not going to improve the high flows in the near future.

The technique is pretty much the same deep nymph rigs of 9 to 10.5 feet fishing the inside corners in the soft water. Flies are San Juan worms and Czech Nymphs in medium sizes and small size 18 sow/scuds bugs like the Tailwater Scud or beaded headed Ray Charles. The split shot should be at least a big AB or 3/0.

We’ll be back up here the middle of next week but in the meantime, we are heading back to Livingston for a couple of days of private lakes and spring creeks.

While the new Fish Pimp Palace is great it’ll be nice to sleep at home for a couple days.

– somewhere near the water via iPad