Fly Fishing Craig Montana
The Missouri River is a premier fly fishing destination and is home to some of the healthiest wild trout populations in the state. So when is the best time to fly fish the Missouri river, well it’s whenever you can get here! The Missouri is tailwater fishery runs from Holter Dam north to the town of Cascade. Deep pools, shallow flats and riffles make up this blue ribbon stretch of trout water. While some folks enjoy the walk and wade style of fishing, floating in a drift boat is by far the most popular and effective way to enjoy this river. Abundant wildlife and incredible geology just add to the experience. Below we’ll break down some of the best times to fly fish the Missouri River.
Spring Fly Fishing the Missouri River
Springtime is undoubtedly one of the best times to fly fish the Missouri near Craig. As the snow melts, the water levels in the river rise and our reservoirs fill. Higher flows, longer days and perfect water temperatures have fish on the feed. Hatches can be intense in the late spring offering world class dry fly fishing opportunities. Springtime weather conditions can be unpredictable so being prepared is a good idea when spring fishing in Montana.
Summer Fly Fishing the Missouri River
Summer is another prime time of year to fly fish the Missouri River. June, July and August is the busy season for fly shops, fishing guides and outfitters. Water levels are stable and the fishing can be exceptional. During this time, anglers can expect to fish using various tactics. Fishing subsurface with nymphs is by far the most popular method but dry fly fishing is the game on the Mighty Missouri. Prolific hatches run all summer long. Caddis, Pale Morning Dun, Tricos and hoppers abound. However, it is important to note that the summer months can be busy, and anglers should expect to share the river with other boats and anglers.
Fall on the Mighty Missouri
Fall is another excellent time to fly fish the Missouri River. As the weather begins to cool, the water temperature began to fall. Fish become more active and aggressive. During this time the trout can feed voraciously in preparation for the long winter months ahead. While the nymping and hopper fishing can be good into september the cooler days have us reaching for the streamer rods. Shorter days and cooler water temperatures provide a perfect opportunity for anglers to target large Brown trout. Stripping streamers on sinking lines can be very effective from September through November. In addition to excellent fishing, the fall foliage provides a picturesque backdrop, making it a great time to enjoy the river.
Winter Fishing in Craig Montana
While winter can be a challenging time to fly fish the Missouri River near Craig, it is not impossible with the right attitude, gear and weather. The colder water temperatures and fast moving weather patterns can make it more difficult but the rewards can be worth the effort. During this time, anglers can catch some of of the best midge hatches on calm days. Nymping can be very productive as trout tend to congregate in deeper slower areas. It is important to dress appropriately and be prepared as the weather as it can change rapidly.
Fly Patterns for the Missouri
When it comes to fly patterns, anglers on the Missouri River should bring a variety of options to match the hatch to catch fish. Blue Winged Olives, Caddisflies, March Browns, PMD’s, worms, sow bugs and midges are standard Missouri River flies. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, the Missouri River has something for everyone.