The Missouri River near Craig Montana is a premier destination for serious fly fishing enthusiasts. The river is home to some of the healthiest wild trout populations in the state. The banks of the Missouri River are spectacular. A wild and scenic river with towering cliffs, abundant wildlife and views of the Big Belt Mountains.
Missouri River below Holter Dam.
This tailwater section runs from Holter Dam north to the town of Cascade. Deep pools, shallow flats and riffles make up this pristine stretch of trout water. The Missouri is essentially a giant spring creek. Floating this river in a drift boat is by far the most popular and effective way to enjoy the river and its geology. Below we discuss some of the best times to fly fish and float the Missouri River.
Fly Fishing in Craig Montana
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 trigger insect hatches. These hatches can be intense in the late spring offering world class dry fly fishing. Springtime weather conditions can be unpredictable. Warm, cold, snow or rain are all on the table. Being prepared for anything is a good idea when spring fishing in Montana.
Summer is another prime time to fly fish the Missouri River near Craig. May, June and July are the busy season for fly fishing guides and outfitters. Water levels are stable and the fishing can be exceptional. During this time, anglers can expect to use a variety of fly fishing methods. Fishing with nymphs, dry flies or streamers. The weather can be pleasant with long days and rising fish. Hatches of Caddis, PMD’s 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 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. This provides a perfect opportunity for fly anglers to target large trout. In addition, the fall foliage provides a picturesque backdrop, making it an experience for all.
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 shelf ice make it more difficult but the rewards can be worth the effort. During this time, anglers can catch some of the largest trout of the year, as the fish tend to congregate in deeper slower pools. It is important to dress appropriately for the weather as it can change rapidly.
When it comes to fly patterns, anglers on the Missouri River should bring a variety of options to match the hatch. Mayflies, Caddisflies, sow bugs and midges are the staples when fly fishing the Missouri.
Fly fishing the Missouri river is a must-do experience for any serious fly angler. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner the Missouri has something for everyone.
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