Missouri River Fishing Report 05.04.2013

The stats are true: there are lots of fish in the Missouri River.  I don’t pay huge attention to MT FWP’s numbers, because honestly, we are gonna fish anyway.  A high percentage of these trout are spawning in the river, and it seems to me that over the past few years, there are more and more redds in the river.  Why?  Hmmmm……probably because there are so damn many rainbows.  Fish have always spawned in the river, but from my memory and from conversations had back in the 90’s, a majority of the rainbows spawned in the Prickly Pear and the Dearborn.   While trout still use the tribs, they are definitely using the Missouri.  This also just might have something to do with all that high water a few years in a row, which cleaned up the river’s gravel and flushed the silt.

The Missouri is busier, earlier in the season, each year.  It seems as if everyone has cabin fever and they are on the Mo’.  Or, they all read fishing blogs and the word is getting out.  A dozen years ago, we were fishing skwalas in the canyon and those who knew, never talked about it.  I’m guilty of writing about the Missouri, so are others.  Is this a bad thing?  I don’t believe so, as long as folks are respectful to each other and the fish, things will move along with ease.  July might be another story.   My guess, is that the Missouri will become the most fished river in the state as the season is stretching out to almost year around.  Will this pressure change the fishery in the long run?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

While nymphing was king, we did manage to find a few trout willing to rise and eat a dry fly.  The wind was prevalent for most of the week and at one point it was down right Western out there.   BWOs and March Browns were hatching, the latter in smaller numbers.  Without too much difficulty, one could catch fish on dries.   We witnessed a blanket BWO hatch from bridge to bridge and hardly a fish rose.  Their brains, while small, are still thinking about procreation.  Would you rise up to eat a BWO dun or eat protein rich eggs that are drifting by your nose?

This is gonna be another banner year on the big river below Holter Dam.  We will be guiding the Missouri all season long and if you’d like a change of pace from the Madison, Henry’s Fork or YNP waters, give us a shout.

In Praise of………

…………a great river and nasty weather which provides solid angling in late October.  Thirty five some odd miles of trout stream with spectacular scenery and minimal pressure.  Gritty folks who enjoy the elements of snow and wind – cold temps, which push most folks inside to watch sports from the couch or bar stool.

The past five days on the Missouri River were such a joy.   The fellas who come out and fish with Greg, Mike, Pete and myself in late October are a class act.  They know we’ll get on the river soon enough each morning and realize that the fishing holds second chair to the experience in and of itself.   Time on the water is what they want….five days will provide enough time to decompress from the real world, yet leave you wanting more.

This year, on their forth trip to the Missouri River, several of the clients wanted to up their game and make the jump from chasing bobbers from ramp to ramp, to stripping streamers and dry fly fishing.   Here lies the root of why I guide – teaching the game, in it’s entirety – as the angler progresses in their ability.  Those wanting to enhance their experience will fore go the bobber rig when the opportunity presents itself and learn something different.  Evolving your skill set with a fly rod opens up doors to a better understanding of why we all go fishing.