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Showing posts with the label Missouri River


There's no shortage of folks on the Missouri now.  It's clear but still a little high for wading.  Just a tad over 8000 c.f.s yesterday.  I had to go and take a look just to see for myself what those water levels meant. Well, what it means is that it's fishable for a wading angler, although one needs to pick their spots.  Boaters on the other hand have lots of spots to choose from.

The biggest issue is not in finding fish, but rather in what happens after hooking one. They're just harder if not impossible to chase with the deeper water and flooded banks.  So one hopes, as I did, often, that there's enough backing.  One fish took me down to the last few turns of the spool before the knot gave out at the fly.  I was relieved to see the fly line after having recovered my backing.  That fish might be to Great Falls by now. 

So, it's PMD time.  Finally.  A sparse hatch yesterday, but there were plenty of spinners. They kept the fish interested and eating on top for…

On A Cold December Morning.....

On a subzero Montana morning.
Perhaps my favorite image from 2016.
If for no other reason than it captures an idyllic moment.
It was definitely warmer.
Dead calm.
Bugs in the air.
Bird sounds.
A lone angler casting to rising fish. 
May is not so far away......


I took a quick day trip to the Missouri earlier this week.  It was a glorious day.  Calm, bright, a toasty forty-seven when I got to Wolf Creek around eight in the morning.  A light sun hoody was all I would need.  Ok, pants too.
Blue winged olive nymphs and midge pupa were drifting in the current.  So, I started out sight nymphing.  A few nice fish were working the shallows.  The water was clear, the fish spooky.  No surprise.  I watched and waited, casting occasionally.  The fish took the pheasant tail, Rojo midge, a little red midge.  Its neat when you can see them eat.
I broke for a sandwich around two.  By then it was getting warm and was pretty bright.  My eyes needed a break from staring at the water.
After lunch it was time to do a little head hunting, so I went for a drive.
I found a few bank feeders.  It turned out that there were enough to keep me entertained for the rest of the afternoon and into the early evening.  Hatchwise, there were a few blue winged olive duns, but …

One Mo Day

It was a heavenly day on the Missouri.  Warm, comfy.  No wind.

It was a good day to watch geese too.  Adults and variously aged and sized goslings were out and about in abundance.  I stumbled onto a nest too.  Goose eggs are pretty big.
Fishing wise, it was slow going, at least as far as surface activity goes.  I sight nymphed a couple of fish early on.   After that, I bided time, waiting, hoping for some sort of hatch.  I was determined to catch fish on top.  
I watched one rainbow on and off throughout the morning.  It was positioned right up against shore, strategically hidden from view by brush.  Not well enough though, I was looking for him.  I could see other fish too, some close to shore, others farther out.  This particular rainbow fed actively.  I could see it move from side to side, its mouth opening and closing, obviously grabbing stuff in the current.  It would rise occasionally too.  
I got him a couple hours later.  It took a bunch of casts.  I put him down once. I left…


While driving along the Missouri River early last June, I spied this lone angler at work. It was late afternoon.  The PMD's were just starting to hatch.  Fish were rising.
Angling nirvana.
So, I drove up the road, found an open spot.  Slipping into the water, I became part of a similar dreamy scene for passing anglers.  The fish, so close, agreeably sipped the PMD presented barely at arms length. 
Nirvana for me.

A Summer Day on the Missouri River

After a few days of backpacking, we decided that a vacation day of fishing would be nice.  It was a spur of the moment decision.  When I contacted the folks at Crosscurrents in Craig, we knew that hooking up with a guide on such short notice would be pretty tough.  But, they soon called back. Done deal.  Just show up.  Tomorrow morning.

We arrived in Craig at 6:30, met our guide, Mike Geary, and were promptly on our way to the put in.
We lucked out.  Jo and I are both pretty low key anglers.  Mike, pleasant, easy going and affable, also happens to be an outfitter and owner of Lewis and Clark Expeditions.  He runs trips on Montana's Smith River and is most active in Project Healing Waters.  Quite a guy.  Once we got on the water, it didn't take long to realize that sitting in a boat is a hell of a lot easier than lugging a pack up a trail.

It was a bright, blue sky, August day. With temperatures forecast in the eighties, it would be a wet wading day. Other than a few stray puf…