Missouri River Hatches

April/ May
The river fishes quite well during these early months.  Blue Wing Olives and Midges should fill your dry box when you head out during these spring months.  Other good bets low in the water column includes pink scuds, pink lightning bugs, and the other usual suspects in the nymph box.  Streamers can also be effective when pulled slowly off the bank or even through pods of fish feeding on Midges or Baetis.

Unlike most rivers in Montana, you can always fish the Missouri in late May and June. Due to the fact that the Missouri is a tail water, the runoff is contained and there is always clean water to be fished downstream from Holter Dam.  BWO’s are lingering as June rolls in.  PMD’s begin to hatch in mid-June followed shortly by Caddis.  The fish are not as educated during this first month of summer and an angler can get by with 5X tippet for a while.  Nymphing in June can be incredible.  Caddis Emergers, Midges, WD-40s and a host of other nymphs drifted deep can provide some good numbers.

As July rolls in Caddis and PMDs are readily abundant.  Hunting for rising fish becomes the name of the game and the trout become a little more wary but still have a hard time not eating a well placed CDC Caddis.  Starting in mid-July through mid-September Trico’s billow off of the banks like smoke.  Fish pod up in large groups and sip Duns and Spinners off of the surface creating a “fish riffle.”  An anglers nerves are put to the test as one must work hard to focus on one fish rather than flock shooting the entire pod. These pods are an incredible sight and leave many anglers needing a stiff cocktail at the end of the day.  If the angler can throw good reach casts and provide quality drifts it doesn’t take long before surgery will be needed to remove the smile from ones face. Terrestrials including Hoppers, Ants, and Beetles begin to be a good option when prospecting for fish along the banks.  Throughout all of this nymphing remains an excellent method for getting into fish.

Tricos continue to billow off the banks and the trout begin to get more analytical of the pattern they want to eat. Hoppers and Terrestrials can produce some outstanding fish in August.  Nymphing remains good throughout this hot month.  August can be difficult due to the high temperatures.  We often put on at dawn and fish until early afternoon focusing on the early premier part of the day. 

Tricos are lingering as September begins and the weather cools.  Pseudos begin to hatch and anglers eagerly anticipate the arrival of their larger more visible cousins, Blue Wing Olives.  Hoppers continue to pop off the bank and October Caddis begin to bounce and buzz around the river. Should the rain and weather arrive, grab your favorite bugger rod and we’ll begin to move some big, aggressive fish off the banks, brown’s become aggressive and irate as November nears and their spawning cycle begins.