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Old 09-08-2016, 11:54 AM
nomadio nomadio is offline
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Default First visit to the Missouri River

Hey all, new member currently planning my first trip to fish the Missouri, likely this October. I mainly fish the Bow River near Calgary, AB so I’m looking forward to (hopefully) landing some Montana trout. Based on the pics and video I’ve seen, the Missouri is a much different river than the Bow. To the uninitiated there doesn’t appear to be much structure on the Missouri, unlike the Bow, so I’m intrigued to try to figure out how to find and entice those Missouri River trout. I’ve been reading up and watching videos though so with any luck I’ll get a few hits. Some top water caddis or BWO action would be nice but I also enjoy nymphing. I intend to wade the river as this is a budget trip (2 school-aged kids at home = tight finances, combined with our crappy Canadian dollar). Would be nice to hire a guide for the first day but at $500/day that’s not gonna happen. Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thanks, eh!
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: First visit to the Missouri River

Welcome nomad; I don't fish the Missouri very often and I'm sure you'll get some real advice here soon. PMD's are generally long gone by October, but the Mo is a bug factory. I'd think Baetis/BWOs will be on the menu. Streamer fishing will be picking up and though it's mostly rainbows, there are big browns and they'll be on the prowl.

As for finding fish, at over 3,000 per mile over 15" it isn't so much finding them as much as getting them to take your flies. In the five miles below Holter Dam there are so many fish that is seems ridiculous. You'll have to look for holes, buckets and drops, edges, seams. It's a magnificent river! If there is a hatch you won't have to look very far to find the fish.

Call up the dudes and gals at Headhunter's fly shop before you leave and check in when you get to Craig. They are good folks.
Headhunters Fly Shop - Missouri River Montana Fly Fishing
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: First visit to the Missouri River

Some have said that the Missouri is like a huge spring creek, and it is like that in sections. There are also some deep runs where you can do streamer fishing. Water is low again this year and that will affect some of the riffles and runs. Wading, however, shouldn't be too difficult. October is a great time. There's nymphing and streamer fishing, and the possibility of some baetis hatches too.

We are having some cool weather right now in MT, but often have some nice Fall days in October. However, you should be ready for anything. Of course, you're not too far away, so a quick check on the weather forecast should do the trick.

I concur with Dean in his post above. I will also give you the name of another fly shop in Craig, The Trout Shop. They have a great selection of stuff and know the river well. I've been trading with them for twenty years.

One of my most fun fishing trips was on the Bow in 1999 -- those Bow River 'Bows were awesome. You've got a great home river. Hope you enjoy your trip down here.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: First visit to the Missouri River

You'll love the MO. I'll be there later this month, and in early October. Baetis/BWO fishing in the afternoons is great many days. Wind or too much bright sun can squelch that though. Advice above is perfect. Plenty of nymphing riffles/runs above and a little below Craig. Tons of wading access, like almost the whole river. Headhunters has a map. Trout Shop probably does too. Definitely stop in Craig for local intel, then enjoy.

Drop me a PM when you get there, I may be around. Will be wading some, and floating in a pontoon on the killer-hatch days.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:39 AM
nomadio nomadio is offline
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Default Re: First visit to the Missouri River

Many thanks for all the helpful tips. Looking forward to coming down.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: First visit to the Missouri River

If your dates are flexible, check with one of the local shops with respect to the end of the weed die-off. I can't remember when that die-off starts and stops. It's not like it's a deal-killer, but I'd rather be fishing where there isn't a whole lot of dislodged weeds floating down the river.
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