Missouri River Fishing Report for 05.22.16

Flows below Holter Dam: 5680 CFS (“normally” 5700).  Water temp about 51F

Fishing continues to be solid this second half of May!  The nymphing can be good to downright silly at times. There are enough noses up now to keep the attention of the DFO guys but as, usual, some days are better than others.  We are getting more water in the system and so the folks that make the flow calls are giving us a bit more water this week.  They bumped us from 4500 to 5600 – which is still below the “normal” of 5700. We love between 5K and 6K so this is so nice to see some water in the side channels and happy fish as a result!

Hatches are excellent with the Baetis (Blue Winged Olive or BWOs) as the most dominate river-wide. Followed by Midges and then throw in some March Browns and now Caddis down on the lower river (below Mountain Palace).  The drizzle days are perfect for getting fish to rise so don’t wimp out if the weather is rough – you will be rewarded for your cold, wet fingers. Here’s what’s been happening in each of the aforementioned angling techniques:

Streamers: Now we have our dry fly purists (“DFOs” – Dry Fly Only) crowd that loves the MO (see below) but there are some folks that I know that before the noses really start showing are Streamer Junkies! Streamers are just okay -we’ve actually done better on dries than streamers and that’s just fine by us!  The nymph thing is where it’s at for the numbers game!  A couple of nymphs below an indicator down deep usually keeps you busy most of the day.  Short leashing is also doing well in the afternoons when fish start to come up for the bugs. Streamers to try: Krelex Minnow, Sparkle Minnow, Buggers (Black, Olive)

Nymphs:  Ahh, the numbers game!  If you’re looking to rack up a body count larger than a zombie apocalypse movie, then you’ll want to dead drift a pair of nymphs under an indicator.  We love our Thingamabobber Butt Section nymph rigs for super easy, kink-free, super effective set up.  We also have the new Airlock indicators, which are pretty sweet and kink-free but they are heavier than a Thingamabobber and slower to adjust your depth.  Both are good choices (along with 30 other indicator types!).  Nymphs you must have:  Jesse’s Jemstone Worms, San Juan Worm (Red, Pink, Brown) [Wire Worm, Bead-Body Worm, Squirmy Worm],  Lightning Bugs (Silver, Pink, Gold:  #16-#18), Love Bug (#18-#20),  B/H Pheasant Tail (#16-#20),  Sow Bug (Gray) #14-#18.

Dries: Yes, Baetis (Blue Winged Olives) are on the river!  That doesn’t mean fish are rising all day by any means.  You will see some noses here and there, especially in the afternoons and evenings.  DFO’s can make it happen if the wind doesn’t rip and blow the bugs away.  Dries to have in your arsenal: Parachute Adams (#12-#18),  March Brown (#12-#14),  Smoke Jumper Emerger (#18-#20), BWO Comparadun (#18-#20), CDC Baetis Dun (#18-#20), Corn Fed Caddis (#14-#16) [down low on the river].

~Happy Spring Fishing

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