Flows Below Holter: 4920 cfs (normally 4950)…. Water Temperature: 36° F….
Flows Below Hauser: 5120 cfs (normally 3670)…. Water Temperature: Mid 30’s….
Looks like winter is back in central Montana for the time to come, highs in the mid to low 30s and lows down in the single digits should return the Missouri River back to typical winter fishing. Despite the looming weather the MO has been fishing well. Better with the warmer weather that was hanging around but it seems like the fish are enjoying the sun when it’s out. Pink is still the name of the game for sub surface from the Dam to the Canyon, and seem to be the way to go as we edge closer to spring. Check out the tail ends of riffles along the soft slow seams, lead with your leader and keep it still. This time of year it’s all about location, location, location in regards to your bugs. Fish are cold and lethargic right now and don’t want to expel more energy than necessary so you’ll have to get your fly right in their face. Good drifts are key to producing on these cold Montana days and remember to set it on anything!! The big junk has been pretty hit or miss lately, pretty much trophy hunting at this point, not a lot of numbers coming from the buggers but they’re around and quality has been superb. Check the slow deep pools, back waters, and drop offs, remember these guys don’t want to be bothered swimming the riffles just yet. Humble fly suggestions below….
HOT Streamers: Black Sparkle Minnows, Buggers, Simi Seal Leeches, Olive Skiiddish Smolts, JJ Specials, Mini Loop Sculpins, & Urchin Buggers
HOT Nymphs: PINK! Pink Amex, Firebead Rays, Rainbow Czech, Pink & Silver Lightning Bugs, Rainbow Warriors.
Good Dries: Midge Clusters, Hi-Vis Griffiths Gnat, Buzzballs, Small Adams (Grey & Purple).
For a human fishing report please stop by or call CrossCurrents Fly Shop in Helena…. 406-449-2292. We LOVE talking trout…and pike and steelhead and carp and bass and salmon…. Comment below if you have questions or to let us know how your fishing has been this month.
Shameless Shop Promo: Lots of stuff going on in our Helena Shop including some exciting news for all you waiting to hear about the Smith River. Permit winners will be notified on March 2nd so keep your fingers crossed as we wait for the news! Our list of boat rentals is in and we’ll have a full fleet of boats including a few 16′ party barges for the rubber hatch, half a dozen 14′ Tributaries with fishing frames, a few 13′ boats including an Aire Super Puma and his little brother the 11.5′ Aire Puma. New to the fleet this year we’ll have and NRS inflatable drift boat the Freestone Drifter. We’re starting to take reservations for the 2015 floating season so let us know how we can help outfit your next float! Some pretty sweet rods coming out of the Winter Rod Building Class too. Whether its graphite, carbon or glass we’ve got rods spinning and epoxy curing on all sorts of cool custom rods. Swing by the shop if you’re interested in signing up for a class in March / April. In other exciting news World Famous Fly Fishing Guide, Foodie, High School Graduate, Terra Cotta Expert and all around fishy fellow Hank Patterson will be coming to Helena March 20th to screen his film Hank Patterson’s Reel Montana Adventure; a showcase of his 11 day montana fly fishing adventure. Stay Tuned for details and ticket information on whats sure to be a fun-filled hilarious evening!
Don’t forget to swing by our Helena shop for an in person fishing report or any questions you may have!