Late September has brought cooler temperatures, precipitation and great fishing. The near forecast is looking like great weather with highs in the 70’s for the next 3-4 days and very low wind. Expect sunny days and nymphing or streamer fishing until evening or if we see some cloud cover. Water temperature has dropped dramatically over the past few weeks and we are now at 57 degrees in the mornings and 3,930 CFS below Holter
Hatches include baetis, pseudos, and midges. We have had success using parachute adams, purple haze, baetis spinners, baetis emerger’s and beatis duns. These patterns work in sizes 16-20 with a 9’+ 5x leaders. Start with the larger fly and work your way to something smaller if you are not getting eats. Prospecting dries has had moderate success with a size 16 and fishing to pods will be very successful when they are consistently up. Just ensure that you get a good drag free drift over a fish and you will likely get eaten.
Nymphing can be slow in the mornings but afternoons have been on fire. Green machines, pheasant tails, lightning bugs, love bugs, zebra midges, crawfish, sowbug, and czech nymphs have all been getting it done. 5’ from the indicator to your first bug with 4x a split shot above this bug, and 5x to the second bug is the way to go. Fish can be found in the fast and swirly holes and are starting to move into the slower moving fall runs as well. Best nymph sizes for sows and czechs have been 14-16 while the midge and may fly patterns have worked best in the 16-18 range.
Streamer fishing has not yet been excellent and the weeds in the river are still making it challenging but you can expect to get a few fish on streamers. Patterns that have had the best success are white/silvery with lots of flash. Kreelex minnows, skiddish smolts, and polar minnows are the most popular patterns. Wooly buggers in a range of colors have been turning fish as well. We like the size 6 black, olive urchin, and purple urchin buggers. Articulated bugs and huge stuff hasn’t yet enticed an aggressive reaction from browns but as water temps continue to drop expect it to turn on soon.
Overall the Missouri has been fishing very well. almost daily we hear reports of folks catching fish on dries, streamers, and nymphs. Traffic on the river has been pretty average for this time of the year but can be unexpectedly busy on week days. The very best days for fishing have been overcast and snowy or rainy so far this September. Expect this trend to continue but with this in mind, even sunny days have produced many fish and the occasional beast.