The last few days have been amazing around here. Everyone that has been out on the river are returning with a huge smile on their face. It’s a great time to be on The MO with most other rivers dealing with run off. Dry fly action has been pretty consistent and nymphing is great when the fish aren’t looking up. It was really busy last weekend with everyone here for the big festival, but things have slowed down to a normal pace and there is plenty of room on the river. Not to mention plenty of fish as well.
The Missouri River is flowing at 4140 cfs(normally 5460). We are really hoping for more water! However, with the snow pack and weather forecast it’s looking like we might be battling a low water year. The good news is that lately the weather has been producing good conditions for mayfly hatches throughout the day. BWO’s and March Browns have been comming off in good numbers early in the afternoon. The Caddis are around too. Most of the good Caddis fishing has been in the lower river. Fish have been feeding on all the different bugs depending on the timing and whats hatching. It can be hard to figure out what they are eating with all the different possibilities floating by in the water column. It’s best to experiment around and see what will work. If the fishing is tough on top, try dropping an emerger pattern off the back. That will usually do the trick.
On a sunny day like today the nymphing game will be the most productive. Most fish are being caught on any mayfly nymph that has flash on it-lighting bugs, mirage nymphs, flashy PTs, and Rainbow Warriors . Size 16-20 will get the fish looking. With the recent rain a worm pattern will make it happen as well. A good old fashioned San Juan Worm is producing, but the wire worms are working too. If you aren’t tired of the fire bead stuff then toss them into the mix.
All the small streams opened up this past weekend. A few of us from the shop got the opportunity to float The Dearborn on Sunday, one of the most amazing stretches of water in the state of Montana. It’s flowing at 410 cfs today and should be fishing real well. Streamer fishing from the raft proved to be the most successful method. Try using a sink tip to get into the deep holes and slots.There was some dry fly action in the afternoon, but not a lot of bug activity or fish actively looking up. Larger attractor patterns brought a few fish up. PMX’s, Parachute Adams, Para-Wulfs etc… For streamers, wooly buggers will do the trick in size 4-10. Color doesn’t matter, they ate it all. The picture of Chris above should prove that this whole Dearborn River thing isn’t just a fishing tale.