We’re all pretty spoiled as anglers on the Missouri: huge hatches, large fish and relatively light angling pressure during the evenings make it one of the best places on the planet to fish. Even though we have thunderstorms projected everyday for the next week, the fishing should only get better and better. The key is to find a time when the wind isn’t blowing all of the bugs off the water and the dry fly fishing should be great. Right now the story is caddis and PMDs. That fish above was taken on a size 14 bead head soft hackle with a quick 2-3″ strip. These fish out here love seeing ascending insects in the water column so much that they often end up chasing the fly for a few feet before latching on (like that fatty rainbow below did last night). I’ve never been down to the salt, but watching those trout chase a stripped emerger reminds me of all the bonefish I’ve seen chase flies in video. It’s really hard to get a good hook set fishing this style, but it’s one of my very favorite ways to chase big Missouri trout.
When you’re headed out to the river be sure to bring a good collection of caddis emergers, PMD Duns, Cripples, and Spinners. At various points in an afternoon/evening hatch the fish will key on a specific stage (i.e. spinner or cripple) and you don’t want to be out there without the right bug. Stop by the shops in either Helena or Craig and our friendly river experts will get you situated with all the right flies for your next evening on the river.