happy client on the Missouri River

Flows below Holter Dam: 3750 CFS (normally 4850).  Water temp about 42F

First off, both shops are off and running for the 2016 season!  Our Craig store opened officially for the season last week.  Please stop by for shuttles, flies, gear or to gab over a cup of free coffee.  Ben is our main man in Craig and will be running a smooth ship out there.  We also have several veterans and a few rookies on the team -all ready to assist you expertly on your MO fishing needs!

What’s not to love?  Water temps are on the rise, the trout are gaining more spunk everyday and as a result, they are eating more voraciously then they have since last October!  The bug life is also beginning to shake off its winter slumber.  Everyday, more and more birds are making their way back to the Missouri for the Spring nesting season.  The din of songbirds and geese -LOTS of geese is constant and an audible reminder of nature renewing itself each spring.  April – what a great time to fish the MO!  Streamers, Nymphs & now Dries -all get it done in volume and style on the Missouri -both below Holter and below Hauser (“LOG”).  Here’s what’s been happening in each of the aforementioned angling techniques:

Rainbow Trout from Missouri River

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!  (Ask Jim Stein about this fun form of angling addiction!)  April is a great time for those folks to get that itch scratched.  It’s also a super time to get the 2-handed rods out (Switch or Spey) and 2-Step Swing the Missouri -both below Holter and Hauser.  You’ll definitely want to grab a RIO Spey Versileader or 2 (get different sink rates) to be affective with your streamer -wether on a 2-hander or your traditional single-hand rod.  My two favorite tips for most of my streamer stripping at these lower flows would be a 10′, 3ips (inches per second) and the 10′, 5ips. Call, click or stop by either of our shops to pick these must-have leaders.  Patterns to have in your April box include:  JJ Special, Sparkle Minnows, Krelex Minnows, straight up buggers (black, olive, brown), Flash Fry Zonkers.  Colors are not too important as getting your fly down to the right depth and not making it move at mach 2 speed.  The water is still chilly so keep your swing or strip speed down.

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, Wire Worms, Firebead Sowbugs (or Scuds or Ray Charles), Pink Lightning Bugs, Silver Lightning Bugs, Love Bugs, Zebra Midges.

Missouri River Rainbow with Worm

Dries: Last Friday was the first day I saw Baetis (Blue Winged Olives) on the river!  Not many fish on them (or at all) but we’re days away and in the next couple of weeks that hatch is going to be the big show on the MO!  For now, its a mega amount of Midges almost all day long.  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 April arsenal:  Griffith’s Gnat, Buzz Ball, Parachute Adams, CDC Hanging Midge, Sprout Emergers.  Are there Skwala’s on the lower MO?  Hmmm.

Latest CrossCurrents News: Join CrossCurrents Saturday, April 23rd at the Missouri River Ranch for our FREE Spey Casting Clinic.

~Happy Early April Fishing

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