Missouri River trophy trout

The MO may be darn low, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not worth a go. The fishing has been very good of late. Come and enjoy the mellow temps while you can. The subsurface bite has been the highlight, with some dry fly action available if you put in the time/get lucky. Most outdoors folks are in the woods at this point, so the river has plenty of space for all interested anglers.

Nymphing: The nymphing has been rock solid. The standard big bug-little bug combo has been a reliable way to put fish in the net. Large bugs include: sowbugs, scuds and worms. Using a bigger bug up top allows you to forgo adding a split shot in most runs, which is another benefit of the low water. Little bugs include: midges, Baetis patterns and smaller attractors like a little Pheasant Tail. You’ll find fish hanging out over textured bottomed run in anywhere from 2-5’ of water. In a sign of things to come, a few fish have dropped all the way into the winter water as the temps drop.

Dry flies: Pseudos, Baetis and the odd October caddis remain. Best bet is in the afternoon on cloudier days. I have seen a few odd fish up under sunny skies but they tend to be smaller. They’ll eat a good drift before they eat anything else. Try not to smack the fly down right on top of the fish and they will consider chewing it. Purple Haze, classic Adams and a Snowshoe Baetis if you feel the need to get technical. If the flat isn’t covered with rising fish I’ll rock two dries at once. In that instance, mix up your fly colors for maximum visibility. Fish a white-posted fly next to a darker one so you can always key in on at least one bug.

Streamers: Tis the freaking season to throw the long fly across the river. All the classics are in play on any given day. I’m partial to a Sparkle Minnow on a slow sink tip but I’m honestly not too sure fly choice matters. Quality casts and retrieves over the right water are going to make or break your day.

Other bulletins: Shop hours are now 8-4 everyday of the week. We still have free coffee, available guides, and fishing licenses right here in our store in Craig. Thanks for reading- we’ll see you out here in the building or on the river!

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