The fishing is still producing big, wild MO trout despite the high flows and muddier waters! It’s best fished from a boat or with a guide right now because wade fishing can be dangerous even for experienced wade fisherman. If you are one willing to risk it, proceed with caution. The flows on the Missouri River are high and will most likely be getting higher soon as we approach the month of June. Last week, flows were fairly consistent between 13,200-13,700. Nymphing has been the name of the fish catching game. Some (most) hate chasing bobbers, but in order to target those feeding and stacked up fish, you’ve gotta tie on those heavy weighted flies or add some size AB or (2)BB split shot and fish slow and deep. We are seeing more mayfly activity in the afternoons. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the flows stay consistent enough to see some dry fly fishing soon.
The primary nymphs that have been working are mostly sowbugs sizes #12-18 like the Tungsten beaded Tailwater Sow, BH Poxyback Sow, BH Cotton Candy, Cavier Scud, BH Superflash pheasant tail, Radiation Baetis, Purple lightning bug, and the Slim Shady. High flows… turbid water…Worms, worms, worms! Try sizes #2-8 Steel worm, Firebead Wire Worm, BH San Juan worms. My nymph setup consists of our Thingamabobber Nymph Rigs with a 1″ bobber, 5-6′ of 2X fluorocarbon off of the swivel down to where I tie a blood knot to attach another 12-14″ of 3X fluorocarbon. The blood knot is tied to keep the split shot from slipping up and down the leader. From the end of the 3X, I tie on my point fly, which is usually my larger, heavier fly. From off that top fly, I tie my dropper. My two most used dropper flies still have been #14 (even #12!) BH Poxyback sowbug and the Tailwater sowbug. However, any combination of the nymphs listed above would work well right now. Some folks are even going as far as to fish the double BH San Juan worms! You’ve got to get them down, though. Fast, deep flows mean added weight to get to where the fish are hanging… near the bottom.
For the streamer junkies, try the dead drift with a heavy VersiLeader. Don’t neglect the rocky riprap throughout the river. Browntown has been visited several times this Spring so far and the eats keep happening with Doc’s Articulator, Kreelex minnow, Sculpzilla, and Galloup’s Mini Dungeon.
Our other Online Fishing Report on Orvis.com: Missouri River Fishing Report
Tight Lines and big fish!