Missouri River Drift Boat
Y’know, I can remember a conversation I had earlier this month when there was a serious debate about whether the river would ever go over 7000 cfs. Hindsight is 20/20 (or at least 9,800). Our flows are quite high for this time of year, and with more rain on the way this weekend it seems like these flows are going to stick around for bit. How long depends on the amount of rain and the flood pool at Canyon Ferry. Plan on wading being tough for a little while longer. It’s not all doom and gloom out there—the fish have adjusted well and are active on top once more. You won’t find heads left and right, but focus in on side channels, eddies, softer water, and flats. The nymph bite has been good to world-class. The weather looks like classic summer scorcher to start off the weekend before the aforementioned precipitation rolls in. The river’s been busy, but I’d bet it will be less so in the chilly rain ahead.
Dry flies– The PMD hatch is strong, daily, and interesting to fish. The bugs have been popping around 8:45/9 A.M. The caddis hatch is an afternoon/evening affair, and there have been decent numbers of fish up in the later evening around 8:30 P.M. They’ll eat a CDC caddis pattern twitched off of riffles and over flats. Look for periodic eruptions and aim your caddis there. The PMD fish can be tricky. You need: a deadly-accurate reach cast, a good selection of PMD Cripples and Spinners (sizes 14-18), and a healthy dose of patience. Watch each fish carefully and look for trout that are actually eating on the surface. Look for the mouth to come out of the water. Emerger-oriented fish can be real head scratchers. An small RS2 off the back of a dry can account for a few PhD fish that are otherwise uncatchable.
Nymphing Nymphing pays the bills this time of year. Deep and heavy rigs are the norm, with a few folks getting it done in the shallows as well. 7.5-8.5 feet to your 2 BB shots will put you in front of a lot of trout. The fish are eating the same thing down low as they are up top: PMDs and caddis. For caddis, purple weight flies, Pederson’s Laser Pupas, and Tung Darts in 12-14 fit the bill nicely. PMD nymphs include the original Pheasant Tail, the Frenchie, Doc’s PMD, and the CVPD are all excellent starting points. Throw the same bugs shallow across flats and seams with a B in front to help ‘em get down.
We’ll see you out here! Shop’s open 7-7 every day of the week with some free coffee, well-stocked bins, and the best shop staff this side of the Mississippi.

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