If you’ve been to the MO during the last few weeks, you’ll have noticed a few things; lots of water, a good number of boats with bent rods floating by, and not a lot of wade fishermen. We have spent much of the last few weeks at over 10,000cfs, and although this is extremely healthy for our river system, it can make wading safely a bit on the challenging side. Keep in mind, there are still places to wade fish, but because the options are considerably less at the higher flows, those wade fishing spots could be a bit crowded. If you have access to a boat, bring the boat; if you don’t, we rent boats!
Our current flows have had us for the last couple days between 8,000cfs and 9,000cfs, which is still a bit high, but it’s just low enough for noses to be found at a more consistent rate. Nymphing is still by far the best approach to consistently get eats, but the possibility is there to locate some noses as you float down the river. The tactic we like to use is to nymph while we float, work the areas we know are good nymphing water, and keep an eye out for noses. Wire Worms and Sowbugs are very much still great choices for your nymph rig, but you can experiment with mayfly nymphs as well. Green Machines, Love Bugs, Pheasant Tails, and Lightning Bugs are all fine choices for a bottom fly. Size 12 and 14 beaded Sowbugs or Firebead Wireworms make for good top flies. It’s not a bad idea to add some split shot, even to the wire worms, the flows are still strong, so getting your flies down to the fish are key to getting consistent eats.
If you are able to locate some noses; caddis, bwo’s, and even a few PMD sightings have occurred, so be ready to shuffle through a few different flies in your box to locate what is working. We used a Corn Fed Caddis as a lead fly, with a Sprout Baetis Emerger as are trailing fly just yesterday and we were able to get several eats with that combination. CDC Parachutes in both the bwo and pmd variety make great lead flies, while sprout or loop wing emergers make great trailing flies. Other great dry fly patterns right now are the Double Duck Caddis, the Stocking Wing Caddis, and pretty much any bwo dry fly with some cdc. CDC feathers are almost always a winner here out on the MO.
If you make it out to Craig and are having issues cracking the code or finding some fish, be sure to stop by our shop. We love talking flies, fish and showing you were to go on our satellite photo map. Tight Lines!