Big Ol' Brown

The Missouri river is one of the only rivers in Montana that has remained largely unaffected by low water and high temperatures (at least in terms of fishing restrictions or fish kills).The rest of the state is feeling the effects of both of these detrimental conditions, and many water bodies are being closed after 2pm (hoot owl restrictions) and others are on complete closure restrictions. Before you head out be sure to check the FWP Fishing & Waterbody Restrictions ( to ensure you’re fishing waters that are still open. With this being said, the MO has been fishing pretty good since the rain and cooler weather we had just a few days ago. Along with this, the pressure has been relatively low with fewer folks out fishing than we have seen all summer. When we get our hot, sunny afternoons though, you’ll be catching a lot less fish.  Best way to catch fish right now is to short-leash a couple of nymphs below an indicator (maybe 1.5′-3′ deep) and fish that just off the banks in the morning or if there’s clouds in the PM, also in the riffle water. Using this method should pick up the most fish. The Hopper-dropper is another very solid strategy to catch a few fish here and there. Expect around 6 eats on the hopper and many more on the nymph especially in the mornings. Fish this type of setup in the riffles, quick low water, and eddies on the banks. The best hoppers to use include a purple yeti hopper, the flopper hopper, Morrish in purple and tan and also the Debruins. Right now, the amount of consistently rising fish is very low. If you want to dry fly only don’t expect to rake em’ in and it might be worth throwing a dropper below your dry fly. When a rising fish is found they have been eating tricos and terrestrials such as ants so try a small ant pattern, buzzball, griffith’s nat, or cluster midge. The fishing has been best in the mornings so get out early and hit it hard!! When the tricos fall (around 9am) is when the fish are most likely to be rising. Risers won’t be up long, so when they are present be sure to make your move quick. Nymphing has been pretty consistent all day long. If one bug isn’t working keep switching until you find something that does. The fish are most likely eating. Popular nymphs include, czech nymphs, pheasant tails, S&M, mirage, split case PMD, and crawfish patterns. Tan and olive buggers can be used as a craws when they are dead drifted below your indicator. It’s hot, and the fishing isn’t fantastic so crack a beer stay cool and tight lines! Enjoy the giant photos of fish.

Jim Steezy

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