It’s the time of year for those pesky little BWO’s to emerge their way to the surface and tempt trout to rise for a food source. Many anglers are out on The MO fishing some Baetis patterns to risers and having some success. This type of fishing can be difficult, but very rewarding. It’s our favorite. There is a reason people flock to Montana’s Missouri River in the fall. It’s 15ft leaders down to 5x tippet and #20 dry flies. You can barely see your fly, it has to be a dead drift, and there is no possibility for a mend when everything hits the water. It all makes sense when you are holding a 22 inch brown and smiling for a photo.

Here are the top dry fly patterns from the staff at CrossCurrents. Each of us fish with a little different style, but we all love the challenge of fall hatchs on The MO.

Brock- RS2 #20 and #22. If you see Brock out on the river during a hatch he is probably fishing with two dry flies and one of them is a RS2. Even though it isn’t really considered a dry fly, it works great in many situations. Using it as a “dropper” off the back of another dry is a great way to get picky fish. Brock will often grease it up a little bit to make sure it rides perfect in the surface film.

Taylor-Last Chance Cripple #20. A great fly that is easily visible, but maintains a low profile on the surface. This is always a great first fly to tie on during a Missouri River Baetis hatch. Like all great dry flies, this pattern uses some CDC to keep it floating.

Billy-Hoagan’s Sipper BWO #18. A little larger size for a better ability to hook the fish. Nothing gets Bill more frustrated then a bunch of fish getting off because of a smaller hook. This pattern works well as an emerger for those sub surface feeders we see everyday out on the river. Add a little floatant to the bubble back and this fly will ride right in the film.

Eddie-Orange Bead 4mm. Ed likes nothing better than taking advantage of stray eggs in the river from the Brown Trout spawning during the fall BWO hatch. He is digging deep into his wading vest looking for those beads left over from his summer in Alaska. When the bobber goes down Ed lifts his rod. Enough said.

Chris- Hi Vis BWO Spinner #20. A fly that will work all day on The MO. It’s orange wing post can be seen a from a mile away. Don’t let it fool you, this fly catches fish. With the amount of bugs we get in a hatch here, there are always spinners in the water. This fly will fish every day and all day long.

Now that you know our secrets get out there and enjoy the cooler weather!

One Response to Top BWO Flies for The Mighty MO.
  1. […] If anyone is trying to figure out what flies might be good to have around for the summer take a look at this older post about our favorite nymphs. Or if you want to tie up some dries check out this post about our favorite BWO’s. […]


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