Streamers Are Hot On The Missouri River: Helena Area Outdoor Report
By Matt Schauer

Posted: December 15, 2012

Hi, it’s Angie from Bob Ward & Sons in HELENA…where there’s afternoon fishing at its best this week! Milder than usual temps are forecast, tho you wouldn’t know that from the snow & freezing rain today! Mid to Upper 30’s expected, but that also means NO ICE on the Lakes!

The MISSOURI RIVER’s upper portion is sounding as tho it is slowing down a little, but if you hang out around Craig, you will run into some SPLENDID fishing! Streamer bite is still very HOT for those who like to strip their monster bugs, and there are even some midday Midges out & about to keep the trout interested..for your dries, stick with Pupa-stage Midges, Royal Wulffs, Lipstick-Butt Blue Winged Olives…all come heavily recommended! Streamers might include White Fatheads or Flash Fry, Black, White OR Copper Zonkers, Pearl Bling Minnows, & the like. Nymphing, always a winter staple, will do you well too…try Soft Hackles, Pale Morning Dun Emergers, Grey Scuds, Baetis Nymphs, or San Juans, especially the Brown/Red combo. The MO is everyone’s favorite winter playground, but especially when the temperature is mellow. Thru the upcoming weekend, however, be mindful of slush & avoid the wind!

CANYON FERRY & the Lakes aren’t ready for prime time ICE fishing yet…some freezing & thin ice has been occurring, but this warm spell will set the development back a bit. Folks are getting ready by heading for the higher lakes that ARE frozen over….Georgetown or Delmoe over by Butte, or if you want a bit of a drive, Hebgen or Harrison Lakes! Clark Canyon isn’t frozen yet either & we hear Hyalite has a way to go to be completely iced over. The Ruby Reservoir is only iced around the edges so far. If you don’t want to travel for ice, or if fishing the MO just doesn’t suit, you can still give winter Streamers a try in the Helena Lakes, or go for Crawdads or Leech Patterns for the time being.

GREAT DIVIDE ski area is open & waiting for you! They’re sporting groomed snow over good machine base on the Lower, 20″-30″ with 9″ in the last 72 hours, so head on up! SHOWDOWN says, come ski the powder here…they’ve had 7″ in the last 24 hours, and show 25″ at the base & 35″ at the summit there…so you’ve got some options here if flying down the mountainside is your “thing”!

Pop into the Helena Store for our Saturday 3-hour Sale specials, followed by a doozy of an all-day Sale! Clothing, footwear & gifts galore are available at some of the best prices ever! Who doesn’t have new gear for basically every sporting lifestyle on their Santa list? Meantime, keep warm, fish well, & pray for ice! Back again next week!