North 40 Fly Shop put out the following fishing reports for anglers as of Thursday, January 18, 2018:
Conditions are good considering it is the middle of winter. The Mo has been running around 4,200 cubic feet per second lately and staying a few tics above 34 degrees below Holter Dam. If you get out in the afternoon on a milder day, it will warm up that one precious degree that really gets the fish moving. Last Friday, it was nine degrees. The water and the air were cold. I still got out for a few hours with another obsessive angler. I managed to keep my line clear enough to swing three rainbows before the icing got too extreme.
If you can find three or four days in a row of above freezing temps, you can expect some pretty good wintertime action. This Friday, it looks like one of those windows is lining up. I can’t wait to be out there.
WINTER ON THE MISSOURI RIVER
Not much changes over the next few months in terms of fishing conditions. In the coldest weather, fish within a mile or two of Holter Dam. After a few milder days, you can venture beyond Craig. Always be aware of drifting shelf ice, especially after sustained cold weather.
Fish will be stationed near drop-offs and shelves or cruising the deeper, slower flows. Most days, the action will pick up around 11 a.m. and fall off by 3 p.m. or so.
Always a great activity during the winter months. Scandi or integrated floating lines and long leaders work great in the slower flows. Skagit heads with tips work best for dropping flies off shelves.
BEST WINTER FLIES ON THE MISSOURI RIVER?
Montana Mini Intruder, Mini Dungeon, Kreelex, TFP Polar Minnow, Jawbreaker Tubes, Vendetta Cray, Grand Master Phoenix, BB Damsel Dragon Bugger, GB Bugger, OB Squirrel Leech, RL Thin Mint and Balanced Leeches.
Skurps, Pink Caviar Scud, Pink Ray’s, Pink Fire Bead Sow, Pink Poxyback Sow, Pink Soft Hackle Sow, Pink Firebead Soft Hackle Sow, Pink Crush, Mini Mo Czech, Rainbow Weight Fly, Pink Thunderbug, Rainbow Warrior, TFP Zebra, TFP Mo Zebra, JuJubee Midge, Zebra Midge, Tailwater Tiny, Tung Teaser, Gut Bomb Sow, Tailwater Sow, Rainbow Czechs, Worms.
Griffiths, Cluster Midge, CDC Midge Adult, Hanging Midge, Para Adams
FLY TYING SEASON AND EVENTS
Fly tiers are always welcome at our fly-shop counter. Grab a stool and tie a fly or two. We have tickets on sale for one of the first showings of IF4, the International Fly Fishing Film Festival. Join us at the Do Bar in Great Falls on January 26.
For more information on North 40 Fly Shop, check out their website here.
(Feature photo via North40FlyShop.com)