Mid Winter check on Montana’s Missouri River as we today give you the Late January Missouri River Fishing Report from your information source Headhunters Fly Shop of Craig Montana.
Facts fill the fishing report in this Winter Edition. Again I remind you that what is reported, in fishing reports, is truly water under the bridge.
Out of the other side of my mouth I will tell you that changes during the winter season are often slow. Meaning that the flies listed within this current fishing report worked not only yesterday, today, but they will perform into the future. For a couple months. Through April into May.
Water Temps: 34.5F. Cold. Much below 36F the fish sit, on, the, bottom.
Swing: Kronic Minnow, Zonker, Superflash Zonker, Willy’s Fruit Roll-Up, Simi Leech, Carey Special, Black Wooly Bugger, Black Sparrow.
Sink: SJW, Czech’s, sows, Pink Lightening Bugs, Barbie Nymphs, Arnold’s Sili Scud, Ninch’s Thunder Bug, Firebeads, Zebra’s.
Float: Harrop’s Hanging Midge, Stalcup’s Cluster Midge, Snow Shoe Midge, CDC Cluster Midge, Griffith’s Gnat, Renegade, Reneball, Buzzball, Parachute Adams, Guide Chute.
Where: Dam to Craig is the most common winter water. And for good reason. Great wade access. And winter fishing sometimes is best when you are less than 3 minutes from the car where you have hot coffee, a heater and whiskey.
Inside bends, soft water, buckets. Focus on the highlights. No need to work into it slowly. Just wade down to the crux and float the bobber.
When: Mid day til dark. No reasons I can think of to get out early. Not much is achieved by beating your neighbor to the river by 4 hours. Winter is a good time for slow moving anglers.
Drifters: Dam to Spite. You can fish lower, but not much reason to, other than a change of pace. Parking in runs near the dam is good. 4 or 5 spots below WC to Craig are holding lots of trout.
Headhunters running shuttles daily. Open Daily 8-5. Your center for all things spey. Winter rates on cabins and guide trips. Call the Missouri River Hotline 406-235-3447.