Jawbreaker Joe and I spent another day drifting the Mighty Mo. The water is as low as I have seen it and still cold. There is less surface action and the bugs on top are even smaller. Quality dry fly action requires attention to technique and detail.
On top you will find a few Trico’s, Blue Winged Olives, caddis, and some PMD’s. Small ants, and terrestrials also will do the trick. Hopper action is also a good bet. The first fish we netted was on a hopper and a dropper. Several great surface strikes came from hopper presentations. The browns are especially interested in terrestrials.
There is a lot of weeds drifting that require constant maintenance. The pelicans are also in full force. If the average pelican eats 3 ½ fish a day, and the eagles do the same, that’s a lot of fish mortality. Fewer fish seemed to be in the shallower haunts. On one bar, we counted 22 pelicans. That’s like 75 fish on the menu.
Pods of rising fishing are less obvious. Their rises were small and slow. Fewer fish were in most pods. The trout we caught were mainly nice rainbows from 18-25 inches. We also caught several small trout under 10 inches. This is a good sign for the future.
The Koffler pram style drift boat we used worked great. We also met another similar Koffler as we drifted. Most fishermen that we meet on this river are friendly and talkative. We do not see this on other more touristy waters. It seems like many of the folks we meet are Montanans and just enjoy the day.
Jawbreaker Joe really got hooked on a small pod of rising fish. He netted 3 great bows on size 20 and 22 flies. Many of the Missouri trout are HUGE and strong. This technical surface fishing requires excellent small tippet presentations. Fish can easily break off. It is hard to land every fish hooked. On this day, our average was better. We netted about 80% of what we hooked.
Another fun day!
For more Montana Grant, catch him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.