This week looks like a relatively good week for fishing on the Missouri. Relatively low winds and good high temperatures. Fishing will be best once the sun is high and things warm up a bit. Trout spey? You bet. This game is pretty consistent all winter and there is a lot of really good swinging water on the MO. Smaller single hook streamers and soft hackles both get it dont. Nymphing should be pretty good as well with midges, sowbugs, scuds, caddis pupa, and spanish bullets(fire bead is good one for the mo). Possibly a few fish rising here and there to midges in the next few weeks so it is worth keeping a midge dry fly box with you if you head over to the Craig area.
No fishing report this week.
All good here on the Mo this fall, late fall, and into the winter months. We are super stoked with the fishing conditions absolutely terrific. If you are gonna head on out this December feel free to give us a call first for the up to the minute report here at the shop 406-235-3447.
Average high daily temperatures come in at 35F. The lows in the cellar at 15F. So pretty cold overall. But not this month or this fall into winter. Nope. Moderate temperatures as well as that damn wind. Pretty windy on and off. Seems like1 of 2 are windy. The good news is that you can certainly find some lee shores to shield yourself against the wind. Reasonable conditions are possible in this month fo December as well. And, we at the shop open daily @ 8am for all you last minute and fly pattern needs. Demo rods on sale too!
Not much precipitation on the books this fall and not much in the forecast either. Some possible spit of snow as we move into the back end of next week.
Flows are still low, 2900cfs, and will continue at this level throughout the coming winter. So wade fisherman and boat anglers alike at taking advantage of the river travel opps. Yes you can certainly learn about the subsurface structures as most are exposed. I love to get out and just walk. Walk in the water and check things out. Boots on the ground. Buckets, dips, declines, riffles, runs, tailouts, and the like. Put it all in your memory banks for when the conditions are not as friendly.
Nymphers like the Sow and Scud combo. You could use the Zebra too. Soon we will be in the Pink Fly Game that will run through March into April as well. No reason for split shot at the current time, but when the trout get into that deep and slow winter holding water you will find a split shot adding weight to your rig quite helpful.
Most will focus on the upper river for the nymph bite. The dam is once again popular for the wade and boat gang. Fishing to Craig is the other option. Although last winter many were fishing below the Craig section and enjoying success in the canyon.
Streamer anglers love it too. Getting out and wading around islands or stripping your bugger through a run on foot. Boat anglers will find fewer shores to cast at as the water levels are not conducive to bank tossers. No heavy sink tips required now, but I have found a couple streamer rods rigged for different depths can get you closer to the prize. Headhunters jammed full of streamer lines if you are Streamer-Curious this winter.
Swingers Unite. Lots of trout spey anglers in and out of the shop learning, buying, filling in tip kits, finding accessories for the spey game and getting the best local intel daily. Also Headhunters is your Trout Spey Education Center. Whether you want to get a casting lesson, a guide trip, or lodging for your weekend trip give us a shout first and we will guide you toward spey success.
Lots of Trout Spey Action out there this month as the bugs have been knocked down a couple notches for the trout food diet scale. Yessir. Leeches, Carey’s and Sparrows, buggers, and some flash will get it done. HH carries the Best Flies Under the Big Sky with the only Trout Spey fly section on the Mighty Mo.
Dry Flies? Maybe? You will have to out there when it happens. Still seeing some BWO’s float by in the afternoon. Occasional opportunities for the dry fly guy. Localized for sure. I’d toss a cripple at them. Or an Adams.
Lodging is discounted locally too. Call 406-235-3447 to chat with Julie or Sara for lodging options in your price range. Lodging for a couple guests available in downtown Craig.
Shop open daily @ 8am. The only daily shuttle biz all winter long here in Craig, rental boats, lodging, flies, hot coffee, local river info, maps, and so much more all December long…
And, don’t forget about Headhunters for your fly fishing gifts. We deliver to your doorstep!
Happy T-Day hangover, Cyber Monday, and we will rejoice today because the wind is temporarily gone away!
The Mo has been one of the hottest places to be. Spey days are upon us, and with these low waters, we are seeing great water for a two handers delight. If thats not your cup of tea, single handing with nymphs and streamers has been very productive as well, but dry flies are few and far between. For your nymphs, short leasing scuds/sow bugs, worms, eggs, and zebra midges are your best options. For streamers, take your pick, there have been alot of great options such as sex dungeons, Sparkle minnows, kreelux’s, Home Invaders, McCunes Sculpins, you name it!
Low flows, but restrictions lifted
Rubberlegs #6-#12, SJ Worms #10-#12, Lightning Bugs #12-#16, #8-#16 Prince Nymphs, #8-#12 Jighead Stones
Lil Kim, Sculpzilla, Sex Dungeons, Skiddish Smolt, Sparkle Minnows, Crawdads
#8-#12 Chubby Chernobyls, #10-#12 Water Walkers, #10-#18 Purple Haze, #14-#16 Caddis
Fins and Feathers scores the Upper Madison a 2/5.
The Upper Madison has reopened to fishing but we advise anglers to stay off the river to let the fish rebound from the Hebgen Dam malfunction. There are better are options in the area to check out.
Fins & Feathers is a full-service Bozeman fly shop and Montana fly fishing outfitter. Upper Madison River fly fishing trips are available year-round with our Bozeman fly fishing guides.
With just a couple weeks til Christmas, fishing is the last thing on a lot of people’s minds. This time of year is historically a pretty quiet fishing window, especially on the Yellowstone. The holidays occupy a lot of bandwidth, the weather usually isn’t great, and the winter hatches haven’t really kicked off yet. After a busy summer and fall season, it’s kind of nice to have a period of rest too.
With a few much colder nights the Yellowstone River is beginning to get some slush and ice. If you’re wade fishing, be mindful of shore ice and be ready to deal with slush during the first half of the day or longer. Hopefully we’ll continue to get some colder temps (and maybe even some snow??!?) and this trend will continue.
The Spring Creeks are a good option for right now. Just be mindful of the wind. This has been one of the windier December’s we’ve had in a hot minute, and that’s saying something for Livingston. When it’s gusting 60+, you can do your best to find a sheltered spot or just call it and wait for calmer conditions.
We are still advising anglers to avoid the Upper Madison River, to give the fish there a much needed break after their busy season and recent dewatering. Conservation organizations are urging the same, even though Montana FWP lifted the fishing closure almost immediately. There are enough other places to go – leave the river alone.
The Lower Madison and Missouri are both good choices if you simply have to get out. The Lower is a close option for many in our area, and is almost always a solid winter performer. If you’re not up to getting blown around on the water this is the best time of year to break out the vise and start tying. Those summer boxes aren’t going to fill themselves!
With Christmas coming up fast, now is the time to get your last minute shopping done. We’ve got a store full of great items, including a preloaded fly box with some of our favorite flies from the past year. This classic Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop box ships with 2 dozen flies and is a great deal at only $69.95. Get this perfect gift for the angler in your life here: https://bit.ly/DanBaileys2021FlyBox
Don’t miss Men’s Night coming up this Thursday night (December 16th) from 3pm-9pm. As always, stop by or call the shop for the latest info and the gear you need!
Fishing has been good and should remain that way. Don’t worry about getting out early this time of the year. Fish don’t get very active until after noon. Fishing the slower deeper water with nymph rig is your best option right now. I would use some smaller dark bodied stonefly nymphs or a worm as a top fly. A red copper john, red zebra midge, caddis larvae, or a smaller dark perdigon would all be great bottom fly options. Sometimes you may see a few fish rising to midges in slow slicks so have a box of dries just in case. Small streamer can be productive but don’t count on any consistency.Keep an eye out for spawning browns and leave them to their business.