BWO's on the Mighty MO – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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BWO's on the Mighty MO

The moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived, technical dry fly fishing for large rising trout. Blue winged olives on the Missouri River have popped in a big way. Get out there on a windless, overcast day for some awesome dry fly fishing.

Some of the very best dry fly fishing opportunities occur in the early season. By no means is there an exception to this fact on the Missouri River. When BWO's first get going in the spring, fish part take in a feeding frenzy. Trout that are typically picky, and hard to catch are more likely to make mistakes (eat a fly) when feeding in the Spring. Maybe your cast isn't perfect or drift isn't drag free, now is when you can get away with miscues more often than normal. Given the right conditions expect to see plenty of large rising trout gorging themselves on blue winged olive adults on the Mighty MO.

Missouri River BWO Hatch

Tips for Fishing the MO BWO Hatch

  • Don't make the fish move, cast right over the rising trout for the best success.
  • Match the size of the naturals you see on the water.
  • Longer leaders can make all the difference. A 9-12ft. leader will keep your fly line further from the rising trout.
  • Fish 5x tippet. It's more supple and allows your flies to move with the MO's micro currents.
  • If fish are refusing duns, try a cripple. Cripples ride lower in the water and can be more appealing to picky fish.
  • Drag free drift. Drag your fly over a riser or a pod and you'll put them all down, I've seen in a 1000 times.
  • Don't line fish. A fly line dragging over risers or even worse, slapped on their heads will make those fish vanish.
  • Choose the days you fish wisely. Low wind, cool, and cloudy conditions can turn a good day great.

Match the Hatch

Don't head to the MO without a box full of Baetis dry fly patterns and at least an extra spool of 5x tippet.

Subsurface Stunners

If the surface action isn't on, switch it up. These are the best baetis nymphs to catch fish subsurface.

Shop All BWO Flies

All BWO patterns available at our shop can be conveniently browsed right here!

Keep in mind, BWO's have been coming off in great numbers on the lower Madison and fish have been locked in. You don't have to make the 2-hour drive from Bozeman but if a change in scenery interests you, the MO BWO hatch can provide some of the most fun dry fly fishing in Montana. Swing by our Bozeman fly shop to stock up before the next day you spend on the river.