Missouri River Update | Bozeman Fly Shop – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Missouri River Update | Bozeman Fly Shop

Now halfway through week 3 hiding up here in my hole just down from Prewett Creek on the Missouri and all is reasonably well. I haven’t seen any Bighorn Sheep in the front yard lately, but the geese are definitely still nesting in the cliffs across the river. It used to be that they would start squawking around 6 am but that is now more like 5. The sun is coming up earlier and earlier too, even down here in the canyon. Yes, the river is high and continues to creep up just a little bit everyday but the fishing has been hanging in there, challenging at times for sure.

The most difficult aspect of fishing up here has been the varying influences of the major tributaries like the Dearborn and Little Prickly Pear. These small streams have been coming up in flows with the warm weather and periodic rains, kicking in a lot of debris and dirty water into the Missouri River mains stem. The high flows out of the dam tend to help dilute the color pretty quickly, but large plugs of debris have put sections of the river out of commission for a day or two, Thus, most people have been piling into the stretch of river between Holter Dam and Craig, making for some crowded conditions at times.

Dirty and Clean Water on the Missouri River with Fins & Feathers of Bozeman fly shop and fly fishing guide service

I typically fish the stretches downstream of Craig and have been having days that vary between good and excellent, with a few tough days mixed in there too. The standard rig continues to be Sowbug and Scud patterns fished deep under an indicator. The higher water is making it possible to get fish near the banks rather than just the inside bends and deep pools. I have started to get fish on San Juan Worms and some Caddis Pupa pattern in the last two days, which is usually a sign to me that the bite is starting to pick up.

Sounds like things are starting to get big and wild down in the Bozeman area, so I should expect to seem more Bozeangelines in the next few days! Keep in mind that the wade fishing up here right now is really not a good idea. If you are bringing a boat, understand that it is crowded and that there are only so many places that you can catch fish in right now – be patient with other boats as everyone tends to bunch up a fish closely this time of year. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates from the MO for another couple of weeks.

Missouri River fly fishing with Fins & Feathers Bozeman fly fishing guide service and fly shop