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Discussing fishing flies, trout flies, salmon flies, fly fishing gear and equipment, Idaho and Montana fishing rivers, NW rivers, fly tying and fly fishing trips. Over 50 years experience in fly fishing, best flies, fly tying, fly fishing techniques, fish stories, directions to rivers and lakes and great fly fishing tall tales with special communications from area guides.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Missouri River, MT


Buttes of the Missouri


White Pelican on the Missouri?
Missouri River Summer is brought to you by YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. Most Idaho fly fishers agree that the doldrums of summer can make for very hard fishing due to the increase in river water temperatures. I recently had the opportunity to visit the Missouri River tailwaters below the Canyon Ferry Dam and found the fishing to be a challenge. But the sheer beauty of this river as it flows toward Great Falls, Montana somewhat replaces the slowness in the fishing. Brandishing a float tube, I was able to fish and take in the breathtaking beauty along with the wildlife of mule deer, otters, buttes and even white pelican.
 

Oh so beautiful!
Did I catch fish? Well yes! They were not huge, but were feisty. If you plan a trip to this area this time of year, carry a few hopper patterns and tandem these with a bead-head pheasant tail in about the 16-18 size. You will be successful if you fish the rocky edges next to the deep water bends. After a rain, should you get some, you might swap the BH pheasant out for a cinnamon San Juan and be successful. Any way you slice it, it sure beats work!

Getting there, well it is out of the way unless you fly directly in to Great Falls. The area between Craig, MT and the dam (about 20 miles upstream) provides the coldest water in the summer for success. I-15 from the north and south, I-90 then US highway 287 from the east and US highway 200 to 287 South to I-15 from the north will get you where you want to be. Sleeping will be predominantly in either Helena or Great Falls for there are few places on the river to park at night unless you want to camp or bring your motor home. Guides can also be found in each city. For the more adventuresome, you can rent a drift boat or pontoon boat, but if you have never been on this river, I would suggest a guide.
Early bird on the Missouri

Try it out. You will not be disappointed. My Idaho/Washington friends say the spring is best, but the Missouri should be on every Idaho fly fishers "bucket list". And if you have ever seen the Missouri downstream in South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas or Missouri, you will not believe it is even the same body of water.

Happy Idaho (Montana) fly fishing! Tight lines forever.
San Juan Worm

IdahoAngler@live.com

Tags: Popularity of Idaho Fly Fishing
          Freshwater Scud
          San Juan Worm 


 



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