BWO Mayflies-Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 5-4-2017

This Missouri River Montana fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company.  It provides current water and fishing conditions and will be updated frequently or as conditions change.  The LOC crew spends May and June on the Missouri River in Craig, Montana.

Discharge from Holter Dam:  7,200cfs

Water Temperature:  48 degrees

Best Time of Day:  Conditions are good throughout the entire day now

Hatches:  midge, baetis

Patterns:  parachute midge, midge cluster, bwo hackle stacker, bwo parachute, bwo sparkle dun, bwo cripple, zebra midge, lightening bug, green machine, pheasant tail, sow bug, hotbead sow, sj worm, black bunny patterns

This is the time of year when the LOC crew is on the Missouri.  Through the middle of June we will be featuring  Missouri River fishing reports on our site and other outlets.  Stay tuned especially if you are meeting us soon in Craig, Montana for a spring fling adventure.

Let’s see…current flows from Holter Dam are 7,200cfs which is bigger than we’ve seen over the last three years.  This is a good water year and we’re all hoping flows stay in that range for the entire spring.  To compare, the last several years Holter Dam released average flows below 4500cfs.  We like more water and the river stays fresh and offers more in the way of diversity since channels are full, holding fish, and spreading things out a bit.

At the moment nymphing is pretty solid.  With good hatches of baetis and midge, fish are eating all day and depending on weather have been pretty grabby.  Bright days seem to offer less action but with cloud cover the nymphing has been great.  With slightly higher flows, remember to raise your indicator.  Think 6-7 feet to the first fly and be sure to add enough weight to get the flies down near the bottom.

Dry fly fishing has been sporadic.  During hatches of blue winged olives you can definitely find some rising fish in soft water and tight to the banks.  These fish will be tricky.  It’s all about small ball and long leaders.  But if that’s your preference, look closely and you’ll find some targets.

The streamer bite is largely dependent on weather.  It has been worth the effort if skies are cloudy, overcast, and obviously rainy days are better still.  Bunny patterns are always in play and we like to fish a dropper off streamers as well.  Think bead head prince nymph or something with some flash that might get their attention this time of year.

It looks like we’ll be seeing pretty typical spring weather for the next 7 days.  Immediately daytime temps are going to rise significantly with sunshine and approach high 70s!  I know, right.  And clear sunny skies will dominate the landscape for two or three days.  Then, daytime temps will be more normal and hover in the 60s as another gray sky, low pressure, rainy front moves into the area.

We have availability and would love to get you on the water.  Joanne and Helen are in the office and ready for your call.  800-596-0034.

Blue winged olive hatch on Montana’s Missouri River