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Missouri River


Missouri River

The Missouri River below Holter Dam has been called the world's largest spring creek for good reason. Holter Dam releases consistent flows from the bottom of the lake year round creating an environment of ideal trout habitat. Missouri River trout are big, strong, well fed and numerous. The fish numbers and size from Holter to Cascade are just amazing. The Missouri River boasts prolific aquatic vegetation and insect life which in turn feed all the trout.

A large river by nature, the best method of fishing the Mighty Mo is by drift boat. Hatches occur all year and the Missouri River boasts the longest productive fly fishing season around. Because of the dam the Missouri River does not experience the extreme high flows in the spring as many of the Freestone Rivers in Montana. This is the best time to fish the Missouri River.

Many of the insects on the Missouri River are small, size 18-22. Good hatches of mayflies and caddis bring fish to the surface at times during the season but nymph fishing always produces. Fine tippets and small nymphs are the norm. Streamer fishing can produce some extremely large trout for the fly fisherman patient enough to stay with it. Hopper time in the late summer and early fall can be amazing in the channels below Craig.


Base of Operations:

When the Tackle Shop guides work the Missouri river we base operations out of the Craig Montana Area.  Craig is a small fishing town located right on the Missouri.   It has a few restaurants, several quality fly shops and that is about it.   We have partnerships with several of the local fly shops to provide lodging for our guests.  As a general rule lodging on the Missouri near Craig is limited and gets booked up quickly.  When need be we secure lodging in nearby Helena. 

If you are flying in from out of state to fish The Missouri River with us please plan to fly into Helena Montana.  We can pick you up at the airport if need be.  


Best time to Fish the Missouri:

Being a tail water fishery the Missouri fishes well almost all year long.  We like fishing here during the spring of March-June 15 then again in the fall, September 1-November 15.  The spring fishing can be fantastic.  While nymphing is king on the Big Mo spring fishing brings fish to the surface for Blue Winged Olive hatch, Midges and Skwalas.  In the fall the Tricos, Blue winged olives and hoppers are the main dry fly fare.  Streamer fishing in both the spring and fall can be great.  Some really large fish live in the Missouri River and if your patient and continue to throw streamers you will eventually hook the fish of a lifetime.