Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 3-24-2017

This Missouri River Montana fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company, one of Montana’s premier fly fishing and hunting outfitters.  It provides current River and fishing conditions and will be updated frequently or if conditions change.  We are currently on the water and running trips so give a call if you need a good guide, need information, or need help with anything surrounding Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.

Flows from Holter Dam: 4,100cfs

Water temperature: approximately 40 degrees

Best time of day: afternoons

Water clarity: good

Hatches: midge, baetis, March brown

Pattens:  zebra midge, hot bead sow, hot bead anything, sj worm, parachute Adams, drowned midge, cluster midge, baetis hackle stacker, bunny patterns, circus peanut, zuddler

Missouri River conditions are steady, pretty good, and will only be improving.  Daytime temps are now consistently around 5o degrees in the afternoons and that means water temps will be ooching up slowly but surely as well.

Midge are still active and hatches of baetis and March Browns should be increasing as well.  My,phi,g is most consistent and hot bead patterns are always a good bet this time of year.  But don’t get stuck in a rut.  There are days when trout want more natural imitations so be thinking two midge at that point.

There are noses poking up on the Missouri River and for now the dry fly gig is mostly about midge.  Have a variety of patterns ready.  Mostly you have to be accurate and get the fly right into the zone or forget about it.

Streamer strikes are there for those of you who like to sling the junk.  For sure you’re likely to hit a big fish if you put in the time but with water temps still on the chilly side don’t expect lots of chasing or numbers.  Trout are still in late winter mode and their feeding activity is all about efficiency.

Expect a mix of weather through the the weekend with partly sunny skies and potential showers rolling through from time to time.  Look for daytime temps in 50s and gray skies through next week with breezy conditions and winds in 7-15 mph range.

Linehan Outfitting Company is currently booking Spring Fling trips on the Missouri River.  Give a call anytime if you have questions and see you on the Missouri River soon.

This could be you holding a big Missouri River brown…



This Missouri River Montana fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current Missouri River Montana River and fishing conditions. My crew and I spend May and June over here in Craig, Montana and this is a spectacular spring fishing experience. Give a call anytime and let’s get on the water.
Flows: 4900 cfs
Water temperatures: 56 degrees
Best Time Of Day: Nymphing is solid all day and dry fly action is best in the evening

Hatches: midge, baetis, caddis, pmds

Patterns: green machine, pmd nymphs, wire worms, crack back pmd, sow bugs, Blooms caddis, corn fed caddis, x caddis, pmd cripple, parachute pmd, hackle stacker pmd, pmd quill body, Rosenbauer’s rabbit foot emerger, ascending caddis, fuzz face caddis, crystal caddis

Flows have been dropping each day and it’s hot out there.  Fishing has been pretty good for the most part but with high sun and heat we are also finding it a bit tricky.  But that’s all right and that’s the way we actually like it.

Nymphing has been solid generally speaking.  Short leashing through weed mats can be productive.  Set your indicator about three to four feet from the point fly and look for fish in 2-5 feet of water with good current.  If you’re running long, set your indicator 5-7 feet from the point fly, add a B split shot, and commit to 5-10 feet of water and essentially the center line of the river.

Dry fly action is sporadic.  There has been some caddis and pmd hatchs in the riffles around islands and fish are eager to eat.  Look for splashy rises in skinny water and don’t forget about emergers and cripples.

Expect hot weather and clear skies for the next week and inconsistently good fishing?.

Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 5-21-2016

Let’s see, the LOC crew has been over her in Craig on the Missouri River for a couple weeks now so I thought some of you might like a Missouri River Montana fishing report, especially since some of you are headed this way soon.  So, forgive my tardiness and expect more diligent efforts this end immediately.  

Flows:  5680cfs

Water temperatures: 51 degrees

Best Time Of Day: Nymphing is solid all day and dry fly action is best in the evening

Hatches: midge, baetis, caddis

Patterns:  zebra midge, sow bugs, green machine, caddis pupas, wire worms, bead head crystal caddis, parachute Adams, purple haze, chubbies, Bloom’s caddis, bunny streamers

At the moment the Missouri River is fishing great.  The weather has been tough what with rain and cold temperatures but this is what May is supposed to be like.  Not 80 and sunny so guides and anglers are generally happy.  

Nymphing has been off the charts the last few days and the fish have been grabby up and down the length of the river.  The Craig section is mostly about sow bugs right now mans while sow bugs are working on the lower River in the canyon, caddis are more effective especially in faster water.  

Dry fly eats are possible if you poke around and find some rising fish.  Baetis hatches are still coming off in pulses under cloudy, cool conditions and fish are looking up when they bugs are thick enough generally in the late afternoon.  Look for heads in soft currents, slip seams, channels, and sloughs with a bit of current.  We had been seeing some caddis activity in the canyon and lower, but the cold rain put a quick stop to that.  

Streamer action has been pretty good in the canyon as well and there are whispers of some big browns being seen under dark, cloudy skies along with werewolves and vampires.  Wait, what?  That’s from my nightmare last night.  Sorry.  Anyway, all in all the LOC crew and guests have been very pleased with the fishing and the Missouri is as healthy as ever.

LOC Travis Lee with a wild Missouri River Montana brown.

Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 6-21-2015

Flows: 4320cfs

Water Temperature Below Holter Dam:  57 degrees

Best Time Of Day: nymphing is solid throughout the entire day and dry fly action is best in the from mid-morning through evening.

Hatches:  pmds, caddis,

Patterns:  Bloom’s caddis, cornfed caddis, double duck caddis, ascending caddis, crystal caddis, crack back pmd, bubble back pmd, parachute pmd, cdc pmd, captive dun, pmd sparkle dun, cripple pmd, pmd emergers

The Missouri River below Holter Dam is presently fishing very well and in great shape.  Dry fly action is now in full swing with pmds and caddis popping consistently.  It’s all about rising fish these days.  Double dry fly rigs have been very productive and a two for one sale featuring a cornfed caddis and pmd sparkle dun is hard to beat rolling down the banks in a the boat.

Pmd’s are coming off in good numbers on the upper and lower river as well.  Hatches are often site specific so be ready.  One day they go in the canyon, the next day on the upper river.  Keep your ear to the ground and check all reports.  Fish are getting snooty during sunshine.  Cloud cover helps make them much less wary and action has been good lately what with overcast days.

Caddis in the canyon are in full force and coming out of the riffles by mid morning.  Swarms of caddis are ovipositing eggs, bouncing off the water and dying in the evening providing some of the best happy hours this side of Margaritaville.

Expect mostly sunny skies and daytime temps in the high 80’s through the week with a bit of wind here and there.  This Missouri River Montana Fishing Report brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company.  We’ve got the guides and the knowledge and look forward to hearing from you.  800-596-0034.  www.fishmontana.com

LOC guide Jeff P. and guest Todd P. with a gator Missouri River brown.
LOC guide Jeff P. and guest Todd P. with a gator Missouri River brown.


Flows: 5860 cfs
Water Temperature: approximately 54 degrees
Best Time Of Day: pmds and caddis are hatching consistently so dry fly action and nymphing is good all day
Hatches: caddis, pmds
Patterns: Bloom’s caddis, crystal caddis, fuzz face, wire worm, pmd emergers, crack back pmd, corn fed caddis, sow bugs

The Missouri River is presently fishing great. Nymphing is still off the charts. Short leashing with indicator about 4 feet from flies in fast current and weed mats is very productive. Or, you can run a deep rig with indicator about 6 feet from flies with a BB split shot and fish the off center river line inside out.

Dry fly action has been steadily getting better and better. Caddis have been going on the lower river and in the canyon for a couple weeks and will continue increasing. Pmds have officially started up and down the river and the fish are rising everywhere and choking about 11:00 am. As piggish as they appear to be, don’t think they’re pushovers. Good drifts with dry flies oars still a must. Dry/dropper rigs are in play now all day!

Expect nice weather to continue for next ten days with temps in the 70-low 80s with light, variable winds.



Flows From Holter Dam: approximately 4000 cfs
Water Temperature Below Holter Dam: approximately 52 degrees
Best Time Of Day: nymphing is great throughout the entire day and dry fly action is best in afternoons and evenings
Hatches: Baetis, caddis, pmds possible
Patterns: bh pheasant tail, caddis pupa, lightening bug, green lightening bug, quasi moto, parachute Adams, Baetis hackle stacker, Bloom’s caddis, x-caddis, sow bug, wire worm, supa pupa

The upper river is in excellent shape and fishing consistently well. Nymphing is still off the charts for now. Fish are spread out having mostly finished spawning and are moving into more traditional holding and feeding water types. You will have success running short and sticking with about five feet of water with good current and by running deeper near the mid channel as well with indicator set about seven to nine feet.

Dry fly action has been spotty. Caddis are showing up on the lower river and in the canyon but recent cold spell and rain kind of put them off for a day. Pmds are showing up…we saw one, but are likely a week out depending on weather.

Streamer fishing has been moving some big fish in the canyon under cloudy, rainy days. If the sun pops, give it up and watch the indicator again and wait for afternoon caddis.

Expect partly sunny, cloudy days through midweek with calm winds. Yup! Calm winds…enjoy.


Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 5-24-2015

Flows:  approximately 3800cfs

Water Temperature:  Water temperature below Holter Dam is approximately 50 degrees

Best Time Of Day:  nymphing is great throughout the entire day, dry fly action is best in the afternoon

Hatches:  midge, baetis, caddis

Patterns:  zebra midge, lightening bug, purple lightening bug, bh pheasant tail, parachute Adams, Bloom’s caddis, wire worm, green lightening bug, cracked back baetis, caddis pupa, bh ascending caddis, fuzz face caddis, sow bug, Ray Charles, hot bead sow bug

Conditions are presently great on Montana’s Missouri River.  Nymphing is still moving lots of fish from Holter dam downstream through the canyon.  Baetis are still in play and were thick until the sun came out and dried up all the rain.  But they’re still active, especially in the afternoon when hatches are most prolific.  Sporadic caddis hatches are being seen in the canyon and down on the lower river but not really in a significant way.  Caddis hatches should start in earnest any day what with warmer days, sunshine, and rising water temperatures.

Dry fly action has been spotty.  Poke around, especially in the canyon and in the shade and you may find a nose or two.  During heavy hatches of baetis rising fish were everywhere.  But that has changed and we’re in a bit of a transition awaiting caddis and pmds.  Dry/dropper rigs on the run have been moving a few fish and providing some satisfaction to that end.  Think Bloom’s caddis with a small lightening bug fished in skinny water.

All in all the river is fishing well and good action and conditions should continue.  Expect partly sunny skies and daytime temps in the high 60’s, low 70’s for the next week or so.  It’s been breezy and it looks like it may well be just that kind of spring.  Fast action rods are presently the right tool for the job.

This Missouri River Montana fishing report brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company.  We’ve got the guides and we’ve got the knowledge.  Give a call anytime at 800-596-0034.

Missouri River brown trout.
Missouri River brown trout.


Flows: 3800 cfs
Wind: 5-15 from the north
Water temperature: approximately: 49 degrees

Conditions here on the Missouri are great. Gray days have been serving up epic hatches of Baetis and the fish are starting to look up. Flows are still approximately 3800 cfs.

Nymphing has been great up and Dow the river. Think Baetis and think small bugs mostly sizes 18 and 20. Look for fish in walking speed currents. If your short leashing, consider a big bead like a 12 pheasant tail and a 20 Baetis. Set your indicator about four feet from the first fly and don’t use a split shot. If you’re rolling through deeper runs, move your indicator to about six or seven feet and a BB shot.

Sporadic pulses of March browns are still coming off in the canyon and lower river and afternoons are all about Baetis. With lower flows fish are already getting spooky so downstream drift with long casts are already in play. Caddis Re also starting to show here and there.

It’s been blowing a bit but mostly just a nagging thing. Expect winds to continue to blow from the north between 5-15 mph for the foreseeable future with clouds and rain. But that means Baetis hatches will also be epic.


Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 4-4-2015

FLOWS: 3800 cfs
WATER TEMPERATURE: approximately 49 degrees
BEST TIME OF DAY: nymphing is moving fishing in the morning and dry fly action is best in the afternoons
HATCHES: midge, Baetis, March browns, caddis
PATTERNS: zebra midge, exploding Baetis, purple haze, soft hackle pt, bh pt, march brown, rainbow Czech, hothead pt, pt parachute, sow bug, ray Charles

Conditions are presently pretty darn good here on the Missouri River. Nymphing has been moving fish consistently throughout the day. Look for fish in walking speed current about three to six feet deep. Fish about five feet to the first fly with one BB split shot.

Dry fly action has been good as well especially in the afternoons and best down in the lower river below the Deatborn. March browns are popping and Baetis spinners are thick in certain runs. Dry/dropper rigs have been working well with a pt parachute and pt soft hackle combo.

LOC is here for May and June and we’d love to get you on the water. Give us a call for more info anytime. 406-295-4872.


FLOWS: approximately 5700 cfs
BEST TIME OF DAY: nymphing is terrific all day and dry fly action has started in earnest!
HATCHES: Baetis, midge, caddis
PATTERNS: zebra midge, lightening bug, Krystal caddis, SJ worm, fuzzy face caddis, supa pupa, green machine, parachute Adams, purple haze, Baetis hackle stacker, Bloom’s caddis, headlight caddis, sow bugs.

Flows have dropped yet again and the Mo is officially firing!

Nymphing is very good all day on the upper river. Look for fish in 5-8 feet of water and run a split shot or even two to get it down. Keep in mind if you’re nymphing deeper water stick with walking speed current. Short leash action is also very much in play especially with pods of rising fish. Use a small indicator and set it about three feet from the first fly. Sight nymphing is always a blast!

Dry/dropper action is also definitely in play especially in the canyon and down on the lower river. Blooom’s caddis with a green machine or fuzzy face caddis is a good bet. Look for big browns in skinny water!

LOC’s Spring Fling is rockin her on the Missouri River!