Fishing Season: Summer

Missouri River - MT

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


CrossCurrents Fly Shop's Tip of the Week

When the air temps are at or below freezing, swinging a small streamer with a Trout Spey Rod is a great way to getting into fish on the MO -and not have to deal with icing in the guides quite at much as a single hand rod. Also, put some fly floatant on your guides to help reduce icing.

Directions open in app

Map of Missouri River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 11/16/22

More winter!

Techniques & Tips as of 11/16/22

Trout Spey of course! Swing season is in full effect here on the MO. You don't need to fish a heavy tip or make a long, hero cast - 30'-40' is just fine for getting into some nice trout. Flies can be as easy as a beedless bugger or a fancy trout spey fly. Nymphing under an indicator is also a great way to get into fish on the MO right now.

Local Species Available Summer

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    Rainbow Trout

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    Brown Trout

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    and Whitefish

CrossCurrents Fly Shop's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Woolly Bugger Black, Olive, Brown #6, #8, #1
Rojo Midge Black #16-20
Flashback Scud Wet Hare's Ear Grey #16
Rusty Spinner N/A #18-#20
Wooly Bugger N/A #16-#18
Thunder Bug Jig N/A #16-#18
Adam's Purple Parachute Purple #14-#18
Vernille San Juan Worm Red #18
Lil' Kim N/A #4-#6
Hi-Vis CDC Spinner PMD, Rusty #16-#20

Woolly Bugger

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CrossCurrents Fly Shop's Recommended Gear

Description: About Missouri River

The Missouri River is one of the largest and most easily accessed rivers in Montana. The mighty MO is certainly a trout factory! Three reservoirs in a row make this tailwater fishery have a constant water flow and stable temperatures from day to day. Amazingly fertile, with prolific hatches of mayflies, caddis, and midges, the Missouri is a 365 day river. You'll see fish rising just about every day of the year. Take a float trip down the Missouri and you'll know why it made such a powerful impression on Lewis and Clark during their great expedition. During the summer, caddis and mayfly hatches are so prolific that it looks as though there is a mini blizzard over the river. This river is known for its excellent dry fly fishing. But it's also amazing when fished with emergers. or small bead-heads as a dropper behind a dry fly. The MO fishes fantastically in the shoulder seasons of Spring and Fall with Baetis and Midges for dries and big, ugly streamers! That is when some very big fish are caught! The Missouri throws itself into the heated debate of "Row vs. Wade" because it is so perfectly suited to angle from both a drift boat (or other water craft) as well as wade fishing on foot. With an adult trout population (Rainbows and Browns over 10") over 6,000 per mile and an average size of 16"-18", it's not too hard to figure out why the Missouri ranks up there with many people's favorite places to fish!

Nearest Airport:

Helena, Great Falls


Midge, few Baetis

Best Time to Fish:

Mornings and Evenings

Best Stretch:

Craig-Mid. Wolf-Stick. Mid-Prewett. Dam-Craig.

Best Access:

Holter Dam, Wolf Creek Bridge, Craig, Stickney, Mid-Canon, Mtn Palace and walk-ins off the Recreation Road.