Fishing Season: Late Winter

Missouri River - MT

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Temperature 31°



Water Temp:


CrossCurrents Fly Shop's Tip of the Week

My tip of the week for the of February / early March - come on in and check out the new HELIOS fly rod!! Orvis finally made a rod better than the H3! Test cast one -or just know you're gonna love it and buy one!

Directions open in app

Map of Missouri River

Water Flow Data

5-Day Outlook as of 2/28/24

Warm - but WINDY to end February. High temps are pushing 50F but wind gusts have been pushing 25mph.

Techniques & Tips as of 2/28/24

Casting a couple of nymphs with a new HELIOS Fly Rod, of course! Actually, a Firebead Sowbug/Ray Charles/Scud and a Pink Lightning Bug is a dynamite way to get into fish in winter. We also LOVE trout spey -low and slow, though.

Local Species Available Late Winter

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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):
Flashback Scud Wet Hare's Ear Tan #16
Vernille San Juan Worm red #12
Bead Body Scud N/A #16
TH Zebra Midge Black #18-#20
Tailwaters Sowbug Rainbow #14-#16
Caviar Scud N/A #14-#16
Lightning Bug Silver, Pink #18-#22
Tunghead Hot Spot Pheasant Tail Jig N/A #16-#18
Grinch Bugger N/A #8
Lil' Kim N/A #6

Flashback Scud Wet Hare's Ear

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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



Best Time to Fish:


Best Stretch:

Dam-Craig, WC to Craig

Best Access:

Holter Dam, Wolf Creek Bridge, Craig