The Missouri River

Big Sky Expeditions Guide Services

The Missouri River is a favorite with many anglers, especially those who enjoy great dry fly fishing. Prolific hatches of Beatis, Caddis, PMD's, Tricos and Hoppers keep the fish looking toward the suface much of the season. Frequently an angler can spend the entire day working the pods of rising fish.

Special regulations that require Catch-and-release of browns under 22" are paying great dividends. Last summer, 18" to 22" browns were taken on almost a daily basis, often on small dries. Good stream flows in the tributaries where rainbows spawn have the rainbow population on the upswing again. Fish, Wildlife and Parks studies show about 5,000 fish per mile in the upper river (Holter Dam to the Dearborn section), and about 3,000 per mile in the lower river (Dearborn to Cascade). Approximately 75% of those are rainbows and 25% are browns. All of these trout are wild and provide lots of action.

April and May generally are best times for streamers, nymphs and some dry fly activity with Midge and Baetis hatches. The Missouri River below Holter Dam is a tailwater fishery and its clear water and lush weed beds are not usually affected by spring run-off, so the dry fly fishing really starts to pick up in June with a variety of Caddis and Mayfly hatches. July is one of the best times to fish the Missouri when clouds of PMD's, Caddis and Tricos often look like small translucent tornadoes along the river banks. The Tricos hatch generally peaks the last week of July and runs though mid-September; the spent flies drift into twisting eddies where large "gulpers" gather for the feast

For local anglers, September is a favorite time to fish the "MO". The weather cools, yet fishing with hoppers, Baetis and Caddis flies is in full swing. As the days shorten, early fall snows often dust the high peaks of the Big Belt Mountains. Leaves quickly turn, bringing a rich hue of October colors to the Missouri River Valley. Basking in this fall splendor, anglers find lots of big rainbow and brown trout on the prowl as the daytime temperatures often warm into the 60s and 70s. Mid-October through November produces the best opportunity for a trophy size brown as spawning run picks up steam.

DAY FLOAT TRIPS

Missouri River
$550.00 per boat per day, one or two anglers

Included in the above rate is guide service for one or two anglers, ground transportation, flies, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages and a homemade streamside lunch. Rod outfits available. Call for information on best times and available dates

Please call or email us for best times and dates.  1-800-466-9589 |  Local 1-406-442-2630

Big Sky Expeditions, LLC
Captain Garry W. Stocker US Coast Guard # 5463441
Montana Licensed Outfitter # 51773180