Guided Fly Fishing Trips on Montana’s Missouri River
Join the Montana Angling Company and our Montana fly fishing guides on the Missouri River in 2020 and enjoy blue ribbon fly fishing on Montana’s best tailwater fishery. The fly fishing on the Missouri River has been excellent the past few years and we expect the trend to continue this season. Prime dates in May, June, and July are booking quickly and we recommend anglers contact us today to plan their next Missouri River fly fishing trip.
Near-term we are looking forward to early season trips in March and April as part of our Winter and Spring Trips Specials. Great way to knock the rust off and enjoy fly fishing in solitude at a great rate.
Longer term we are looking forward to seeing long time anglers as well as new faces during the prime fly fishing season. Anglers joining us on our Missouri River fly fishing trips will have access to not only float fishing on the Missouri River, but also nearby rivers and streams including the Blackfoot River and the Dearborn River, depending on the time of year.
Adventurous anglers interested in multi-day adventures should also consider spending a day on an Adventure Trip from our Missouri River Basecamp.
Fall fly fishing trips on the Missouri River are another great option for 2020 and offer some of the best dry fly fishing of the year. Strong hatches of caddisflies and mayflies make for often all-day action.
We are proud to work with the hardest working and professional Missouri River fly fishing guides and excited to give our anglers the best Missouri River fly fishing experience in 2020. Contact us to learn more and book your next Missouri River fly fishing trip.
2020 Missouri River Fly Fishing Highlights
- Diverse trip offerings from our Missouri River Basecamp in Craig, MT: Anglers joining us on Missouri River fly fishing trips will enjoy the blue ribbon fly fishing on the Mighty ‘Mo, as well as the widest variety of trip offerings across multiple rivers. Our offerings include float fishing, wade fishing, and jet boat trips on many nearby rivers, lakes, and streams.
- May fly fishing on the Missouri River: The month of May generally boasts some of the highest catch rates for some of the largest average size trout of the season. Anglers can expect early season weather, but consistently great fly fishing. The dry fly fishing, nymphing, and streamer fishing can all be excellent.
- PMD Hatch: The Pale Morning Dun (PMD) mayfly hatch is the main event on the Missouri River in June. Prime dates are June 10-June 30. Many of our guides are booked a year in advance and we encourage anglers to plan trips well ahead of time for best availability
- All-inclusive Fishing and Lodging Packages at the Missouri River Ranch: We are proud to offer our anglers all-inclusive lodging and fishing packages with the premier lodge on the Missouri River, the Missouri River Ranch. The Missouri River Ranch is under new ownership and management for 2020, and the lodge will be undergoing extensive renovations to improve and modernize an already great lodge. Anglers can expect the same great service and upgraded accommodations.
Summer Fly Fishing Trips on Montana’s Missouri River
There is a reason our Missouri River fly fishing guides’ June calendars are often booked a year in advanced: the fly fishing on the Missouri River is just that good. There isn’t much that needs to be said about Missouri River summer fly fishing trips. Daily hatches of PMDs, Caddis, Little Yellow Sallies, ants, hoppers, beetles, and a mish-mash of other bugs makes for some of the best fly fishing you will find anywhere.
The big brown trout and rainbow trout of the Missouri River can be found sipping flies from the Dam down to Cascade and our anglers are on the hunt searching for them. The nymph bite is rock solid and the streamer fishing early and late in the day can be a great way to find the bigger fish. Our Missouri River fly fishing guides will often times be on the water at first light and stay out into the evening with clients this time of year to take advantage of warmer weather and longer days.
This is can’t miss fly fishing for any angler. July and August bring more of the same. Great hatches continue with Tricos showing up by the end of July. This hatch is like smoke on the water, with selective trout gobbling up dead tricos by the hundreds.
Hopper and terrestrial fishing keeps things interesting and can often produce larger brown trout and rainbow trout. The nymph bite and streamer fishing stays good, but annual aquatic vegetation growth puts a damper on the bobber party. That’s right: bobber party. But with a good cast and mastery of the “goodbye-grass-snap-cast” technique you can keep the good times rolling. River flows stabilize by July, water temps are warm enough to wet-wade, and the fish and our anglers are happy.
Missouri River Spring Fly Fishing Trip Overview
Fly fishing on the Missouri is the main event for anglers and our fly fishing guides in Montana during the Spring. The tailwater portion of the Missouri near the town of Craig, Montana kicks our season off with the first great dry fly fishing of the year in mid-April with daily hatches of midges and blue winged olives (BWOs). Guide trips go out regularly on this stretch of river starting April 1 and it is a great time of year to find solitude and lots of larger fish on the Missouri River.
What to Expect
Streamer fishing and nymphing is also a solid bet all spring. The April hatches of BWOs continue through early May until water temperatures slowly start rising and flows crank up a bit. The Missouri river will experience an increase of flows, call it the run-off for the river, but continues to run cold and clear thanks to Holter dam. By May the weather will stabilize and our season gets kicked into high gear.
There are days in May that can be cold and rainy, even snowy, but is consistently favorable for great angling opportunities. The warmer daytime temps also mean some great hatches and great fishing. The largest fish of the year are usually caught in May on the ‘Mo. Sometimes they come on dries, sometimes streamers, and of course on nymphs, but know they are on the prowl.
BWOs continue to come off daily through early-mid May and by May 15 you can usually count on caddis dancing all across the water. The Mother’s day caddis hatch on the Missouri River is something every angler needs to experience. At its best it is blankets of bugs drifting down the river and trout gorging themselves on them. This doesn’t mean they are easy to catch, but it can be a dry fly fisherman’s paradise. On higher water years the bugs are around in good numbers and there are fish looking to eat them, but nymphing can be more reliable. When flows peak over 10,000 CFS its not uncommon to have to go deep to consistently catch trout.
While all of this is going on there are also a variety of other hatches to keep things interesting. March Browns, ants, beetles, some early PMDs, Callibaetis, and even a stonefly or two round out the May hatches. All of this makes for a fishing experience you’ve got to experience yourself. Our May trips on the Missouri River book fast and early so be sure to reach out early if you want in on the action.
Fall Fly Fishing Trips on Montana’s Missouri River
The fall might be the best time of year to book a Montana fly fishing trip on the Missouri River if solitude and fishing dry flies are what you favor as an angler. By the third week of September the river traffic largely clears out, days get cooler, the weeds from summer wash away, and it seems like all 5,000+ fish per mile go on the feed.
Hatches of BWOs, callibaetis, and midges all have the fish looking up. Terrestrials are also still around and account for some of the larger brown trout caught each fall. River flows are also generally low enough to get out of the drift boat and wade fish to groups of rising fish. And if catching numbers is your game the nymphing at the dam and streamer fishing can be silly good. Sowbugs, scuds, micro-mayfly-midges, and the rest of usual tailwater fare account for most of the subsurface activity.
Some of our Missouri River fly fishing guides’ most memorable days fly fishing anywhere in Montana have been on the Missouri River in late October when hunters are off chasing elk in the hills, the recreational floaters have headed back to Helena, and we get the whole river to ourselves, chasing after wild Missouri River trout.
World-class fly fishing trips on Montana’s Missouri River
From our Missouri River basecamp, anglers fishing with the Montana Angling Company and our Montana fly fishing guides in 2019 will experience the ultimate Missouri River fly fishing trip. Our Missouri River basecamp program centers around the world-class fly fishing on the tailwater stretch of the Missouri River near Craig, MT but also offers access to other nearby blue ribbon rivers and streams.
New for 2019 will be guided fly fishing trips on the Blackfoot River and the Land of the Giants stretch of the Missouri River. Both of these fisheries offer great fly fishing in an incredible setting, and are great additions to any Missouri River fly fishing trip.
Prime time dates from May 1-July 15 are booking fast. Anglers fly fishing in Bozeman, MT should consider a trip to our Missouri River basecamp a great addition to any multi-day fly fishing trip.
2019 Missouri River Basecamp Float Fishing Trips
Float fishing trips on the Missouri River and surrounding waters are the cornerstone of our Missouri River Basecamp fly fishing program. The Missouri River is big, broad, and deep. Perfectly suited for drift boat fly fishing. Nearby freestones are fast and rugged, making wading difficult and rafts mandatory. Our Missouri River fly fishing guides utilize both high-end drift boats and rafts to give our anglers access to all of these blue ribbon waters. We are proud to offer our anglers unmatched diversity on their Missouri River fly fishing trips.
Missouri River Drift Boat Trips:
• Missouri River
Missouri River Raft Trips
• Dearborn River
• Blackfoot River
2019 Missouri River Basecamp LOG Jet Boat Trips
The “Land of Giants” or LOG stretch of the Missouri River runs between Hauser Dam and Holter Lake and offers consistent fly fishing in a river-like environment for trophy trout. The rainbow trout and brown trout found on this stretch of the Missouri River average 20+ inches. Anglers can expect catch rates comparable to those found downstream below Holter Dam. This is real deal fly fishing for big trout. USCG licensed guides are able to operate jet boats on this stretch of river to get anglers into the action. Availability is limited for these trips as these guides are in high demand, and anglers should book at least 6 months in advanced for best availability. Learn more about our Jet Boat Trips.
Winter Fly Fishing Trips on Montana’s Missouri River
When it’s good, it’s good. Probably the best way to summarize winter fly fishing trips on the Missouri River near Craig, MT. When the weather is good, boat ramps are good, and when water temps are good, the fishing is good.
One of my favorite stories to tell on the boat is of a great multi-day overnight trip myself and some friends had on the Missouri River. The streamer fishing was great, wind was mild, and the sunny skies kept a smile glued on to everyone’s face. And it was early January. The next week it was -20 degrees.
What to Expect
Winter weather is fickle and the winter fly fishing on the Missouri River is no different. Trip plans can’t be hatched too far in advance but every once in awhile the fishing gods play along and let us get out on the ‘Mo mid-winter.
The streamer fishing and trout spey can be great with small flashy flies. Midge hatches can also happen on warmer, sunnier days bringing a fish or two up to rise. The nymphing with bright shiny flies (think pink), fished through deeper slower runs can also be effective this time of year. If the boat ramps are ice-free and the wind is down it can be game on.
If your are in Bozeman, MT or Helena, MT in the winter and need a fly fishing fix, the Missouri River is one of your best options. Our Missouri River fly fishing guides fish the river year-round and would be happy to take you out too. Check out our Winter/Spring Guide Trip Specials to learn more.