Best Times to Fish the Missouri River

March-April:

Rainbows spawning with many in the tributaries from Holter Dam to Cascade, small mayflies and midges, streamers; river above Canyon Ferry Lake can have some great early streamer fishing for rainbows.

May-June:

Water cold; numerous caddis and mayfly hatches but often nymph or streamer fishing best.

July:

Water Temperature and level are excellent for dry fly fishing; lots of caddis, hoppers, tricos start in mid to late July.

August:

Very predictable, heavy trico hatch which tapers off in late August; hopper; water sometimes quite warm in late August which creates slow fishing in the afternoons.

September-October:

A wonderful time of year to be on the Missouri or for that matter, almost any stream in Montana; blue-winged olives, hoppers, and streamers.

November-March:

The most dominant hatch are these two times of year are Montana River Guides. They are terrestrial but seem to migrate in the water en masse with a frenzy bordering on the humorous. Human angles are advised to be aware of aggressive and unpredictable nature of the organisms populating rivers in later fall and early spring in Montana.

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