Switching Gears – Missouri River Guide Season

image of Missouri river guide season

Run-off has finally arrived in Missoula, and our Missouri river guide season has started.  We always look forward to spending the month of May on the Missouri.  This big tailwater rarely disappoints with consistent nymphing, exciting streamer action, and some of the finest dry fly fishing of the year.

With a bigger than average snowpack we are expecting higher water on the Missouri this year than the last couple of seasons.  That is not ideal for our dry fly plans, but just like in Missoula, higher water equals more big brown trout and everyone loves big browns!

The big browns are always a special treat, but it is a steady diet of 16-20+ inch rainbows that keep our anglers coming back year after year to the Missouri in May.  The spawn seems to be nearly over for the season and those big rainbows return to the main river ready to eat anything that moves.  

While the higher flows aren’t the best for midge and blue-wing olive hatches, the trout won’t be able to resist big March Browns and the hordes of caddis that are coming.  The March Browns should show up any day, and size 12-14 mayflies covering the river will get some big snouts breaking the surface.  The caddis will come next and we will get explosive takes in fast water.

We had an unbelievable spring dry fly season in Missoula with some of the most consistent conditions ever on our local rivers.  Now it is time to switch gears as our Missouri river guide season has already started.  We will be on the big river for the next month with heavy nets and smiles as wide as the big sky.  We look forward to seeing a lot of familiar anglers and introducing a few new ones to the Mighty Mo.