Warming up this weekend for some good fishing

Date
Monday, 1 Feb, 2016
Water Clarity
Clear
Angler Traffic
Low
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Winter is a great time to fish the Missouri River. The warmer weather has reduced the ice on the shores and should make for some great weekend fishing. Certain parts of the river, especially from the dam to Craig produces ice free water because of the moderate weather. You should be looking for winter runs. As the weather warms, we may get some good streamer fishing. The fish are in the slower waters for the winter so look for convergence of seam lines and feeding lanes into it. Nymphing hot bead sow bugs with midge larva is a good setup. Some fish are starting to eat midges on the top.
 
Fishing Water Report
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Given its association with transport, commerce and business development, it’s easy to forget that there remain parts of the Missouri set aside for fishing, boating and enjoying nature’s ... morebounty. From source to mouth, it is the longest river in North America, over 2, 341 miles. The river’s watershed consists of over a million square miles and includes parts of 10 American states and 2 Canadian provinces. When combined with the lower Mississippi, it is the 4th longest river in the world. Whew! That’s a lot to take in. But, if you’re a fly fisher in Montana, the only section of the Missouri you really need to know about is a tiny, 40 mile, stretch downstream of Holter Dam, near the towns of Wolf Creek, Craig and Cascade and not far from the city of Helena. This is the “Blue Ribbon” trout section of the Missouri.

Water released from Holter Dam keep this section the river at a fairly consistent level, helping to maintain cool temperatures year round. Some guides describe the river here as a gigantic spring creek surrounded by weed beds with long riffles, great banks and undercuts that provide ideal habitat for the river’s substantial trout population. By substantial, we’re talking 3,500 to 5,500 fish per mile on a yearly basis – and many of these exceed 16 inches! The first ten miles of the river from Holter Dam to Craig tend to have the largest number of hatches resulting in the highest concentration of fish.

In this “gigantic spring” part of the river, rainbow trout outnumber browns by a ratio of 6:1. In addition, stable populations of burbot and stonecats live below the dam. As a bonus, the reservoir is surrounded by the Beartooth Wildlife Management Area as well as three other designated nature preserves and wilderness set-asides. Look up and there’s a good chance you’ll spot a bald eagle, various types of falcon, red-tail hawks, osprey and golden eagles – you may even get a chance to see them snatch a fish from the water. Shore side it’s not unusual to sight bighorn sheep, elk, and mountain goats. This may be an area small in size but its large in its grandeur and many offerings.
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Find out about the latest fishing action with our Missouri River Fishing Report //
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
3 acres
Elevation:
3,451 ft
Activities:
Boating, Fishing, Camping
Boat Services:
Ramp
Campground:
Primitive Campsite
Sanitation & Water:
Toilet
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