Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekend on the Mo

We fished sitting down, to blend in.
You know you live in the right place when you choose to drive away from one of the best rivers in the state of Montana, right as it's about to pop with salmonflies, just to do something different (and avoid some crowds).  That's exactly what Seth and I did, setting out for the Mo friday morning in search of some small dry fly fishing and avoiding the crowds swarming like the big bugs they are looking for.
Pheasant tail, nailed it.
The first day we launched late at Wolf Creek and bobbered our way down to Craig.  Like two professional fishing guides, it took us about 75% of our float, with mixed results, to realize a pheasant tail was the bug to have on.  Two runs above Craig was about the time we got it figured out, and did the Mo  lap routine like you're supposed to (with fish every lap).  A burger and a cocktail at Izaak's and it was a short walk over to our tent at the Craig boat launch.

Day 2 we went and floated lower than Seth or I had ever fished the Mo.  The Headhunter's crew steered us away from where we planned on going, and it was the best call of the weekend.  after a few bobbered fished and switching time on the sticks, I looked down at a piece of water that looked like a great dry bank.  At the very bottom of the tailout (what's known as the lipout in the steelhead world) I spotted a rise near the bank, threw our double caddis dry rig and got hooked up and landed a nice brown, first cast.  The trend of first cast fish didn't continue, and we had our moments of straight up sucking when it came to sticking rising fish, but a bobber never hit the water again, and we got the opportunity to see why everyone raves about the Missouri as an amazing dry fly river.  For a period it really seemed like every riffle had fish rising in it, top to bottom.  The real sign to us that it had been a good day of fishing was when we rowed past a guide boat in a slow stretch, and he hollered out "What, are you guys tired of pounding on them?"
"We need to get lots of pictures so we can say we're crushing them!"
We decided prior to caddis crushfest that we would head back to the Big Hole for the citizens float on Sunday (stretch closed to outfitters).  We grabbed Seth's girlfriend Christina and launched at Maiden Rock amongst a hatch of rafters and anglers.  Fishing was as you would expect for the beginning of the hatch, actually probably worse.  After a few good runs of dry water we went to the darkside, and even the bobber fishing wasn't as good as we thought it should be.  We caught enough, and I farmed as good of one as I've seen in the canyon in a while, but overall it was a bit of a let down.  Fortunately, my wife and daughter get back from their vacation to the 206 tomorrow, so I've got much bigger things to look forward than fish.  Thanks to Seth and Christina for a fun weekend and a reminder of why we live in the last best place.


  1. great report, love the humble honesty. in my experience those are qualities all great fisherman have.

  2. Thanks Gavin! I agree completely, the best fisherman I know, who is also my mentor, is as humble as person as you could ever meet.


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