Our Rivers

Missouri River Fishing in April

Missouri River Fishing in April

Winter recedes on Montana’s Missouri River in March, bringing warming water temperatures and increased trout activity throughout April. Quiet days can be found on the river with rising fish, slowly feeding on hatching Midges and Blue-Winged Olive mayflies.

Many of the Rainbow Trout of the river head up tributaries like Prickly Pear Creek and the Dearborn River to spawn. Others remain in the river’s mainstem and continue to feed heavily, along with Brown Trout through the spring.

Hatches diminish with slowly rising water levels in mid to late April, and trout turn their attention to aquatic annelids and crustaceans. Anglers fishing with nymphs experience consistent action when the hatches slow.

Missouri River Hatches in April

Midges and Blue-Winged Olive hatches are common on calm, cloudy days as the Montana weather starts to warm. March Brown activity begins in late April or early May. Skwala hatch sporadically between the mouth of the Dearborn and Pelican Point Fishing Access Site.

Missouri River Fly Fishing Techniques in April

Early season dry fly fishing with long leaders and fine tippets offers a reprieve from winter’s long grasp over Montana for the angling enthusiast. Blue-winged olive mayflies and Midge hatches bring slow-rising trout to the surface in foam-lined back eddies. Sparkle Duns and Midge Cluster patterns are standard dry fly patterns for Missouri River dry fly fishing in April.

Nymph fishing steadily improves throughout the month with warming water temperatures. Tandem nymph rigs fished on 9’ leaders with fluorocarbon tippet sections under a strike indicator are effective for covering the deep seams where Rainbow and Brown Trout congregate to feed on passing invertebrates. Sowbug, Scud, Midge, and small Mayfly imitations are standard fare for the experienced angler.

Expect slower fishing with streamers in April as the cold temperatures generally keep the trout somewhat lethargic. Sinking lines fished with leech imitations work best for the streamer angler when fished slowly across the current in April’s cold water.

Missouri River Fishing Trips in April

The crew at Fins and Feathers Guide Service settles into Craig, Montana around mid-April for 8 weeks of guiding anglers on this legendary, blue-ribbon trout fishery. We have over two decades of experience guiding Missouri River fishing trips in April with guests from around the country.

Anglers of all skill levels are welcome and encouraged to join our team of Montana fly fishing guides for Missouri River day trips in April. Advanced anglers relish the head-hunting opportunities during mid-day hatches. The novice angler can expect to learn and improve their fly fishing skills with the persistent coaching of our patient guides.

Reservations for our Missouri River fly fishing guide trips can be secured online, via e-mail, or by calling us at 1-406-468-5019. Contact Us to learn more about these trips or for help creating a customized itinerary for your group.

These trips fill up quickly with our many repeat guests, so early bookings are recommended. Lodging options in the area are limited, and we are happy to assist with recommendations.

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