High water peaks sometime in late May or early June, depending on winter snowpack and upriver reservoir storage capacities. River levels drop throughout the month and the fishing transitions to a dry fly anglers paradise. The surrounding landscape is bathed in vibrant shades of green as early summer firmly settles across central Montana.
Blanket hatches of Pale-Morning Duns bring pods of Missouri River trout to the surface throughout early and mid-June. Technical nymph fishing with little bugs remains steady.
Decreasing water flows make wading more accessible once again and the river begins to crowd with anglers by late June.
PMD hatches are the main attraction for big fishing days as the summer solstice approaches. Anglers fishing the emergent stages of these light-colored mayflies can expect to see some of the largest Brown Trout of the year, steadily rising in skinny water.
Yellows Sallies and Caddis are out as well, creating opportunities for dry/dropper fishing when hatches are sparse in the morning hours.
Long leaders and delicate tippets on forgiving fly rods enable the skilled angler to deliver the delicate presentation needed to fool the increasingly wary Missouri River Trout. Used PMD Thorax and Cripple patterns fill a guide’s boat patch by late June.
Early morning streamer fishing in the canyon section below the Dearborn will bring good numbers of trout to the net while the sun is low.
Nymph fishing moves more to a shallow water focus with dry/dropper rigs and short leash indicator setups.
The early part of June is characterized by stable, high-water flows that begin to recede as the month progresses. Wading remains difficult through the middle of the month, thus reducing most angling pressure to float fishing. The entire stretch of this tailwater starts to fish well in late May with the lower reaches improving dramatically by mid-June.
The Fins and Feathers staff of Bozeman fly fishing guides stick to the waters between Craig and Cascade, Montana during most of May and June. The section between Holter Dam and Craig becomes increasingly crowded in May as many guides and anglers flock to that section of the river from other parts of the state.
With our 23+ years of experience as Montana fly fishing outfitters, our guests have come to lean on our knowledge of the river to help them avoid the crowds while finding plenty of big fish opportunities.
Montana fly fishing trips with Fins and Feathers are available daily on the Missouri River from mid-April through mid-June.
Reservations for Montana fishing trips on the blue-ribbon trout sections of the Missouri River can be booked online, via e-mail, or by calling us at 1-406-468-5019. Contact Us with any questions regarding our Missouri River fishing trips or for help customizing a Montana fly fishing trip for your group.
The Missouri begins to become crowded with recreational floaters and wading anglers once flows drop and stabilize in late June, signaling to our guides that there are better fly fishing opportunities to be had elsewhere in Montana.
Please note that Craig fly fishing lodging is limited and our calendar fills in quickly so advanced reservations are recommended.
We turn our full attention to guided trips on the rivers surrounding Bozeman as the Salmonfly hatches begin on the Madison and Yellowstone Rivers in late June.