Where the Jefferson; Madison; and Gallatin Rivers come to a confluence at Three Forks, Montana, the Missouri River begins it’s journey across Montana and the rest of this nation . Guiding fly fishermen down this enormous and historic Montana river has become a specialty we provide our clients. The Missouri, or just the “Mo” as we like to call it, is a special place to us guides and anyone who has floated these waters.
This is the river that took Lewis and Clark across much of Montana and the rest of the unsettled United States from St Louis, Missouri in 1803 and 1804. Floating this river is a mixed canyon and prairie filled scenic experience that feels as if time has done little to change what was witnessed by pioneers. We fish the Missouri in the area aptly named by Lewis and Clark the “Gates of the Mountains”, where the great northern plains meet jagged uplifted sea beds of the Rocky Mountains, the mighty Missouri cutting a trench through them both.
Our guides love to fish this phenomenal river and are experts at guiding fly fishermen through the many moods of the Missouri. Adversity is commonplace on a river this large and a landscape so vast: from shreiking winds to impossible fish, we can guide you to overcome and succeed. The Mo can punish you, but it will also reward you with an experience found nowhere else.
We fish the Missouri as a tailwater fishery starting at Holter Dam in Wolf Creek, and down the next twenty miles or so past the fishing mecca of Craig, eight miles below the dam. The fishing is productive all the way to Cascade and probably many more miles downstream, but the glory water is at Wolf Creek and Craig. Huge and wide and packed with primarily Rainbows and some scattered big Browns, the Missouri holds over 6,000 fish per mile and they are some of the strongest fish in Montana. Dry fly fishing on the Missouri is legendary for the consistency and sheer volume of the insect hatches, as well as the technical fishing required to fool rising fish. Nymphing is almost always good, and we can hit multiple fish over eighteen inches almost any day of the year, making the Missouri the perfect destination when other rivers are out (or frozen).
The fly fishermen we guide like the consistently big fish and the high numbers of them. Highly experienced anglers savor the extreme challenge of throwing #20 dry flies to huge sipping trout on 12 ft leaders and 6x tippet. Landing them is a different story. We’ll get to that on the water. Come fish with us.