Rapidly approaching mid-July and everything is falling into place.
The flows have been cut in half since last week and are currently leveling off at a wade-friendly 5900 CFS. July operation plans from the Bureau of Reclamation are predicting most probable flows to be right about where they are for the month before falling in August and leveling out at around 4500 CFS for the remainder of 2020. Water temps are holding at around 63 degrees.
The late push of water had many singing the blues these last two weeks but to be honest with you, the conditions couldn’t be much better than they are right now as far as flow and water temperature go. The weeds are definitely starting to take hold but we’re in really good shape for Mid-July.
So it took a while but the water conditions which are the first piece of the puzzle just fell into place. Obviously the other critical component of the Missouri River dry fly extravaganza is the bugs and we’re happy to report that this component has also been shaping up nicely throughout the season.
This time of the season is what makes the MO a legend in the lore of western fly fishing. PMD’s? Check. Caddis? Check. Tricos? Check. And some pseudos in the mix for good measure. So many bugs, so many trout and nothing but time.
These are the days of pre-dawn launches and of picking boats after dark. These are the days of sleep deprivation amongst crazed dry-fly anglers and shop staff alike. These are the days of hunting heads, of blanket hatches, of putting pods of fish down with blown casts and with any luck, of artfully delivered casts being rewarded with the take and the fight and just maybe landing the fish of a lifetime. Big fish. Small flies. Delicate tippet and a highly developed combination of steely determination, resolve and finesse (as well as one hell of a well-rehearsed and more often than not, perfectly executed reach cast) culminating in an oddity known in our world as the DFO.
They’re a rare breed and the banks of the Missouri are crawling with them right now. That being said, “crawling” might be a stretch. After all, it’s the season of Covid and nothing is quite as it should be. Don’t get me wrong, there are folks here and we’re “busy” by 2020 standards but in a normal year with these bugs and these conditions you would expect the Missouri to be overrun with anglers which it is not.
That being said, we’ve been doing this dawn and darkness boat thing for years and while it’s definitely not every night, there have been a couple evenings at the ramp, the likes of which I’ve never seen with the parking lot at the takeout looking like 3:30 pm on a summer afternoon with nearly every trailer spot occupied.
Other days (and nights) it’s already feeling like the coming Dog Days of August with next to no one around.
Weekends are a different story as it seems Covid has kept folks close to home. A ton of rafts and SUP’s and all manner of floaty things assembled on all stretches of the river have made Saturday the day you probably don’t want to try to fish the MO.
Aside from Saturdays however, this is the season to be here if you want to experience the Missouri River at PRIME TIME like you’ve never experienced it before and hopefully won’t again with light to moderate traffic and an abundance of target-rich water there for the taking.
A recent lull in our lodging caused by Covid cancellations has ended and we’re back to full bore with a nearly full house for the remainder of the month.
Guide trips are filling in nicely and requests have reached a point where we’re having to turn down days because all of our guides are booked. This is a welcome development in a season we feared we might lose altogether.
We continue to play the fill-in game with inventory at the shop, walking the fine line between cautious purchasing and having everything on hand you might ask for. We still don’t know where this thing is going so we’re continuing to cautiously plot the remainder of the season but rest assured we do have bugs a plenty as well as a full stock of leaders/tippet/lines/tools/accessories/ etc. and we’ve also just placed a couple of logo orders to replenish our depleted stocks of WCA gear. New stuff coming soon.
The fly bins are full with all of the PMD, Caddis and Trico patterns (as well as the largest assortment of Missouri River nymphs ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek MT) And don’t miss our drawer of foam fully stocked with all of the best hopper patterns for the rapidly approaching terrestrial season.
Summer hours 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM officially, and usually someone around before and after those hours. Shuttles, sun protection, Adipose Drift Boat rentals, Affordable lodging and the hardest working guide crew on the MO’.
We are your Missouri River summer fly fishing destination.