December Beckons

November’s early winter blast pretty much shut things down on the Missouri and for whatever reason folks stayed away for most of the month despite plenty of very fishable days. Sure the wind has howled seemingly more often than not which is less than ideal but by late fall standards it really hasn’t been  bad.

If you’ve closed the book on the 2017 season it may be time to reconsider.

December has thus far brought mild temps and a lack of precipitation which is not great in the grand scheme but which should have you thinking late fall fishing on the MO’.

Traffic will remain light as many are occupied with holiday preparations and celebrations which means you could have this thing virtually to yourself for the rest of 2017.

The weather is unseasonably warm, the fishing is good, the traffic is light and the deals on lodging and guide trips are too good to pass up.

Why not treat yourself or someone you love to an early Christmas present. Two nights of lodging and a full day guide trip for just $500.  You won’t find a better deal anywhere. Nobody can touch this one!

We’ve got plenty of guides and rooms available all month long so don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Sure we’re offering this deal all winter long but sooner or later we will actually get winter weather which will challenge even the most hard core anglers.

The short term forecast looks more like October than December so what are you waiting for? Book yourself a room and a guide or just grab your gear, stock up on firebeads and everything pink and come out for the day.

We’re stocked up with the best selection of winter bugs in Wolf Creek and everything you need for your day on the water. Shuttles, Simms cold weather gear, RO and Adipose drift boat rentals (including our Project Healing Waters Adipose FREE to all vets and active duty military personnel) and plenty of great gift ideas so you can get your holiday shopping done while you are here.

Just want the guide trip without lodging?  Only $350 all winter long.

Just looking for a bed? We’ve got you covered with cozy cabins and bungalows for just $99. All of our available units have full kitchens and  private baths and sleep two to three comfortably. Cook for yourself or check out Shotgun Annie’s. The food is good, the service is friendly and we’re thrilled to have them here!

Wolf Creek is the place to be this winter on the MO’.

 

 

Late November Missouri River Fishing Report

November on the Missouri

We’ll close out the month of November with another week of ideal late fall fishing conditions. Overcast skies with the occasional peeks of sunshine, temperatures in the low to mid 40’s and a chance for some snow today and Wednesday.

It’s currently calm but they are calling for west southwest winds of 11-16 mph today with gusts as high as 30 mph. Tomorrow looks ideal with partly sunny skies, a high near 45 and south wind at 11-13 mph.

We’ll return to more seasonable temps for the weekend with highs in the 30’s and a chance for some snow on Saturday and Sunday.
Thanksgiving is behind us and Christmas is rapidly approaching (just four Mondays away)! This is the perfect week to take advantage of the mild weather and get your Missouri River fly fishing fix before the holiday grind goes into full effect.

Traffic has remained very light despite the nice weather though we expect to see a  bump in activity with the general hunting season having come to a close yesterday.

Reports from the holiday weekend were mostly positive. Nymphing is definitely your best bet right now but streamers are in the mix as well. The swingers are finding success on Kreelex, Think Mints and smallish buggers. Trout Spey  season is definitely a go but a deep slow strip will move them as well so don’t give up on single hand bank bombing from the boat just yet. Sparkle Minnows, Dirty Hippies, MK Ultras, Mini Dungeons, ZK’s Inflated Egos and various flavors or polar leeches have all been getting noticed and are good bets from here on out. Go deep with a slow to moderate strip and don’t be afraid to let it swing. It’s not lights out but if you put your time in you should be able to find some willing players. The water temps are continuing to fall and are hovering right around that 40 degree mark so the fish are definitely slowing down and transitioning to slow deep winter water but if you deliver the goods right to them and they don’t have to work too hard for it they definitely aren’t going to pass up a big meal.

Focus on transition type water with your nymphs as well. Not too fast…not too slow. Not super shallow and not too deep. They’re definitely moving towards those winter lies but we’re continuing to have the best luck in the medium depth/medium fast water in close proximity to slow winter water. Rig up with a #12 pink Amex, Bubble Yum Scud, Rainbow Czech or Pinkalicious  and trail with your favorite winter bug.  #16 or #18 tailwater sows,  firebead soft hackle sows, pink lighting bugs, firebead Rays, Pill Poppers, Pederson’s Sows, Wayno’s Cotton Candys, UV Crush, Cotton Candy LGMs are just a few of our favorites but the options are truly limitless.

With the shorter days  many opt for wade fishing this time of year but floating gives you more options. Don’t forget we’ve got Adipose and RO Drift Boats available for rent all winter long and if you’re a vet we’ve got a Project Healing Waters Adipose Flow available to you FREE OF CHARGE anytime. We don’t do a huge rental business during the winter months so we generally have boats available but calling ahead is never a bad idea for any of our boats and is a MUST for the PHW boat.

Plenty of lodging and guides available all winter long so don’t hesitate to give us a call and book yours today. Don’t forget the best deal on the MO – two night’s lodging and a full day guide trip for just $500!  Only interested in a room? Just $99/night (plus tax). Don’t need the room but want the guide?  Guide trips just $350 while the snow flies. Looking for a better deal? You won’t find one ANYWHERE.

We’re in the shop Wednesday – Sunday at 8:00 am and occasionally on Mondays and Tuesdays as well but you should definitely call first before coming out on those days. We’re open for lodging and guide trips every day.

WIN THIS BOAT

Time is running out to purchase tickets to win this awesome Adipose Flow Drift Boat being raffled off by Pat Barnes Trout Unlimited. The drawing will be held on Saturday, September 2nd at the Browns and Brews Festival in Craig.

Only 200 Tickets will be sold so don’t miss this opportunity to win an awesome boat and to support an extremely important organization and cause in the process. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at Wolf Creek Angler, Crosscurrents Fly Shop, Headhunters Fly Shop and The Trout Shop.

Second Prize is one night’s lodging and one day’s guided fishing for two anglers with Pro Outfitters and third prize is a 9′ 5 weight Sage X fly rod with Nautilus X reel.

For more information check out Pat Barnes Trout Unlimited

The boat has been making the rounds at the fly shops in Wolf Creek and Craig. You can check it out this week at Headhunters.

 

Welcome Spring

Spring is beginning to show itself on the MO. Photo by Wolf Creek Angler

Spring is beginning to show itself on the MO. Photo by Wolf Creek Angler

Spring officially arrived yesterday with sunshine and 60’s, a nearly perfect day. We were happy to soak it in yesterday, but we’re looking at another week of winter-like weather ahead and we’re happy to have it.

We’re very pleased to report that the snow pack is continuing to build and should be maintained with slightly below average daytime highs and cold nights in the high country.

Here on the Missouri we’re looking at a chance of snow showers every day this week starting tomorrow with temps in the high 30’s and low 40’s. Consequently, we’re going to hold off on opening up more lodging for the time being but we expect to have all the cabins open and available the first week of April and will likely have the motel units up and running by mid to late April, depending on the weather.

Spring lodging and guide dates are filling rapidly so don’t put it off any longer. Book your spring dates with us now. It’s an awesome time to fish the Missouri River with light to moderate traffic and great opportunities no matter what your fly fishing game. Nymphing has already started to really heat up, dry-fly opportunities are becoming more consistent and with the water temp flirting with 40 degrees, the streamer game is also starting to turn on and will only get better from here on out.

Come spend a few days with us and see why we consider spring to be one of the best times to fish the Missouri. Spend a day or two on the water with one of our expert professional guides and then spend a few more on your own either taking advantage of the abundant walk in access or perhaps renting a RO or Adipose Drift Boat to explore the 30 plus miles from Holter Dam to Cascade. Ask about our spring special. We’re offering great prices on lodging, guide trips and boat rentals through the end of April. You can’t afford to pass these deals up!

$99 gets you cozy and quiet accommodations in Wolf Creek with a full kitchen, private bath, access to barbecue grills and to THE UP and COMING Missouri River fly shop fully stocked with everything you need for your day on the water.

New gear arriving daily including LOOP, Echo, St Croix and Redington rods and reels, a bunch of cool new Simms WCA logo gear, tons of bugs added to an already impressive and expansive selection and the most laid-back, ego-free, customer service committed atmosphere you’ll find anywhere.

The Hell Razor Jacket from Kast available at Wolf Creek Angler

The Hell Razor Jacket from Kast available at Wolf Creek Angler

Don’t miss Extreme deals on Extreme Fishing Gear from KAST. The calendar may say spring but the weather will continue to say winter for a while ( we hope). Pick up a Hell Razor prima-loft jacket at 40% off and you’ll be laughing at the cold as you experience the hottest fishing of the season.

Your dining options will greatly increase this week as the legendary Izaaks in Craig opens for the season this Thursday, the 24th. We can’t wait!  Izaaks will be open Tuesday-Sunday at 4 PM through April and will be open daily come May.

The Oasis in Wolf Creek will continue to be open Thursday – Monday from 8:00 – 7:00 PM serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Please support our local businesses.

The shop will be open seven days a week beginning April 4th, from 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM.

Yes the season is upon us! We hope to see you soon at Wolf Creek Angler!

 

Mid Week Missouri River Fishing Report

 

IMG_5997It’s been pretty quiet this week despite continued spring – like weather and decent fishing.

Monday through Wednesday is definitely the time to be here if you want to increase the odds of having the river to yourself, though these odds will greatly decrease as we move ever closer to actual spring, now just a little less than two weeks away.

I spent some time last weekend plying small waters with big ugly streamers and moved some giants. It’s outings like this that turned me into a streamer junkie many years ago and though I’ve had some awesome streamer days on the MO’, it simply doesn’t provide the consistent action found on some other rivers. I’ve said it many times that the Missouri is not my favorite streamer river but don’t think for a minute that I don’t enjoy a day of chucking streamers on the MO’.

WCA Guide Jim Murray and I did a short float yesterday just to see what was happening out there as neither of us had been out for a few days. We pretty much had the river to ourselves with just one other boat and a couple of wade anglers enjoying the day. Nymphing was on though we definitely noted a solid transition to faster, shallower runs. Same old winter/early spring story on the bugs, pink Amex, Casne’s Pinkalicious (aka Whitey Master), Caviar Scuds and firebead softhackle sows in pink. Most of the trout we caught were on the firebeads. We’ve been selling a bunch of tailwater sows lately and we did run them for a while but apparently the fish have seen enough of the tailwater sow for the time being – at least the ones we were fishing to.

Once again, the water in which we found fish, and more importantly the water in which we didn’t find them,  was kind of the highlight of the nymphing report. We fished a fair amount of slow winter water without a drop of the bobber before moving into the faster transitional water where we found them to be concentrated.  Not FAST SHALLOW water mind you but medium fast, medium depth, fishing just shy of the bottom.

Having figured out the nymphing program for the day we switched to streamers which turned out to be a bust. Several miles of river and half a dozen bug changes later we went back to nymphing and closed out the day with a couple more hookups.  This is early spring streamer fishing on the Missouri, often disappointing but always enough potential that it’s  definitely worth your time.

Very few midges on the water yesterday and no fish up but as with the streamer bite there is always plenty of potential. I like to have a nymph rig, a streamer rig and a dry-fly rig all at the ready. Better to bring them along and not use them then to be without. If you’re looking to add a rod or two to your quiver this season stop by WCA and check out some awesome new rods from LOOP, St. Croix, Echo and Redington. We’ve got something for every budget and every method.

We’ve got a full house tomorrow but we do have one room left for the weekend which will likely be gone by the end of the day. Why not make it yours and while you’re at it why not book yourself a $400 full day guide trip. We’re all ready to go to work!

Make sure to stop by the shop on your next trip out to fish the Missouri for shuttles, bugs, RO and Adipose drift boat rentals, LOOP rods and reels, KAST Extreme Fishing Gear  and much more.

 

The Road Ahead

IMG_5838

Next month will mark the official beginning of our third year in business. We couldn’t be more excited!

We’ve undergone some changes and have had our share of growing pains but our trajectory remains upward and focused and we can’t wait for the season to really get rolling. That being said, part of what we’re so excited about is the amount of business we’ve done this winter both in the shop and with lodging. We would have preferred a bit more of a winter but the mild weather has certainly benefitted us. With the exception of December which is always slow it’s been a consistently busy winter. We’ve been doing the 5 day/week schedule closing on Mondays and Tuesdays  which has worked out for the most part but we will definitely be looking at expanding that schedule to 7 days if we see another winter like this next year.

We’ve got a busy season on the books for lodging and guide trips and we’re excited to show off our shop to a bunch of new clients. Our regulars will also find plenty of changes which we hope will keep them coming back.  We’re always looking to expand our inventory to give you the products you want as well as to offer you some items you can’t find at every other shop.

To this end we’re super stoked to be the brand new exclusive dealer of LOOP rods and reels on the Missouri. The response has been great so far as the LOOP ARMY hones in on a local source  and those who aren’t familiar with the brand get exposed to this great product line. We are steadily building up our LOOP inventory but if there is something you need that we aren’t currently carrying we can get it for you right away, generally in a day or two. Come by and cast a few of these rods. You may just find yourself joining the LOOP Army. We’re super  excited to help build the brand here on the Missouri.

We’re also very excited to announce that we’ve significantly expanded our already impressive fly selection. More nymphs, more dries, some serious growth in our streamer selection and a bunch of new foam. We’ve also begun to build a selection of non-Missouri specific flies for those interested in exploring the wealth of other waters nearby and while the majority of our rods and reels are geared to the Missouri you will now find some great #3 and #4 weights as well as a smattering of two-handed selections.

We continue to be your exclusive full-line KAST dealer and we’ve expanded our selection of packs and accessories from Fishpond and Umpqua and expanded our fly line inventory to include a much broader selection of specialty lines from Rio and Airflo.  We’re fully stocked on waders and boots for the whole family from Redington including the new Palix River wading pants, a great alternative to chest waders during the warmer months and on smaller streams. These are an exceptional value at under $140.00. Check back often for new additions to our inventory as we continue to make inroads with the brands and products you want to see in your Missouri River fly shop.

We’re also pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with Adipose Boatworks to add the wildly popular Adipose Flow to our rental fleet. Now you can rent a RO or an Adipose. We love them both and we’re excited to be able to offer you a choice.

We’ve continued to make improvements to our lodging which you may or may not notice. New paint, new couches, new chairs…these are some of the bigger ones but it’s our intention to continuously improve at all levels which might mean new sheets, new towels , new dish racks etc. You won’t notice many of these changes but you might notice if we didn’t make them. It’s our hope that your stay with us will always be enjoyable and while we aren’t the Hilton we are committed to providing clean, comfortable, affordable lodging coupled with exceptional service from our entire staff.

And speaking of our staff, you will definitely see a few new faces around the shop this season. Zach King (AKA Chewy) started with us last fall and will be assuming the role of shop manager for the coming season. Chewy has spent the winter here at Wolf Creek Angler keeping an eye on things for us, covering the shop on Sundays and  obsessively scouting and fishing the Missouri almost daily. He is a great addition to our team and we’re excited to have him on board. We will likely add one or two more to the staff as things ramp up.

Another staff change you will notice this year is in our guide crew. We’ve added a couple of new guides and parted ways with a few others so while some of the faces may be new what hasn’t changed is our commitment as a guide staff to providing you with an exceptional experience both on and off the water. For us your guide day starts long before we meet you at the shop. We’re busy prepping our boats, getting your lunches together and contemplating where to float in order to give you the best day possible. We like to spend a few minutes talking with you once we’ve met to figure out what your expectations are and how we can best meet those expectations. We’ll figure out where to go and what to do based on what you want out of your guide trip, not on what’s most convenient or easy for us as your guide.

We are your outfitter owned and operated Missouri River fly shop and guide service. For us guide trips are not just another service we offer, they are the foundation upon which Wolf Creek Angler was built. We don’t just book the trip, we also row the boat. Fishing the waters of Montana is what brought us here. This is  our passion and we would love to share it with you.

This is the road ahead. Change is constant. Continuous improvement is our mantra and whether your staying with us, fishing with us, shopping with us or any or all of the above you are why we are here and we feel truly blessed to be able to do what we do and to serve you.