Rainy Day Blues

Have it all to yourself (for the time being) this spring on the MO’

We’re three days into a dreary, wet and cold week on the Missouri with likely a couple more on the way. Welcome to springtime in the Rockies!

Our forecast for the remainder of the week looks to be much of the same with cool temps and a chance for rain and or snow most days but we should start to see some peeks of sunshine starting tomorrow. The grey days can be a little tough to take sometimes but on the bright side things are greening up nicely and it looks like we’ll see a bit of a warm up this weekend.

We’re still dealing with a mandatory 14 day quarantine for all out of state travelers which is substantially limiting our business right now but thankfully as things continue to open up in Montana we’re seeing business start to pick up as many look to get out of town and take advantage of having one of the premier trout rivers in the world right in their back yard. Lodging has really started to pick up and we’re managing to do a few guide trips here and there as well. All of this has us feeling cautiously optimistic about the future as we continue to adapt to the new normal.

Obviously things are far from normal but the hope is that if we continue to work hard at doing things right through these early phases of the re-opening then hopefully we’ll be able to expedite the easing of restrictions.

We’re still obsessively cleaning and sanitizing in the shop and limiting customers to four at a time. We’re wearing our masks and we appreciate when you do as well. I don’t see getting away from these practices anytime soon and whether we’re actually dealing with exposure to coronavirus or not it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a clean and germ-free shop.

Ditto with our enhanced housekeeping procedures. We’ve essentially doubled the time it takes to clean a room with the additional steps we’re taking to clean and disinfect so you can rest assured your health and safety, along with that of our employees, is our number one priority.

Guide trips look and feel a little different these days as well with a lot of disinfecting of surfaces and equipment happening as well as more attention paid to keeping our boats and our rigs clean. We’re wearing our masks in the vehicle on the way to the river as well as in the boat and asking our clients to do the same. Some aren’t crazy about the mask thing but it’s not so bad once you get used to it and if it allows us to get out there and put our clients on fish we’re happy to comply.

Slowly but surely it’s starting to look more and more like an actual season. Shotgun Annie’s and Izaak’s are open for business (with social distancing directives in place) so the food challenges are becoming less so. Annie’s is open Monday – Friday from 11 AM – 11:30 PM and 7:30 AM – 11:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Please note, closing time is dependent on how much business they are doing so I wouldn’t wait until 10 pm and head there for dinner, at least not without calling first. Izaak’s is open Wednesday – Sunday from 3 PM – 9 PM. We’re super-stoked to have them both back and we encourage you to support them through the challenges of limited capacity re-opening.

One more food option we’re super excited about this season is Mo’ River Eats. Kelli is providing us with exceptional lunches for our guide trips this season and also offering breakfast and dinner DELIVERED to your room at Wolf Creek Angler. You’ll find menus in all of our rooms with contact information so if you want a great dine-in option for dinner or want to start the day with an amazing breakfast burrito, breakfast sandwich, sausage biscuits or a Greek Yogurt Parfait all you need do is let Kelli know by 9 pm the night before and she will deliver items right to your room. I’ve sampled breakfast, lunch and dinner and highly recommend them all and the fact that she delivers is a game-changer. I’m expecting a busy season for MO’ River Eats as word gets out and hope you’ll give them a try.

So there you have it. We’ve got all kinds of lodging available AND you have a multitude of options for dining, including bringing your own food and preparing it in your fully furnished kitchen AND THE FISHING IS GOOD AND GETTING BETTER.

Dry fly fishing, nymphing, streamer fishing…all solid options right now.

So while things are still weird out there we are happy to provide you with an escape from the weirdness. Fresh air, moving water, wild trout….I can’t think of a better escape. And while we’re definitely hoping for a rapid return to being able to host out of state clients, at this point their absence is your gain as traffic is but a fraction of what it would normally be this time of year.

We hope to see you all very soon.

Not so fast…

Streamer Eaters on the Prowl

Just when we were getting used to spring sunshine and temperatures in the 50’s Mother Nature shows us again that she’s in charge and she’s not quite done with winter weather.

We’re currently in the midst of a good soaking rain and under a WINTER STORM WARNING starting tonight, primarily for elevations above 5,000 feet where 6-12 inches of new snow is expected. We won’t see that here but we’re bracing for a cold, wet snowy day on the water tomorrow.

Lucky for you we’ve got plenty of Simms cold weather gear still hanging around the shop and better yet it’s all 30 percent off!

And speaking of SIMMS – spring is definitely wader weather and there are no better waders in the world than Simms waders so if you’re in the market for a new pair we’d love to sell them to you. We stock G3’s, Freestones and Tributaries (something in every price range) and the boots to go with them and we’re happy to order absolutely anything else you might want including boot foot models or G4’s or G4Z’s, which are the ultimate in wader technology and quality.

It’s a busy week here at WCA in spite of the soggy weather. The west side blew out Sunday night bringing an influx of guides and outfitters and their clients in search of fishable water and it just so happens the Missouri fits the bill and we’re happy to host the migration.

The river is fishing well, with the majority of traffic in the Holter Dam to Craig stretch. LPP and the Dearborn are adding some color but not so much that it’s having a negative impact on the fishing. Most are opting to fish the clean side but don’t be afraid to work the mud line with a worm and a sow bug or better yet a streamer if you are so inclined.

In my mind there is no better time to fish streamers on the MO than April and these soggy/cloudy/snowy days can be lights out. Sparkle Minnows, MK Ultras or Ultralites, Mojo minnows, Clousers, Skiddish Smolts…..angler’s choice this time of year. Fish what you like and stick with it.

Nymphing the dam down is your best bet for numbers. The aforementioned worm and sow bug are key. Pill poppers, UV Crush, Caviar Scuds, Lucent Bead Rays, Soft Hackle Sows, Pinkalicious, Rainbow Czechs, Bubble Yums, Cotton Candies, Amex…..all good choices.

The water is still on the cold side at right around 37 degrees so the majority of the fish are continuing to hold in the deeper, slower water but we’ve picked plenty up in the transitional water as well so don’t limit your options.

Flows have bumped to the 6500 range….we love 6-8K and the river does too.

It’s game-time…are you ready?

The Missouri River awakening continues this week as Izaak’s opens on Thursday, April 11th for season number nine. We can’t wait! Brisket Sandwich and Smoked Wings oh how I’ve missed you.

Izaak’s will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays for the time being but open for divinely delicious dinner offerings Wednesday-Sunday 4 PM – 9 PM. Dinner at Izaak’s is a highlight of the trip for many and we are thrilled to have this world-class dining option here on the Missouri.

It’s going to be a soggy week here on the MO but it looks like we’ll see a return to more seasonable conditions by the weekend.

We’ve got lodging available for the weekend ($99 for a kitchenette, $75-$85 for non-kitchen rooms) and our $400 spring special guide trips are in full swing. Book yours today!


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!