Farewell to February


We’re closing out February with another spring-like weekend and even though I’m pretty sure there’s bound to be some winter to come I can’t help but shift gears.

Conditions are still favorable with snow water equivalent still at over 120 percent of average in most areas but at the same we’re looking at bare ground and mild temps here on the Missouri. As I’ve been saying for most of the winter, it’s the best of both worlds with snow in the high country to feed our flows and mild conditions where we’re at giving us ample opportunities to get out on the water.

Winter/Spring Special in FULL EFFECT as we speak. $400 Full Day Missouri River Guide Trips and the most affordable lodging option around at $99 (plus tax) for a clean and cozy bungalow with private bath and full kitchen facilities. Now through the end of April book two days on the water and one night of lodging and we’ll throw in a second night of lodging for free. I challenge you to find a better deal ANYWHERE on the MO!

The winter slumber is about to come to an end, slowly but surely. We’ll soon be opening additional lodging as required and while we don’t have a firm date, I know Shotgun Annie’s will be opening in March.

The fishing has been consistently strong over these past weeks with very little in the way of traffic. Saturdays have been busy but only by winter standards. It’s been the perfect winter to fish the Missouri and there haven’t been many doing it so we urge you to get out here and enjoy the solitude while it lasts.

Warm, sunny days will be here before you know it and with them the crowds which, from the shop perspective, can’t come soon enough but we have definitely been enjoying good fishing and an abundance of solitude on the river.

If you’re on the fence, wondering if it’s worth fishing this time of the season, wonder no more. Every day you’ve got the potential for excellent nymphing, ever-improving streamer fishing and even some good top water action on the right days when the wind stays down. And it’s only going to get better from here on out.

As the water warms the fish will start moving out of those deep winter runs, expanding your opportunities both sub-surface and on top.

It’s still a winter nymph game and will continue to be so for the next month. Anything with a pink or orange bead is a good start and a little soft hackle is never a bad call. Pill Poppers, Caviar Scuds, Rainbow Czechs, Hot Bead Rays, UV Crush, Pink Amex, Pederson’s Sow, Bubble Yum Scuds, Pink Weight Flies, Tailwater Sows, Cotton Candy, Yum Yums Pink Lighting Bugs and don’t forget your Zebra Midges. All of these and many more available now at WCA.

Top Water – it’s a midge game. Fish your favorite midge cluster paired with an Adams or single midge. Griffiths gnats, black sippers, Grizzly Midge Clusters, Bucky’s Midge Cluster, Hi Vis midge etc.

The streamer set has started to mobilize. Action has been decent and is trending upwards. Still a lot of swinging happening which may be your best bet but strippers don’t despair, it’s about to turn. A couple of degrees and it could blow up.

When will that happen? It’s anyone’s guess but this weekend looks prime with temps back into the 50’s Friday and Saturday. It’ll be on the breezy side but it definitely looks to be fishable.

We do have limited lodging available which I expect will fill for the weekend so don’t wait to make that call.

Also – if you’re out and about, stop in and see Chewy this weekend. After a long winter on the IR he will be back in the shop all weekend.

Call ahead for up to the minute reports and conditions.

The Countdown is Underway

With spring just 29 days away we can’t help but turn our thoughts to what’s soon to come.

And while it wasn’t very spring-like this morning with temperatures in the single digits, the early dawn and the sunshine and clear blue skies today have us thinking spring fishing on the Missouri.

Spring ranks high as one of our absolute favorite times to fish the MO’. As winter loosens is grip the water temps begin their slow ascent awakening our hungry trout from their cold-weather stupor and igniting the instinct to feed with reckless abandon.

The rainbows are looking to stockpile calories for the upcoming arduous spawning season while the brown trout key in on high calorie targets like baitfish. Couple this aggressive feeding with the least amount of aquatic vegetation you’ll see all season long and you can see why spring is THE absolute best time to fish streamers on the Missouri River.

The fish are hungry for nymphs, they’re hungry for streamers and as if that weren’t enough, they’re more than willing to eat a dry fly as midges and later BWO’s provide great top water action and pave the way for the coming summer dry fly smorgasbord.

You might think that with all these fishing opportunities available in the spring we’d charge a premium for guide trips but if you thought that you’d be wrong. Quite to the contrary, spring just so happens to be the time when we offer the best rates of the season for guide trips and lodging.

Like trout emerging from a somewhat dormant winter existence, outfitters, guides and fly shops are also emerging from winter dormancy. As is the nature of the business, we’ve expended substantially more than we’ve taken in over the winter months and it’s time to start feeding again! Spring trip specials are our way of enticing you into getting an early start on your season. Dust off those cobwebs and get dialed in for the coming season.

At Wolf Creek Angler we’re thinking spring all winter long so unlike some of the other shops who make you wait almost until it’s technically spring by the calendar, we offer our spring special ALL WINTER LONG! $400 FULL DAY GUIDE TRIPS and great deals on lodging. And speaking of great deals, we’ve got the best lodging/guide trip deal on the river hands down. Book two days of guided fishing and a night of lodging and your second night’s lodging is on us. That’s right – FREE LODGING at Wolf Creek Angler. Try to find a better deal…you won’t. I guarantee it.

So while you might think February is a little early to start talking spring fishing, we disagree. If the weather allows for it, why wouldn’t you come get an early start on your 2020 season?

Case in point – the coming weekend looks pretty darn good with temps nearing 50 each day. It will likely be breezy but not enough to prevent you from having a great day on the water.
Things have been quiet so far this week with the colder temps and snow but I’m expecting we’ll see a fairly busy weekend. At this point we do have lodging available but I expect that will book up for the weekend. Guides are chomping at the bit, ready to get back to work.

The fishing has been consistently good these past couple of weeks and should continue to hold steady. Water temps are holding at around 35 which will continue to dictate winter locations/techniques but a tic or two up could make a huge difference, especially if you’re itching for the streamer game.

Give us a call for real-time updates and conditions or to book your spring special lodging and guide trips.

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 April….The Season is Upon Us

And just like that winter was gone!

April is here and it’s GO TIME on the MO. The fishing is heating up and Wolf Creek and Craig are starting to come alive after one of the more brutal winters in recent memory.

The river is seeing some moderate to heavy traffic, especially on the weekends and especially in the Holter Dam to Craig stretch.

More importantly (from where I sit) the shop is busy and that’s good because spring shipments are arriving daily and the product is starting to stack up. We’re fully stocked with all kinds of great new gear. Simms waders and boots, tons of new bugs, Lamson and Ross reels, Loop, Echo and Redington rods, Korkers boots and the best of men’s and women’s 2019 sportswear from Simms. Piles of fly boxes, lines, leaders, tools and accessories. Boat bags and packs from Fishpond and Simms. Awesome new sunglasses from Smith and Suncloud and a sale rack you’re not going to want to miss. All Remaining Winter gear needs to go NOW! We’ve got the best deals you’re going to find on cold weather gear from Simms including jackets, hats, gloves, socks, flannel shirts, coldweather pants and more. Get em’ before they’re gone.

Adipose Rental boats are polished up and ready to hit the water and don’t forget we’ve got three Mending Waters Montana boats available free of charge to all vets and active duty military. Reserve your boat today at mendingwatersmontana.org

As of today lodging is 100 percent OPEN and we’re excited for our first FULL HOUSE of the season coming this weekend. It’s been a long and lonely winter around Wolf Creek Angler. Let the busy season begin!

Spring Special Guide Trips in effect…just $400 through the end of the month. Don’t miss this awesome opportunity to fish the amazing MO with the best guides in the business and save yourself $150 while doing it. The fishing is good and getting better and while we’ve still been flirting with some winterish weather the 10 day looks good with highs in the 50’s through the weekend and a little cooler heading into next week. Perfect spring fishing weather. Nymphs, streamers, dries….it’s all happening right now.

We are your Missouri River one stop shop with everything you need for your day on the water. Guides, rooms, shuttles, fishing licenses, the best coffee in the canyon and the biggest and best selection of bugs ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek Montana.

Open 8 am daily for all of your fly fishing needs.

Spring Special

Photo – Rob Weiker

Do we have a spring special you ask?

It just so happens we have THE BEST DEAL on the MISSOURI… PERIOD.

Most are running specials, some are not and while we may not have been the first ones on the river to run a spring special we appreciate and are happy to participate in the market which has been created and we’re confident that you’ll be much more interested in the details of our amazing offer than in how long we’ve been doing a spring special.

Here’s what we’re offering…

$500 (plus tax) for a full day on the water with one of our exceptional guides AND two (2), that’s right, two nights of premium lodging at Wolf Creek Angler. No rushing to get here the morning of your trip. No driving home tired after hauling in trout all day. We invite you to try to find a better deal…you won’t!

Get here the night before your trip and relax. You can wander down to Shotgun Annie’s for dinner and cocktails or prepare your own dinner in your fully furnished kitchen. We’re still waiting for the last of the snow to disappear but it will soon be gone and we’re getting to the point where you’ll probably enjoy spending some time on the porch just taking it all in. We’re nestled in the heart of the Big Belt Mountains, surrounded by gorgeous views of rugged canyon landscapes. We’re definitely biased but we believe we’ve got the best views around and while being a stone’s throw from the MO would be nice, as far as we’re concerned there’s not a more perfect setting for a fly shop and cabins than Wolf Creek Montana.

Spend an awesome spring day on the water with the best guides on the river and return to WCA for another evening of R & R.

Don’t need the lodging? No problem. Our guide trip only price is an amazing value at just $400.

Just looking for a room? We’ve got you covered. $99 for premium lodging (kitchen and private bath) through the end of April.

So yeah, we’ve got a spring special and it’s the best deal on the Missouri.

Late April Water and Fishing Report

Old School High Water. Holter Dam circa 1928 – photo Helena as She Was

The Missouri has become a VERY busy place this week with displaced anglers, guides and outfitters arriving in droves.

There has been plenty of discussion recently about how high flows will end up going this season on the MO’, but the fact is it’s about the only game in town at this point so if you had plans to fish in Montana in the near future chances are you’re going to end up here.

We’re still not comfortable making predictions so we’ll leave that up to the experts but what we do know is that we’re currently sitting at around 120 – 180% of normal Snow Water Equivalent in western Montana. There’s plenty of snow in them there hills though it sounds like we’ll begin to see a reduction in snowpack as we get our first real heat wave of the season at the end of this week. It won’t be quite so warm in the high country but down here they’re calling for 80 degrees on Friday and Saturday. Things will return to more seasonable conditions on Sunday and early next week as we return to daytime highs in the 50’s.

The current flow on the Missouri below Holter Dam is 9670 CFS.  The flows have increased steadily over the past week as Canyon Ferry prepares for the imminent spike in inflows coming soon with runoff. How much water will we see? Again, we’ll leave the predictions to the experts but what we can tell you is that you have nothing to fear at these flows.

We wouldn’t necessarily recommend wade fishing at this point but you’ll be fine in a boat and there are plenty of fish being caught our there, primarily on nymphs and streamers, but we’ve heard of some successful dry fly outings as well. Look for these trends to continue as that water continues to warm.

It’s time to break out the split shot, the long leaders and the wire worms. Things have been consistently inconsistent out there due in large part to the frequent changes in flows but your best bet for the time being is definitely going to be deep nymphing.

I’d recommend starting out with something in the 7 – 8′ overall length. Go with a firebead wire worm or something on the large (#10 or #12) side with a tungsten bead (Amex/Weight Fly/Rainbow Czech) paired with a Tailwater sow, Pill Popper, Caviar Scud or something BWO ish like a Grey Little Green Machine, a dark Peep Show or a Psycho May. Add a bb or two and start probing your way through the likely runs. Which runs are the likely ones? The fish are going to be in many of the runs you’ve historically found them in but daisy chains of guide boats are a pretty good indicator of where the fish are.

Go deeper than you normally would and make sure you’re occasionally touching the floor. Start tighter to the bank than you’d normally be, fishing inside out and work your way out. Row arounds can be a challenge in these flows but not always. There are plenty of spots where the extra water actually creates easy row arounds where before there were none.

Bug selection has been a challenge with a bunch of different patterns catching fish here and there and nothing really lighting them up. You’ll want to make frequent changes until you find what works but make sure you’ve got the depth thing figured out before you start changing your bugs. Stop by the shop on your way to the water and we’ll tell you what we know whether you buy bugs from us or not. We’re always here to help you find success on the water. Whether that’s guiding you or just giving you honest information about where to go or what to use you can always count on Wolf Creek Angler for open, honest and up to date Missouri River intel.

Streamer fishing has been decent but you’ve got to choose your spots. Many of the go to banks are just too fast right now making it virtually impossible to get down where you need to be. That being said, if you know what you’re looking for there’s an abundance of great streamer water to be fished and these bigger flows often give up some monster browns seeking a soft water respite. Swing by WCA for the best streamer selection on the Missouri including a bunch of bugs you wont’ find anywhere else.

Like the streamer fishing, the dry fly fishing is somewhat limited right now for the same reason…too much water but once again, if you know where to look you could be in for some phenomenal dry fly fishing over the next couple of weeks as the water warms and the BWO’s flourish. Think quiet water…that’s where you’ll find the sippers.

Once again, if you’re planning to fish in Montana over the next month or so then you should plan on fishing the Missouri. As you might expect we are very busy with lodging and guide trips but we definitely have openings and we’d like nothing better than to get you booked and on the water. We’re full this weekend but things open up on Sunday and we do have availability next week.

Keep in mind you’ve only got a few days left to take advantage of the best deal on the Missouri. Two nights of premium lodging and a full day guide trip for just $550 (plus tax). We invite you to look for a better deal…you won’t find one.

Regular season rates resume on Tuesday, May 1st.

We hope to see you soon at Wolf Creek Angler. We are your Full Service Missouri River Fly Fishing Destination.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Fishing Heating Up

It’s finally starting to feel like spring this week. The weather has been trending in the right direction with some nice days in the mid to high 50’s though there’s snow in the forecast yet again for today and tomorrow and we’re actually under yet another Winter Weather Advisory through tonight and we could see up to three inches of heavy, wet snow.

Traffic has picked up with a lot of folks taking advantage of some great spring deals. It’s been so nice to have a shop full of people again. We’re bursting with new gear arriving daily and still trying to clear out some of the old. Great deals on all kinds of premium  cold weather gear for everyone!

The fishing has been consistently good sub-surface with nymphing and streamer fishing heating up. We’ve seen river flows increase all week, a trend which will likely continue. As of this writing we’re sitting at 7260 CFS.  and while we’re anxiously awaiting a bump in water temps to bring the BWO’s into play we’re currently holding at a chilly 38 degrees.  Look for the water temp to bump up this weekend and into the first part of next week. Fingers crossed for 40+ degree water, overcast skies and BWO’s coming soon.

In the meantime the nymphing will bring the numbers. The status quo pinks and firebeads have continued to be effective  though we are definitely seeing a transition to a spring diet. Tailwater Sows are in play as are Pill Poppers, Caviar Scuds, Worms, Lightning bugs of the purple and pink variety,  Rainbow Czechs, Rainbow Warriors and if we do see that bump in the water temps the baetis nymphs will definitely come in to play. Think Green Machine!

This is a favorite time of year for the streamer addicts on the hunt for hungry browns and while the action has been hit or miss it’s tough to resist those soft edges and transitional zones created by the higher flows. Work those banks, keeping the strip on the slow side with plenty of pauses…they love to hit it on the pause. Whites, Greys, Olives, Blacks….lots of bugs getting noticed right now. MK Ultras, Circus Peanuts, Polar Leeches, SPARKLE MINNOWS, Baby Gongas, Kreelex, Clousers… etc. As always, fish the bugs you believe in changing patterns and colors until you find one that works.

Lodging is 100 percent open and our spring special runs through the end of the month. Shotgun Annie’s and Izaak’s are open for business and Upland Angler is a great option as well but their schedule varies so call ahead for reservations at (406)468-0080.

Don’t let the lingering winter weather get you down…plenty of nice weather ahead including what looks to be an awesome weekend. We hope to see you out here.

 

Out like a Lion

 

It’s hard to believe but March has all but passed us by and while  we traditionally expect March to come in fiercely like a lion and go out gently like a lamb it looks like the winter lion is going to stick around for a while yet.

Rain and snow are likely tomorrow with gusty south southwest winds in the afternoon ushering in a cold front which will drop us into the teens tomorrow night. We’ll see a high of only 32 on Saturday with a chance for some snow but Sunday looks better with temps back near 50. Maybe not the ideal weekend to fish the Missouri but sooner or later we’ll get there.

We definitely saw an increase in traffic this week with spring breakers taking advantage of some decent weather and enjoying the sunshine on the windy MO’. Fishing reports have been inconsistent but overall I’d say it’s been fair for most. As you would expect those who fish here often are having pretty good luck out there while those who are here for the first time or only hit it once or twice a year have been having a tougher go of it.

Nymphing is your best bet for numbers and not much has changed on the bug front. Anything with a pink bead works more often than not and firebeads are getting it done as well. The hottest bug of the spring thus far has been Pederson’s Sow (available exclusively at Wolf Creek Angler and currently in short supply but more are on the way). Pill poppers, Lucent Bead Rays, UV Crush, Bubble Yums, Pink Radiation Baetis and Wayno’s Cotton Candy have all been catching plenty of fish. Don’t shy away from black Zebras, tailwater sows, firebead rays etc. I’m still sticking with a #12 Pink Amex for a lead fly more often than not but Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, Casne’s Pinkalicious, Pink Weight Flies and Bubble Yums work too. Some have gone to the worm and done well.

Fish are still holding in the slower, deeper runs but we are starting to see a migration to transitional water so  fish the slow stuff but don’t be afraid to hit that medium fast, medium depth water as well. Some are fishing deep rigs and doing fine, we’ve been sticking with a 7′ – 8′ overall depth, sometimes with no weight, sometimes with a bb.

Streamer fishing has been hit or miss but if you stick with it throughout the day you should encounter at least a hot stretch or two. Kreelex, Craven’s Dirty Hippy, Sparkle Minnows, Lynch’s Drunk and Disorderly, Baby Gongas, Polar Leeches, Montana Minnows, Clousers and ZK’s Son of Bunny in pearl and MK Ultra in grey (both available exclusively at WCA) have all been effective. Greys, whites and olives have been good but as I say often fish what you like and what you have confidence in…it makes all the difference in the world.

Midges a plenty daily. Some days the fish are on them, some days they aren’t. Keep that dry fly rig at the ready. I’ve been running a hi-vis para adams with a Bucky’s Midge Cluster and haven’t seen any reason to switch it up but any Griffiths gnat or midge cluster ought to do the trick.

Overcast days have definitely been better overall (especially for streamer fishing) but we’re catching plenty of fish in the sun as well. Fish when you can.

Our spring lodging and guide trip special has been gaining in popularity as folks come to realize what an absolute STEAL of a Deal it is. Once again, that’s two nights of premium lodging and a full day guide trip for one or two anglers for just $550. We challenge you to find a better deal on the MO’.

We’re at about 50% open on our lodging just waiting for temps to stabilize before we open the rest but hopefully it won’t be long. Cabins and bungalows available now, motel rooms open soon.

The shop is rapidly filling up with new gear from Simms, Redington, Echo, Ross and more and we’re thrilled to announce that we are now your Exclusive Missouri River dealer for Damsel Fly Fishing, an AWESOME line of women’s fly fishing gear and apparel made right here in Montana. Check them out at www.damselflyfishing.com. We’re also excited to announce that we are now featuring Douglas Fly Rods. More on this soon but in the meantime check them out at   douglasoutdoors.com We’ll let you know as soon as we have them in. We’re sure you’re going to love these rods and we’re hearing  nothing but good things from the other dealers around the region.

It may not feel like it and it may not look like it just yet but spring is definitely here and we can’t wait to see you back on the Missouri.

Remember Izaak’s opens Thursday, April 5th and we can’t wait!!

 

 

 

 

The March Toward Spring

The spring streamer game on the MO’ has commenced – photo by Wolf Creek Angler

Last week I proclaimed that winter was loosening its grip. Winter countered my proclamation with yet another round of cold and snow.

Today I repeat my proclamation.

The sun is shining and the forecast is calling for highs in the 40’s for the next several days, trending towards 50’s next week.

Like the weather, fishing has been improving over the past several days though the ramps are still a problem and will likely continue to be for the next few days. Hopefully by the weekend the warmer temps and plentiful sunshine will have things in better shape but we encourage you to check out your put in and take out prior to committing to a float. At the very least give us a call before you come out and we’ll tell you what we know.

We did Craig to Spite Hill yesterday after hearing Mid Canon was a no – go. Both Craig and Spite were fine but they may get worse before they get better. We’ll keep you posted.

Nymphing was so-so yesterday and will be the preferred method for most for the next while. You’ll still want to concentrate your efforts on the slow, deep winter water…typically working inside out. Pill Popper was the bug of choice yesterday but you should do fine with anything pink. For my money it’s hard to beat a pink Amex trailed with a pill popper or a firebead anything but black zebra midges should also be a staple in your spring nymph arsenal. Tailwater sows, Bubble Yum Scuds, Rainbow Czechs, Rainbow Warriors, Wayno’s Cotton Candy, firebead rays, Rainbow Weight fly, Pinkalicious, Pederson’s Sow…you get the idea…status quo.

Dry fly fishing opportunities abound right now with an abundance of midges on the water and plenty of fish up. Yesterday was the most fish I’ve seen up so far this season. Keep your midge rig at the ready.

You won’t be surprised to hear that yesterday’s focus was streamer fishing. We fished some water I don’t spend a lot of time streamer fishing as well as some go-to spots and had a pretty good day overall. Slower, deep water and drop offs were productive. A slow and varied retrieve  was effective but we got some action with a little more aggressive and active retrieve as well.

Olive, natural and white variations have been getting noticed. Slender, leechy patterns are a good bet but don’t be afraid to try something different. The browns are hungry and seem to be on the hunt. One rainbow and one mammoth whitey yesterday, all of the rest were browns.

If you haven’t done so yet this season it’s time to break out the streamer stick and go to work. Granted there are likely more fish still being caught on the swing right now but stripping season is upon us. We’ve got what is considered by some to be the best streamer selection on the Missouri and while we love dry fly fishing and nymphing, there are few things we are as passionate about as the streamer game. Stop in and check out our bugs and pick our brains…we’d love to feed your streamer addiction.

Our Spring Special has been on for weeks though the weather has kept trips to a minimum. That’s all about to change.

Shake that cabin fever and get out there. It’s time for spring fishing on the Missouri. $550 for two nights lodging and a full day guide trip now through the end of April. There are other deals out there…nobody, and I mean NOBODY can touch this one! It’s the BEST DEAL and longest running special on the MO hands down.

Look for more lodging to open up within the next week or two as traffic continues to increase. It’s been a long cold winter (and is likely not over) but spring is definitely in the air. Book your spring trip with Wolf Creek Angler today.

Welcome March

Just a quick follow-up on Monday’s ramp report. I did check all the launches yesterday and everything I said in that report holds true. A rope and a 4 x 4 for all of them, avoid Dearborn and Mt Palace altogether.

Mid Canon

Mountain Palace

Stickney

Prewett Creek

Prewett Creek

It felt like February would NEVER end but here we are, March 1st and it actually feels like winter may FINALLY be loosening its grip. It’s still cold and we’re still looking at snow in the forecast but those single digit temps seem to be gone for now, replaced with mid 30’s. The days are noticeably longer and it just feels like the shift is underway.

Traffic has increased ever so slightly both on the river and in the shop and we’re actually moving some bugs again. Lots of folks stopping in for their 2018 fishing licenses this morning. Don’t forget to purchase yours before you hit the water again.

There’s still plenty of ice on Holter and most of the fishing traffic continues to be out there but that will all change soon enough. March is midge madness month on the MO’ so dust off that dry fly rod and get out here. I’ve made it a point to try to catch a fish on a dry fly by the end of February each year but it got away from me this year. It was a brutally cold month for the most part so I barely fished and the couple times I did make it out I stuck to streamers and nymphs.

Nymphing will always be your best bet for numbers but streamer fishing and early spring dry fly fishing are definitely worth your time. Hot nymphs for March….status quo. Black Zebra midges, Rainbow Czechs, Pink Amex, Pill Poppers, Pinkalicious, Firebead anything, pink lighting bugs, UV Crush…you get the idea.

There’s really no time I don’t like to streamer fish but Mid March through April is probably my favorite time to throw streamers on the Missouri. Swinging and slow stripping is fine but once the water warms up you can really start to move those bugs and the fish will chase them down, sometimes following them all the way to the boat.

We’ve still been doing well with polar leeches, kreelex and clousers but it’s time to show them something they haven’t seen. Try some different patterns and some different colors and don’t be afraid to go big. It’s been a long, cold winter with very little fishing pressure…those big browns will soon be on the move looking for calorie rich targets, give em’ what they want.

Best bets for dry fly selection include Bucky’s Midge Cluster, Hi Vis Midge, Black Sipper, Hi vis Sprout, Adams Midge, Griffiths Gnat, Grizzly Midge Cluster…really any midge cluster will do. I like to lead mine with a parachute Adams just to provide a visual as most of these midge patterns are a little tough to see.

Once again, it’s still winter fishing but our sense is that things are about to change so get ready for the 2018 season to officially get underway soon.

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