Second Annual Fall Rod and Reel Sale happening NOW at Wolf Creek Angler

We’re in the midst of our second annual Fall Rod and Reel Sale at Wolf Creek Angler.

These are the best deals of the season. Don’t miss your chance to snatch up a great new rod and reel (or several) at prices that can’t be beat.

25% Off all rods and reels and deeper discounts up to 40 percent off on discontinued items from Ross, Echo and more.

We carry rods from Loop, Redington and ECHO and reels from Lamson, Ross, Redington and ECHO and they’re ALL on SALE now.

Here’s what we carry;

 

Loop Rods – Cross S1 in #5 and #6 and Evotec Cast ranging from #3 – #7 in various actions.

Redington Rods – Hydrogen, Crux, Vice and Predator. We’ve got the Vice and Crux in #5 and #6, the Predator in #7 and #8 and the Hydrogen in #5 as well as in an 11’ #2 two-handed Trout Spey rod.
Redington reels include the Behemoth and Zero.

Echo Rods – Ion XL, Carbon XL, Boost, Dry, Echo 3, Gecko and Echo Glass in a 7’6” #4 as well as a 10’6” #3 2-handed trout spey rod. We carry a full lineup of Echo Ion and Bravo reels.

Lamson Reels – A full lineup including Speedster, Guru, Remix and Liquid 3 Packs (Reel and two extra spools).

CLOSEOUT ITEMS

Ross Gunnison, Colorado LT, Cimarron II and Animas reels all 40 percent off.

Loop – Multi 3/6 and Evotec 3/5 40 percent off.

Sale runs through October 31st.

Mid September on the Missouri

Autumn is starting to take hold

September is rapidly disappearing as the 2019 season continues to fly by. The lonely days of late August/early September are gone and the river is getting to be a very busy place again. The official start of autumn is just a few days away and if this week is any indication it’s going to be one busy fall on the MO’.

No more sitting around drinking coffee and staring at the computer screen all morning…its go time again.

Traffic has been heavy in the shop this week with a bunch of guide trips and drift boat rentals and more and more folks just stopping by for shuttles and bugs having heard about us and wanting to check out the shop. The word is out, especially for those coming in from Helena, Bozeman, Billings, and Missoula…really anywhere other than Great Falls. We are your first stop on the way to the Missouri and we are closer to Holter Dam and Wolf Creek Bridge than any other shop. And even if you’re coming from Great Falls, if you’re planning on fishing at the dam, WCA is the most logical place to stop for your shuttles and flies and anything else you need for your day on the water.

We are your outfitter owned and operated full service Missouri River fly shop. We’re your one stop shop for guides, affordable lodging, drift boat rentals, Shuttles, Simms waders and boots, Loop rods, Lamson reels and so much more including the largest selection of Missouri River bugs ever assembled under one roof in Wolf Creek Montana. Don’t miss our Annual Fall Rod and Reel sale going on now. 25% off all rods and reels and deeper discounts up to 40% off on clearance items from Ross, Redington and more.

Fishing has been good enough and it’s about to get much better.

Some slow days out there last week (and this week as well depending on who you ask) but things seem to be trending in the right direction as we await Autumn Splendor and Fall Fishing Nirvana on the Mighty Missouri.

Holter Dam has been crowded this week, both with anglers and with trout. It’s where most will be concentrating their efforts from here on out but just because most people are fishing at the dam that doesn’t mean you have to.

There are plenty of fish from Craig down as well so don’t limit yourself. If you’d prefer a more solitary experience then by all means spread out and try something new.

Nymphing has been and will continue to be your best bet for numbers. Purple weight flies, black Zebra Midges, LGM’s, Tailwater sows, Olive Redemptions, Peep Shows, 2 Bits, Tung Darts, Nitro Caddis, Radiation Baetis, Purple or Pearl Lightning Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Juju’s….lots of bugs on the menu right now in the sub-surface game.

Hoppers have peaked and will continue to fade, ants are where it’s at. Caddis are getting eaten as well with the standard tan elk hair caddis and the larger October varieties all getting looks. Tricos on some days, with pseudos and callibaetis also in the mix. Fall BWO’s still a few weeks away. Dry Fly tip of the day – try trailing a CDC Caddis emerger when you’re targeting those sipping trout. They might not like your dry fly game but a CDC Caddis emerger fished in the film gets eaten way more often than you’d think even by the most discerning fish.

Streamer fishing has been heating up and will only get better as we move through the fall. If you’re a streamer junkie this is your time. A detailed report coming soon but suffice it to say that Wolf Creek Angler is your Missouri River Streamer headquarters. We’ve got the right streamer lines for any and all situations and while we don’t like to brag we have heard it said that we’ve got THE BEST STREAMER SELECTION on the MISSOURI. A word of caution for those just getting into the game….weeds, though not as bad as they could be, are an ever-present challenge when fishing the MO in the fall. Anticipate the challenge and STAY CALM. Streamer fishing is hard work. Weeds make it harder work and can drive even the most patient angler to the brink. Just try to stay focused on the hoped for results….the big payoff…the BEHEMOTH dwelling in the hidden depths of the MO.

Fall shop hours are 7 AM to 5 PM daily.

We hope to see you soon for the best of Montana fall fishing.

Autumn Creeping In

Chris with a Pre-Autumn Streamer Eater from this past weekend. A sign of things to come!

There’s plenty of summer left on the calendar, six weeks to be exact, but with the cooler temps and cloudy wet weather we’ve been experiencing one can’t help but feel like Autumn is starting to creep in. The weather trend will continue through this week with highs struggling to reach 80 and nighttime lows dipping into the high 40’s. We got a good dose of thunder, lighting, rain and hail yesterday and it looks like the next chance we have for that will be towards the end of this week but whether it’s in the forecast or not you should always be prepared. There’s nothing worse than being caught out in it without the proper gear.

The greens are starting to fade to browns, yellows, oranges and reds. There’s a chill in the air most mornings and evenings and the black bears have started to show up to feast on the choke cherries which are rapidly ripening. Antlers are reaching full growth and many are starting to turn their attention to hunting with Upland Bird Season and Archery season just weeks away.

Pre-season football has begun and college football begins in earnest two weeks from Saturday. School starts two weeks from Wednesday so yeah, summer is slipping away from us.

Fishing this past weekend felt fallish as well with a good crowd in the grass flats and plenty of fish willing to play. It’s been a long-time coming but we did finally have a good day on the Zirdle with all but a few fish opting for the big bug. Plenty of dry fly opportunities as well with ample Tricos and caddis. Ants were a good option as well between thunderstorms. Hoppers not so much but look for that to improve this week with a little sunshine and a little heat.

Streamer fishing will try your patience right now with the challenge of weeds and other floating and submerged debris but if you can maintain your composure and work through it you’ll likely find some willing players exactly where you’d think you’d be finding them. Bring on the fall fishing!
The late August doldrums are definitely in full swing as evidenced by the lack of traffic out there but those in the know will tell you that August fishing on the MO can often be nothing short of exceptional. Not to say that’s always the case but we normally manage to put together some pretty good days out there in August and the best part is that with the exception of the dam you’ll more than likely have it all to yourself (relatively speaking of course).

Lodging is wide open and guides are suddenly finding themselves with time to kill so book a trip today and put them to work. Remember now through the end of the month you can take advantage of our Dog Days of Summer Guide Trip and Lodging Special. Book a full day guide trip and a night of lodging and the second night of lodging is on us.

Summer deals in the shop are still in full swing but the goods are rapidly disappearing. 25% Off Simms summer sportswear including Guide Pants, Guide Shorts, Stone Cold and Big Sky shirts, Rip Rap wading sandals and more. And don’t miss our Annual Fall Rod Sale coming soon….25% off all 2019 rods and reels from Echo, Redington, Loop, Ross, Lamson and more.

Enjoy these last weeks of summer and don’t despair. Autumn is coming soon and just happens to be our absolute favorite time of the year to fish in Montana. It’s a magical time on the MO and beyond.

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.

Finally…A Farewell to February

Coming Soon?

The shortest month of the year feels like it’s been the longest as winter drags on with no end in sight.

March will pick up right where February left off with single digit temps through the weekend and into the first part of next week but then it looks like something might just be starting to happen. Things could change between now and then but at this point it looks like we’ll be bathed in sunshine Sunday through Tuesday and while the temps will be far from warm we all know how good that late winter sun feels.

We’ll climb into the 20’s on Wednesday and Thursday and near 30 on Friday. Is it a warming trend? Here’s hoping so!

We’re thankful to have made up for winter’s slow start with plenty of precipitation throughout the last month but I for one have had just about enough. I’ve had enough of shoveling snow. I’ve had enough of fighting ice dams on the roof. I’ve had enough of NOT FISHING!

Snowpack has edged up to 110 – 120 percent of normal in our region and most of the state looks good right now at or near 100 percent of average. Only the Kootenai and the Sun, Teton and Marias drainages are lagging behind but  are currently right around 90 percent of average. We like the looks of this map and we’re remaining cautiously optimistic that high water will not be an issue however Mother Nature always gets the final say on this so no guarantees here.

Ideally we’d see a return to normal temperatures sooner rather than later. The average high for February is 39 degrees, we’ve seen highs in the single digits or below zero more days than not this month. The average high for March is 47. We obviously won’t see that the first week of the month but sooner or later it has to warm up and when it does we’re expecting an extremely busy spring as the throngs arrive to satisfy that long-delayed Missouri River Fix.

And speaking of spring fishing, don’t forget it’s time to buy your 2019 Montana fishing license. 2018 licenses expire tomorrow.

Sadly we still have no fishing report to share but as you look towards the eventuality of spring fishing here’s what you need to know.

Water temps are currently holding in the 33 degree range….COLD! We would expect much of March to be full on winter fishing as far as the nymphing goes. Slow, deep water is what you’ll want to target with winter fare. Pink should be in the mix along with firebeads, tailwater sows, Yum Yums, Caviar Scuds, Zebra Midges, Rainbow Czechs, Soft Hackle Sows, Lightning Bugs, Ray Charles etc. Fish deep with weight (tungsten bead nymphs or split shot or both) and cover the water from the inside out, shortening the depth of your rig until you find where they’re at.

Warming water will get them moving at which time we’ll start to key in on the traditional spring hot spots, typically a little faster current with a little less depth. We like to run sowbugs all season long as they’re a constant food source but as we move into spring we will typically swap out the winter fare for mayfly nymphs and maybe even a dirt snake. Little Green Machines and the like tend to shine as the water conditions hit the spring prime.

Spring is brown trout time as the spawning rainbows become scarce. Watch those redds and please don’t target spawning fish. Late March through April and into the first part of May are the prime weeks for streamer fishing on the Missouri. We can’t wait!

Spring is also dry fly time as the Midge Machine churns out piles of bugs. We typically start fishing midges in late February but since nobody has been on the river harassing and educating the fish this year, those first few fishable days could be lights out with relatively easy pickings.
Don’t care for fishing midges? Spring is also Skwalla time so if throwing big dries is your thing don’t miss this opportunity. Many of the larger browns we catch each spring fall for the Skwalla.

I think we could be in for one phenomenal spring if this weather ever breaks and while it’s tough to shift gears to fishing mode while winter continues to have a stranglehold, it’s coming soon so there’s no time like the present to prepare.
It’s time to dig out your gear and get it organized. It’s a great time to replace those old, worn fly lines and this is the spring you should treat yourself to a new pair of Simms waders and boots. We’d be happy to help you with that!

How about a brand new Lamson, Ross or Redington reel or maybe a new LOOP, Redington or Echo rod. We’ve also got a limited supply of Nautilus reels we’re clearing out at 25% off. Once they’re gone they’re gone.

Great deals on Simms winter wear including Cold Weather Pants and Shirts and guide flannels….all 25 % off. Help us make space for the new gear arriving daily.

Remember spring is also time for the WCA Spring lodging and guide trip special….we guarantee it’s the best deal you’ll find on the MO’ and it’s happening right now!

$500 for two nights of premium lodging at Wolf Creek Angler and a full day guide trip for one or two anglers through the end of April. This same package will cost you over $800 starting May 1st so don’t miss this opportunity.

 

Early December on the MO

Winter Solitude on the MO’

All has gone quiet on the Missouri save the wingbeats of the waterfowl and the occasional volley of shotgun blasts.

Winter is taking hold.

The water temps have dropped into the high 30’s and with single digit overnight temps expected ice will start to be an issue on the lower reaches of the river.

It’s time to turn your attention to the winter water. Deep and slow. That’s where you will find them. Deep rigs with a bb or two and something pink….there’s your Missouri River winter nymphing rig. Use it from here on out all winter long.

Fishing pressure has been close to non-existent and I wouldn’t expect that to change much for the time being though with temps climbing back near 40 this weekend and into next week you might see a few folks out there looking for a winter fix.

December is definitely our slowest month of the year. People generally put fishing on the back burner during the holidays and we don’t see a lot of holiday shopping traffic as most people stick closer to home to do their shopping. That being said, for those willing to make the trip we’ve got all kinds of great gift ideas and with end-of-the year pricing in effect we’ve got the deals you can’t afford to pass up on the good stuff.

We’re doing a Redington wader and boot blow out sale clearing the way for our spring shipment of Simms waders and boots which will arrive next month. Forty percent off all in-stock Redington waders and boots until they’re gone. We’ve got Palix, Sonic Pro, Sonic Pro HD, Sonic Pro HDZ, Women’s Sonic Pro, Women’s Willow, Women’s Siren and youth Crosswater waders. For boots we’ve got Skagit and Prowler as well as women’s Willow boots.

They’re going fast. Call or message the shop before you come out for current inventory.

Can’t make it out to Wolf Creek? No problem. We’re happy to ship anything anywhere.

In addition to the big Redington sale we’ve got great sale prices on all of our outerwear and sportswear and if you’re looking for a rod and reel look no further. 25% off all rod/reel combos now through the end of the year.

And while we’re talking about deals….don’t forget our winter guide trip and lodging special. $500 for a full day guide trip and two nights of premium lodging. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY is going to beat this deal!

If you don’t need the lodging winter trips are $400 for a full day for one or two anglers. If you don’t need the guide but do need lodging our winter rates are $99/night plus tax for premium lodging complete with full kitchen and private bath.

A few more weeks and we’ll be turning the corner. Longer days lie ahead. From what I’m hearing it sounds like we’re in for a somewhat mild winter. If so, we hope to be a part of your Missouri River winter fly fishing plans.

WCA 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

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Our picks for the best fly fishing gifts of 2018.

Simms ColdWeather LS Shirt/Pants $99.95

Longtime staples around here for cold weather fishing and all around winter wear.

Quick dry warmth featuring micro fleece waffle-lining But Simms takes this hardworking mainstay into the 21st, with the boosted warmth of waffle-lined micro-fleece internals. ColdWeather LS features include quick-dry performance, potent UPF 50 sun protection, and chafe-free, off-shoulder seaming for added comfort. Stash gear in two super-sized, top-close chest pockets. And stay effortlessly stylish in these ultrawarm, brushed-flannel performance plaids.

Pants equipped for deep-freeze conditions. Subzero mornings? No sweat. Simms’ Coldweather Pants combat the conditions thanks to micro fleece-lined internals and hand-warmer pockets. Angler-appreciated extras include COR3™ fabric technology; an adjustable waist with a corrosion-fighting center-front snap; and articulated knees for bolstered durability and massive mobility.

Redington Behemoth Reels   $139.99

Our best selling reel in its class!

Our BEHEMOTH reel combines the most powerful drag in its class with stunning aesthetics that push the limits of fly reel design. The unique, un-machinable, die-cast construction is coupled with a durable, interlocking, large-arbor spool design that both looks and functions like a premium reel. A super-heavy duty carbon fiber drag package brings the utmost in drag strength, reliability and performance to the family. Sized for your favorite 5-weight trout rod, and all the way up to saltwater ready, big-game sizes, the BEHEMOTH reels offer performance and affordability to beginner and veteran anglers alike.

Korkers Buckskin and Buckskin Mary Wading Boots  $139.99

Our best-selling boot.

 

OmniTrax® Interchangeable Sole System adapts your traction to any fishing condition. Two outsoles included with every purchase.

Hydrophobic materials faster dry times lessen the chance of spreading invasive species.

Durability enhanced midsole, scratch rubber toe cap extends to side panels, rubberized anti-abrasion synthetic material.

Drainage integrated, large drainage ports and internal drainage channels.

Traditional laces durable metal hardware provides secure fit.

Weight: 3.2 LBS per pair with felt soles.

Redington Sonic Pro Waders $299.99

The all new Sonic-Pro wader uses 4-layer waterproof-breathable fabric and SonicWeld seams to create a simple wader with superior durability for uncompromising performance on the water. We designed this wader with minimal pockets and a clean silhouette to provide anglers a durable wader that simply performs in all conditions, from deep steelhead wading to hot summer trout runs.

The all-new WOMEN’S SONIC-PRO wader was designed specifically for female anglers. This wader incorporates our reliable, extensively field tested 4-layer waterproof-breathable fabric and SonicWeld seams to create an ultra-functional wader with superior durability for uncompromising performance on the water. Stretch side panels allow anglers to move easily in and out of this wader and add comfort on the water. The flattering design works to fit a woman’s body properly, with minimal pockets to reduce bulk and a stretch mesh back panel to move with the body while casting and crouching. The WOMEN’S SONIC-PRO wader simply performs; it’s durable, comfortable, and designed for women who fish.

Echo Carbon XL

Our best-selling fly rods…three years running.

A true all-around performer with the features and feel associated with rods four times the cost. Tim designed these rods to be airy-light with actions that benefit a wide range of casting styles and fishing situations. Bass to browns, bluegill to brookies, the Carbon XL covers it all.

A true all-around performer with the features and feel associated with rods four times the cost. Tim Rajeff designed these rods to be airy-light with actions that benefit a wide range of casting styles and fishing situations. Bass to browns, bluegill to brookies, the Carbon XL covers it all.

Fishpond Cutbank Gear Bag $249.95

A gear sanctuary on the water

Designed to organize gear and keep it dry. With the Fishpond signature molded bottom and welded recycled TPU fabric, the Cutbank Gear bag covers the bases. As a specialized tackle bag that keeps gear dry on a raft or drift boat, as well as the perfect size to fit in the hatch of most all flats boats, this gear/tackle bag is an organization system that allows for easy access wherever your adventures take you. Built with our incredibly tough 1680d TPU coated recycled Cyclepond nylon, YKK water resistant zippers, and welded construction with a molded top and bottom, this is more than just another gear bag. Think of this as a gear sanctuary on the water.

Simms Exstream Hat  $69.99

Mandatory headwear for winter fishing on the MO’.

Fleece furnace meets 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell protection Snuff an Arctic assault with Simms’ fully waterproof, quilted fleece-lined 3-layer GORE-TEX® ExStream™ Hat. Features include a plush elastic sweatband and customizable fit thanks to an adjustable circumference with a back cord lock. Black under the brim reduces glare. One size fits most.

Stanley Wolf Creek Angler Growler  $59.00

First fill is on us at Blackfoot River Brewing Company in Helena

 

 

What’s that call echoing throughout the land, bouncing off mountains and tumbling through valleys? “Cold beer, and lots of it!” the armies of the thirsty cry out. Rising to the call for cold, fresh beer, the 64oz Classic Vacuum Growler lets you transport your favorite brew in fully functional and iconic style. Take control with a rugged handle for easy carry and one-handed pouring. The wide mouth allows for quick filling, sharing, and cleaning. That satisfying ‘pop’ you hear when you open this bad boy is a sure sign your beer is fresh and bubbly. It ain’t Grandad’s old vacuum bottle, but he’ll raise his pint in admiration. You might just have to top him off.

Fly Boxes Galore   $24.00 – $129.00

(and plenty of flies with which to fill them)

Fly boxes make great Christmas gifts and we’ve got something in every price range.  From $24 plastic WCA logo boxes to hand-made  Al Swanson boxes and everything in between. Choose your box and load it up. Don’t forget our “Cheaper by the Dozen” special going on now…$5/dozen flies while they last.

WCA  Gift Cards  $Any Amount

A perennial favorite for any occasion, but especially for the holidays…WCA gift cards are the perfect gift for all of those anglers on your list for whom you have absolutely no idea what to buy. You can get them in any amount, they never expire and they’re good for absolutely EVERYTHING we sell. Lodging, guide trips, shuttles, boat rentals, merchandise….EVERYTHING! We’re happy to mail them anywhere in the world you need them sent. Just give us a call and we can take care of all of it right over the phone.

These are just a few ideas based on some of our more popular items but we’ve got a shop full of all kinds of gear in every price range. We’re more than happy to help you with gift ideas and while we haven’t yet ventured into E-commerce we’re more than happy to ship you whatever you need.

We hope you keep us in mind when shopping for your favorite fly fishers.

 

 

 

 

Mid September Fishing Report

We bid a final farewell to summer this week with the official start of fall arriving Saturday.

The Autumn chill has been in the air for a while now, especially in the mornings. You’ll want to layer up for sure.

The late summer fishing has been outstanding these past weeks and should remain strong from here on out.

On the dry fly side, Tricos are still in the mix but it’s feeling like that ship has all but sailed. Still a daily event but sporadic  at best.

The terrestrial game has been hit or miss this year with ants outperforming hoppers by a long shot. If you stick with the hoppers you’re bound to get an eat or two but trailing an ant has been the right call more often than not.

Hopper wise we’ve had decent action on Moorish and More or Less hoppers in peach, yellow, pink and tan with none of the above consistently out-producing any of the others. You can’t go wrong with purple chubbies. They seem to out-fish the hoppers every time.

Black parachute ants, sparkle ants and Blooms Stealth Ant in purple have all been effective ant options.

There have been enough caddis around daily that a #16 outrigger or plain old elk hair caddis paired with your ant of choice might just make you forget all about the hopper fishing. Hoppers are definitely fun to fish and the takes are awesome but lately your hook up odds have been better with a caddis or even a plain old, tried and true parachute Adams.  If you insist on fishing the bigger dries an October caddis wouldn’t be a bad call. I haven’t personally seen any bugs just yet but it’s time!

Nymphing wise the Zirdle craze may finally be reaching an end. I’m not quite ready to proclaim the death of the Zirdle, I tried that once a few weeks back and was proven grossly mistaken. It has definitely slowed though and I’ve actually had a few days where we ditched it altogether. That being said, they’re still selling well and I’m fairly confident that WCA may have the most comprehensive Zirdle selection in the canyon.

We’ve seen a shift towards rainbow Czechs and a return to Tailwater Sows and have also had a run on black zebra midges. Weight Flies in gold and purple have been consistently producing and Psycho Mays and LGM’s and Peep Shows are still go to options. Outliers have been October Caddis nymphs and Soft Hackle Hares Ear and PT jigs. Look for BWO Magic Flies and Split Case BWO’s to come into play sooner rather than later.

Streamers Anyone?

The streamer brigade has been at it consistently during the low light hours and overcast days and if these past two weeks are any indication we could be in for a fantastic fall streamer season on the MO this year.

Weeds have been a problem, especially in the canyon and will continue to present a real challenge throughout the fall but as we’ve said before if you know that going in and you don’t let the frustration get the best of you it goes a long way towards making your time on the water more enjoyable.

It can be tedious work but it’s imperative that you keep your bugs clean (applies to dries and nymphs as well). Trout don’t like salad on their bugs. If you’re dragging weeds around you are pretty much guaranteed not to catch anything and what a shame it would be to have your perfect placement and/or perfect drift negated by weeds on your bugs.

I haven’t observed a lot of streamer fishing going on out there (aside from that occurring in my boat) but judging by the abundance of empty spaces in the streamer bin it’s game on. Reinforcements are on the way and the bins will be full by the time you get here. ZK’s MK Ultra, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow (JJ or Sculpin), Dirty Hippy in brown, ZK’s Inflated Ego, Autumn Splendor, Skiddish Smolt, Lil Kim, Circus Peanuts and D & D’s are all topping the weekly sales report for what it’s worth.

Traffic is moderate and will continue to increase as we settle into our fall season. Lodging is busy through the end of October but not so busy that we can’t fit you in. Ditto for guide trips. I’d make that call sooner than later though so you don’t miss out on what could very well be the best fall fishing we’ve seen in years.

Don’t miss the fall wader sale going on now at Wolf Creek Angler. 25% off all men’s and women’s waders and boots from Redington and Korkers.

We’re also fully stocked with new cold weather gear from Simms and still have some great deals going on summer gear.

September Fishing Forecast

Fall Colors on the MO’

September has arrived.

Labor Day has come and gone. Summer Vacation is OVER. School is back in session. High School and college football are underway and NFL football returns this Sunday. Could this be the Lions’ year?

Technically we’ve still got almost three weeks of summer to go but for all intents and purposes autumn has arrived.

It even feels like fall today with a chilly 42 degrees this morning and a high only in the 60’s. We’ll see a return to the 80’s this week before things trend cooler again starting Saturday.

As you might imagine the Tuesday after Labor Day tends to be a quiet day in the shop and on the river but it won’t be long before things fire up again as we enter what we’ve come to refer to as our “second season”.

Rivaling our peak months of June and July, mid -September through mid- November offer some of the best fishing of the season. Having lost a good part of the prime time this season to high flows we’re hoping for an especially strong fall and by the looks of things we’re going to get it.

Guide dates and lodging are filling quickly for late September and the first half of October. The weather will dictate what happens after that but late October and early November have been money for as long as I’ve been here.

We’ll keep as much lodging open for as long as we can but as the cold begins to take hold we’ll be forced to start shutting things down, likely mid to late October. The motel units are the first to be closed and we generally keep the cabins open through Thanksgiving. Our bungalows and the shop are open year round and guides are available any and every day of the year.

Epic dry fly fishing and phenomenal streamer fishing along with great nymphing opportunities define late fall on the Missouri. Crisp autumn air, BWO’s and predatory browns on the prowl make fall my favorite time to fish the MO’ and in fact my favorite time to fish period.

Crowds will soon return, though not like what we see during the prime time so there is some solitude to be had out there as many turn their attention to hunting from here on out.

Expect tricos to continue for the next week or two and stay focused on your pseudo as well as your hopper/terrestrial game. Caddis have been resurgent as of late and will continue to offer opportunities as we await the autumn BWO’s.

Nymphers are finding success with gold or purple weight flies, Psycho Mays, LGM’s, Purple Lightning Bugs, PT’s, Peep Shows, Redemptions, Zebras, 2 Bits and the like. Claws R Cray, Snapping Crays and Zirdles continue to drive the numbers.

Streamer fishing is heating up and will only get better from here on out. Low light conditions and overcast days are key but don’t feel like you can’t fish streamers in the sun. Sunny clear days may not be optimal but you never know unless you throw. There are plenty of big fish caught on streamers on sunny days. Don’t wait for perfect conditions, work with what you’ve got.

Speaking of conditions, prepare yourself mentally to contend with the weeds no matter how you’re fishing. They can frustrate the best anglers out there but if you choose your water wisely and expect the inevitable it’ll go a long way in helping you maintain your sanity.

Olive has been working well as have natural and tan. JJ Sparkle Minnow shines this time of year but don’t give up on the Sculpin version which seems to get it done in just about any conditions. ZK’s MK Ultra in grey or brown and yellow, Dirty Hippies, ZK’s Inflated Ego, Montana Mouthwash, Galloups Peanut Envy, Skiddish Smolt, buggers and polar leeches all good choices right now.

You’ve heard it here plenty and we’ll continue to preach it…fish what you like and fish it well. Confidence in your bugs makes all the difference in the world no matter what discipline but it’s critical in the streamer game.

Most are stripping, some are swinging. Cover a lot of water and bomb the banks but don’t overlook the riffles, drop offs and buckets. The fish are everywhere. Stripping off of the bank will get you your best ROI but you could definitely hit pay dirt hitting the water overlooked by most.

Fish the next two weeks if you want solitude. Busy days are coming.

Holter Dam to Craig is still your best bet for mixing it up with nymphs and dries (emphasis on nymphs). I’d stay below Craig if it’s streamer or terrestrial action you seek.

Welcome to fall on the Missouri. Be sure and pay us a visit for obscene deals on summer gear. We’re in the process of shifting to colder weather gear and will see an influx of new arrivals coming soon.

From the top guides on the river to affordable lodging to shuttles and accessories, rods and reels, lines and leaders, boots and waders and the best bug selection in the canyon we are your Missouri River one stop shop for everything autumn fly fishing.

Don’t miss our Fall Wader Sale happening now. Fall is the time to drag the waders and boots back out. Why not treat yourself to an upgrade. 25% off all wading gear while it lasts. We proudly feature Redington waders and boots as well as Korkers boots which continue to dominate with interchangeable felt and rubber soles.

There are always great deals to be had at Wolf Creek Angler, the best shop you never know was 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!!