Summer Days on the Missouri

2020 continues to confound.

It’s hard to believe but July is upon us, and with it, the continued peak flows of the season. 10,900 CFS at the time of this writing with a couple of more bumps to come today and tomorrow. We may in fact be bumping up against 13K by tomorrow and while that’s far from ideal for the legions of wade anglers currently either sitting on the sidelines or renting boats, it’s not all bad.

Canyon Ferry is currently 100 percent full with the flood control pool currently 14.5% full. Inflow is 10,377 with outflow at 10,040 CFS. We’re approaching equilibrium with plenty of water for the season ahead. That’s good news.

Soon enough the flows will be reduced and conditions will again approach perfection. In the meantime we’re already looking at flows exceeding 12K below the Dearborn but after cresting yesterday things are on the drop and it shouldn’t take long to clear.

Water temps are still holding at around 59 degrees thanks to below average temps during the day and downright chilly nights which have been dipping into the 40’s regularly. It doesn’t feel much like summer but it will soon enough. Our extended green season will soon be behind us but thankfully healthy flows should maintain for the season.

Despite the higher flows the fishing has actually continued to be fairly consistent both for the dry fly crowd and the nymphing set alike and the hard core streamer contingent continues to thwart convention, taking advantage of the extended clean-water season. We’ve been exploiting these higher flows and the color being added by the LPP and Dearborn to put together some respectable days on streamers and it looks like we could have at least another week of it.

We’d recommend concentrating your efforts sub-surface for the remainder of the week as the additional couple thousand CFS promised for the next two days may effectively shut down dry fly fishing for the time being. If you simply can’t accept that then focus on the side channels and soft water locales for your dry fly fix. We’re not sure when she’s coming down but it shouldn’t be long. If I had to venture a guess I’d say that we should see flows start to fall by the weekend and certainly by next week.

Dry Fly options still PMD’s and Caddis. Tricos on deck. Best bets – Rusty Spinners, PMD CDC Spinner, Buzzball, Film Critic, Flash Cripple, Blooms Parachute Caddis, Outrigger Caddis, Cornfed Caddis, CDC Caddis Emerger. We’ve gotten a few calls inquiring about Terrestrial Fishing this week and while it’s not quite prime-time for terrestrials you could certainly do worse things than throw an ant these days.

Best bet for nymphing – PMD nymphs (Crack Backs, Split Case, PMD Redemption, Frenchie, Psycho May, S & M PMD, Magic Fly, LGM) Caddis Pupae (Purple or Gold Weight Fly, Tung Dart, Nitro Caddis) and general purpose staples like Fish Finder Worms, Pheasant Tails, Sow Bugs and Czechs.

Streamers – Olive buggers, Lil Kim, Sparkle Minnows, MK Ultras, Dirty Hippie (Brown), Mini Dungeons, MoJo Minnow etc. Fruit Rollups and Pine Squirrel Leeches are never a bad call and crayfish have had their moments as of late.

Boat rentals have blown up this week so you’ll definitely want to call ahead if you’re thinking you’re going to rent a boat. We’re in the thick of it with guide trips but do have openings for those last minute plans. Lodging is full of holes due to Covid cancellations. We’re busy with lodging but not nearly as busy as we should be during the first week of July so if you’re thinking of changing summer travel plans and possibly putting together a trip to the MO give us a call. It’s likely we can get you set up with guides and lodging in the weeks to come.

The balancing act continues in the shop, trying to keep things somewhat minimal while at the same time making sure we have all the staples you need and thus far I feel like we’ve done a good job with it. Flies, leaders, tippet, fly lines, tools and accessories are fully stocked. Hats and T’s and gifty things….not quite so much.

Official summer hours are 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily. Guide trips have been going out around 8 AM and Rental Boats have been being delivered at the crack of dawn.

We’re keeping a close eye on the Covid situation and doing everything in our power to operate in the safest possible manner for our clients as well as our employees. You can rest assured we’re committed to our cleaning/disinfecting protocols in the shop and we’re leaning heavily towards requiring masks for our customers. Not quite there but we’ll keep you posted.