The mighty Missouri is the longest river in North America. From its headwaters in Three Forks, Montana, “The Mo” flows north through several towns including the state’s capital, Helena, and a series of dams and reservoirs. The classic tailwater stretch of the Missouri lies below Holter dam near Wolf Creek and Craig, Montana. Some people call this river “The Ditch” because it is so big and wide. But don’t let its flattering nickname and lazy flows fool you, the Missouri is a serious fish factory. Most years the upper river fish counts average in 5-6000 trout per mile range, the majority of which are in the 16″-18″ class. The spring season offers some excellent dry fly fishing, and nymphing will always keep the rods bent during the day. Streamers shine on the right days and the Missouri is a great place to thrown spey and switch rods. Especially in the winter time.
A reach of the Missouri river referred to as “LAND OF GIANTS” is located below Hauser Dam, which feeds into Holter Lake. This 8 mile stretch of river between Hauser and Holter lakes produces some of the biggest rainbow and brown trout in the state. Wade fishing opportunities exist, but to really do it right, booking a guide for a jet boat trip is helpful. We work with several Coast Guard certified captains who can make that trip happen.
An often productive, lesser known stretch of the Missouri lies between Three Forks and Helena. This reach tends to fish best in the spring and fall for trout, but some summers produce great hopper fishing for trophy sized trout. During the heat of the summer when trout fishing can be its most challenging, this stretch of river offers sight fishing opportunities for other species that will chase a stripped fly. Fall fishing will give you a shot at a trophy brown and maybe even a few walleye for the frying pan at the end of the day.