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Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06

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2009/5/26 8:36
From York & Starlight, PA
Posts: 569
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The water was the lowest I'd seen it in seventeen years and the lowest anyone had seen in at least twenty-five years. The release I usually see at that time period is between 4,000 cfs & 6,000 cfs. It was 2,700 cfs for the entire trip and the water temperature was never cooler than 62. I'd say the average was 66 and one day it got up to 68 at the release point.

Lots of PMD's and very good cinnamon caddis. The last three days I had Tricos but only the last day two days did the fish feed to them. Every day, except the last day, was 90 degrees or more. The high was 98 degrees. There was a ton of guide boats and even more recreational boaters on July 04 & 05. I could say 250 boats on the Fourth of July and not be exaggerating.

The low and warmer (than usual) water makes the aquatic grass and weeds break off and float down stream in the water column. I lost at least 80% of my 19" and bigger fish to weeds accumulating on the line, then sliding down the leader, and either breaking the 5X or the sheer weight of the wet grass would pull the hook right out of the fish's mouth.

But I still managed a bunch of fish. Only one fish less than 15" in ten days and only two 16" fish. All the rest were 17" - 19" with about half a dozen 20" and two that went 21.5". I went solo this year so only have a few pictures actually holding fish. Often I was too far into the river to walk all the way back and take a picture of the fish. But here are a couple. Enjoy!

Attach file:



jpg  19 Inch Rainbow.JPG (83.00 KB)
2548_51db53ac469d0.jpg 640X360 px

jpg  20 Inch Rainbow.JPG (80.50 KB)
2548_51db53c19b1f5.jpg 640X360 px

jpg  Bull Pasture Rainbow.jpg (71.05 KB)
2548_51db53d850fa7.jpg 516X351 px

jpg  21 Inch Brown at Bull Pasture.jpg (64.21 KB)
2548_51db53e8ad1b3.jpg 623X324 px

jpg  At the Aquarium.jpg (61.52 KB)
2548_51db54166fd31.jpg 359X457 px

jpg  Rainbow at the Haystacks.JPG (74.50 KB)
2548_51db54242b753.jpg 640X360 px

jpg  Tricos at the Bull Pasture.JPG (79.50 KB)
2548_51db5432c7331.jpg 640X360 px

jpg  Sunset on the Missouri.JPG (78.50 KB)
2548_51db543e6b2f6.jpg 640X360 px

jpg  19 Inch Rainbow (2).JPG (240.96 KB)
2548_51db56cf1d815.jpg 640X480 px

jpg  Thick Rainbow.JPG (235.51 KB)
2548_51db572103980.jpg 640X480 px

Posted on: 2013/7/8 20:07
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Fly fisher for fifty years.


Re: Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 734
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Nice fish! I also love the sunset and rainbow pics. Looks like you had a blast, thanks for sharing. I heard the snow pack was pretty light this year, the low flows confirm that.

I've been planning my next trip out West since I boarded the plane in Jackson to head home. Sadly, I won't get there this year. It will be August 2014 at the earliest, more likely to be summer 2015. It seems so far away.

Posted on: 2013/7/9 7:28


Re: Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8868
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Great report wb. The snowpack was near average in most of MT, don't know why the release is so low.

Amazing river for dry fly fishing and it never ceases to amaze me that year after year the dinks measure out at 16" +/-.

Thanks for the report.

Posted on: 2013/7/9 7:39

Edited by afishinado on 2013/7/9 9:16:35


Re: Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06

Joined:
2009/5/26 8:36
From York & Starlight, PA
Posts: 569
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afishinado wrote;

"The snowpack was near average in most of MT, don't know why the release is so low."

At 07/09 07:45 MDT this morning this was the data for the area I fished;

Missouri River bl Holter Dam near Wolf Cr MT;

Historical average 5,120 cfs - Current release 2,870 cfs

You can see that the current flow/release out of Holter Dam is 56% of what would be considered the historical average for this date.

it is really low! All the places where I would fish to bank feeders don't exist because where the water used to be 12" deep directly adjacent to the banks there is nothing but dry river bed extending 4' - 6', and more, from the land. During a typical ten day trip I can usually expect to catch 3 - 4 22" - 24" browns that are sipping just inches from the bank. The fish in the pictures below were caught in 2010 when the river, and channels, were full of water.

Attach file:



jpg  24.25 inches.jpg (796.77 KB)
2548_51dc1b9bac18c.jpg 1794X920 px

jpg  Monster Brown.jpg (285.03 KB)
2548_51dc1bb1f107d.jpg 640X425 px

Posted on: 2013/7/9 10:18
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Fly fisher for fifty years.


Re: Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06

Joined:
2011/2/15 17:20
From Philly
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As someone who has yet to crack the 20" (trout) mark, I can say I'm quite jealous of your report.

Well done!


Posted on: 2013/7/9 10:27


Re: Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06

Joined:
2009/5/26 8:36
From York & Starlight, PA
Posts: 569
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Hello Jay,

"As someone who has yet to crack the 20" (trout) mark".

I have been fly fishing for at least fifty-two (52) years. I have been very fortunate to have been able to fish streams, and rivers, that host good populations of larger trout. This last trip was about (I've lost accurate count) my fortieth trip to Montana. I missed 1995 when I was ill, 2002 when I went bonefishing for a week, and 2011 when the rivers were blown out. It took me a long time to get into the 20" class and if you persever (sp?) - keep at it! you will get those larger trout. Obviously you need to focus on rivers where 20" trout are not so rare as to be once a season fish but look at river systems with good insect life, forage fish, and wild trout. Good luck!

Posted on: 2013/7/9 10:44
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Fly fisher for fifty years.


Re: Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06

Joined:
2009/12/3 14:56
From Cato, NY
Posts: 970
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Great Report and Pics. Someday I hope to take the RV there and be a troutbum for a week or two.

Posted on: 2013/7/9 11:00


Re: Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06

Joined:
2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2765
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Matt,

Nice report and I will make it there in the next year or two.

Posted on: 2013/7/9 21:51
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Re: Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06

Joined:
2012/3/6 8:49
From Philadelphia
Posts: 7
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Awesome pics, and thanks for sharing.

Fished (floated) the Mo a few years back in August. All hoppers, and as indicated, nearly all big fish. It was some of the best fishing I have ever seen. Since a number of guys have indicated a desire to make the trip, this is a good lodging/fly shop option: http://prewettcreekinn.com/. Reasonable prices, bar/restaurant on site, fly shop on site, shuttle services, etc. Mom and pop operation--lovely older couple.

Posted on: 2013/7/11 9:38


Re: Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06

Joined:
2009/5/26 8:36
From York & Starlight, PA
Posts: 569
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Cascade is at least twenty-five miles from Wolf Creek. It looks like a nice resort but when you fish until 10:00 the last thing I want to do is drive 25 miles back to my lodging.

Posted on: 2013/7/11 13:11
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Fly fisher for fifty years.


Re: Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06

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2008/7/31 14:51
Posts: 21
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wbranch, can you recommend a place to stay in the area?

Posted on: 2013/7/11 16:54


Re: Missouri River - Lewis & Clark County Montana June 26 - July 06

Joined:
2009/5/26 8:36
From York & Starlight, PA
Posts: 569
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There are many places to stay but for reasonable lodging you can't beat where I have stayed for sixteen years. It is called Montana River Outfitter's. They rent drift & pontoon boats as well as kayaks. They also provide shuttle service for a fair fee. There are motel rooms, cabins, and bungalows. PM if you want detailed info on walk-in access points or places to launch a pontoon boat or kayak.

http://www.montanariveroutfitters.com/

Posted on: 2013/7/11 17:15
_________________
Fly fisher for fifty years.






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