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 Post subject: The Missouri River
PostPosted: July 30th, 2018, 8:44 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Ellsworth
All........

After leaving Paradise Valley three of us headed northwest for two and a half hours to the Craig/Dearborn area for a week on the Missouri River. I love the Mighty MO as she’s called out there.

Craig Mt. is a typical Western Fishing town. Three fly shops, two bars, a bridge, and that’s about it. You go there to fish the Missouri....there would be no other reason to go there. I imagine it must be pretty grim there in January.......but it’s a happening place in July!

We were worried all spring as the flows were ridiculously high........virtually unwadeable. We were hoping the water would drop to wadeable levels by the time we got there. It did, finally, but just barely. I’ve been fishing the MO for over twenty years, and I’d never seen it that high.

We ran into Hutch on our first evening there. The nymphing was quite good......dry fly fishing, not so much. The clouds of Caddis we usually get were curiously absent. They usually come off in clouds, but simply didn’t in the high water.

The evening Fishing lower down on the island we fish, and in the back channel was very good. A #18 or #20 Corn Fed Caddis proved to be the winning ticket. We hammered them in that fly.

The Rainbows on the MO average the largest, and hottest, of any river I fish in the entire country. Most will take you into your backing.......some several times WAY into your backing.

In the week we were there I personally took two Bows over 21”, and I’d say they averaged a solid 18”......something that can truthfully be said for damn few fisheries.

As only 6000 FPS came come through the turbines of Holter Dam, and we were at give/take 6800 most of the time we were there the water was way warmer than normal. We usually fish it at 60* to 62*.......it was 68* most of the week. Way too warm.

While, truthfully, the weeks Fishing wasn’t really up to out usual standards, one morning in particular really stands out. David, Roy, and I rented a drift boat and floated a section lower down than we usually either fish, or float.

We had an absolute freaking ball. We had rafts of Trike Spinners........and pods of trout up on them.......feeding like I’ve never seen trout feed on a Trico Spinner Fall. There were slashing like Bluefish......and it lasted for almost four hours! It started about 9 am, and lasted until after 1 pm. I don’t know how many the three of us out into the boat, but between hits, pulls, break offs (7X isn’t 4x if you recall) and getting them into the net it was a super middleweight ruing. We were all giddy after it was over. All of us agreed it was the best Spinner Fall we’d ever fished.

A #20 short shank (TMC #2488) Bead Head Sunken Trico Spinner was the winning lottery ticket. Luckily I’d tied up several dozen of them......as neither Roy nor David had.

Several years ago a Guide I knew told me that on Trico Spinner falls for every trout you see up on top gulping Spinners there are five to ten underneath not showing but gulping sunken Trike Spinners. That has proven to be sage advice. I fished mine with a #22 Parachute Adams on the tippet (dry) and the sunken Spinner 18” under the dry. No strike indicator......the dry signifies the take. Pig simple......and very effective.

We realized we should have rented drift boats much earlier in the week.

After a week of Rainbows we headed off about seven hours southeast to hit Ft. Smith, and the Bighorn. More to come........

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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 Post subject: Re: The Missouri River
PostPosted: July 30th, 2018, 8:48 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Ellsworth
“Middleweight ruling”? WTF is that? Damn auto correct......I have no idea what I wrote, but sure as hell wasnt middleweight ruling. Shesshhhhh.....

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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 Post subject: Re: The Missouri River
PostPosted: July 30th, 2018, 9:30 am 
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Joined: September 28th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 2624
Dave
From reading all your posts I've figured out something. You need a coin slot on your fly boxes. You seem to have the flies the fish like and your "fishing buddies" don't. Good thing you enjoy tying as much as you do. That sunken "Trico spinner" sounds interesting. I don't get to fish the spinner fall when it happens on the Farmington as I would like to due to my schedule. But I have now and then and that seems like it would add to it. The hot hatch in the dead of summer on the Farmington you would enjoy (your penchant for tiny flies) would be the needhami (Ephemerella needhami) #24-32.
Always enjoy your TR's

Ron

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The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of something that is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.

Sir John Buchan


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 Post subject: Re: The Missouri River
PostPosted: July 30th, 2018, 10:03 pm 
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Joined: August 12th, 2010, 10:51 pm
Posts: 219
Well Ron, you do have a point, Dave is indeed generous with his flies, which he has in abundance. But it's important to remember the old adage "one hand washes the other" As generous and well endowed Dave is with his flies, he is, alas, extremely challenged in the culinary arts, if a diet of M&M's and peanuts could sustain a man of Dave's proportions for almost 3 weeks he could well profit from a coin slot on his fly box. However, if he wants to eat.........well you get my drift. We all bring something different to the "table". Another great trip, even with the high water issues, nymph fishing was almost a waste of time but the Tricos and black Caddis more than made up for it, throw in a little "bank robbing" and you have the stuff dreams are made of. Many thanks to Joel Anderson and David Williams for their sheer talent and generosity, both with the oars and the guidance, and to Roy and Bruce for rounding out our our trusty band of trout warriors. Terry

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 Post subject: Re: The Missouri River
PostPosted: July 31st, 2018, 7:32 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Ellsworth
Terry is absolutely correct. His culinary skills are non pareil. We eat very well when Terry gets serious on the stove.

David and Joel were on the sticks after I injured my back/ hip after trying to lift a ridiculously heavy anchor on the DB.

We have a truly fun time with great guys.

If you want to see a wonderful video shot the last morning we were there shot by the Big Horn Trout Shop see my Facebook page. Trico’s on the Bighorn.....it just doesn’t get any better than that.

As to the flies, I probably give away many more flies every year than I could possibly use myself. Not an issue.

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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 Post subject: Re: The Missouri River
PostPosted: July 31st, 2018, 8:54 am 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5306
Location: Manchester, ME
terry w wrote:
nymph fishing was almost a waste of time but the Tricos and black Caddis more than made up for it, throw in a little "bank robbing" and you have the stuff dreams are made of. Terry


Damn, man, 20 years later, year after year of fishing in dry fly heaven at prime time, and you still complain because you have to use a dry fly and can't pound 'em up on a nymph! You can take the man off the Sheepscot, but you can't wash the Sheepscot off the man. :wink:

Sounds like a great trip. T-46 days to my departure for Soda Butte, the Lamar, Slough Creek and (this year) the Bechler.


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 Post subject: Re: The Missouri River
PostPosted: August 1st, 2018, 10:35 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 4074
Location: Ellsworth
Jeff Reardon wrote:
terry w wrote:
nymph fishing was almost a waste of time but the Tricos and black Caddis more than made up for it, throw in a little "bank robbing" and you have the stuff dreams are made of. Terry[/quote

Sounds like a great trip. T-46 days to my departure for Soda Butte, the Lamar, Slough Creek and (this year) the Bechler.



Jeff.......

Sounds like you’ll have a great trip. Do, however, wish for no rain or thunderstorms! The Lamar, and to a lesser extent, Soda Butte, tend to get cafe au lait colored when it rains, and that really puts off the Fishing.

I haven’t actually fished the northeast corner of the Oark in many years, but I used to fish it every year. In all those years I recall only being able to fish the Lamar one time. All the rest of the time she was blown out.

Soda Butte can be a blast. Good luck, my friend!

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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 Post subject: Re: The Missouri River
PostPosted: August 1st, 2018, 11:03 am 
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Joined: August 28th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 1356
Location: Standish, ME
As much as I hate to wish away time, all this talk is getting me twitchy for September - the Bechler adventure in particular! Thanks for sharing Dave!

Jeff Reardon wrote:
terry w wrote:
nymph fishing was almost a waste of time but the Tricos and black Caddis more than made up for it, throw in a little "bank robbing" and you have the stuff dreams are made of. Terry


Damn, man, 20 years later, year after year of fishing in dry fly heaven at prime time, and you still complain because you have to use a dry fly and can't pound 'em up on a nymph! You can take the man off the Sheepscot, but you can't wash the Sheepscot off the man. :wink:

Sounds like a great trip. T-46 days to my departure for Soda Butte, the Lamar, Slough Creek and (this year) the Bechler.


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 Post subject: Re: The Missouri River
PostPosted: August 1st, 2018, 5:33 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5306
Location: Manchester, ME
Dave M wrote:
Terry is absolutely correct. His culinary skills are non pareil. We eat very well when Terry gets serious on the stove.

David and Joel were on the sticks after I injured my back/ hip after trying to lift a ridiculously heavy anchor on the DB.

We have a truly fun time with great guys.

If you want to see a wonderful video shot the last morning we were there shot by the Big Horn Trout Shop see my Facebook page. Trico’s on the Bighorn.....it just doesn’t get any better than that.

As to the flies, I probably give away many more flies every year than I could possibly use myself. Not an issue.

Dave M


Dave, I think you are there earlier in the summer. We've been there two years running in mid September, and, if anything, I would have liked a little more water. We did see the Lamar, though not Soda Butte, cloud up on one rainy day, but it was cleared up in a day--and I spent that on the VIP Pool at Slough Creek, which was crystal clear. That was a good day!

The rain put out this fire

[url][url=https://flic.kr/p/M9PwFu]Image[/url]DSC_3373 by pixdee, on Flickr[/url]

So I could hike into the lower end of Slough
[url]
ImageP9130052 by pixdee, on Flickr
[/url]


And spend about an hour getting the right fly (#20 parachute Adams) on the right drift for this fish:

[url][url=https://flic.kr/p/LPv5Fb]Image[/url]P9130059 by pixdee, on Flickr[/url]


Last edited by Jeff Reardon on August 1st, 2018, 7:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Missouri River
PostPosted: August 1st, 2018, 5:34 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5306
Location: Manchester, ME
fixed it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Missouri River
PostPosted: August 1st, 2018, 9:10 pm 
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Joined: August 12th, 2010, 10:51 pm
Posts: 219
Jeez, Jeff, a bead head PT would probably have taken it on the first drift. Those fish are so beautiful!

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 Post subject: Re: The Missouri River
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2018, 10:22 am 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5306
Location: Manchester, ME
terry w wrote:
Jeez, Jeff, a bead head PT would probably have taken it on the first drift. Those fish are so beautiful!


Yeah, Ken B would have probably pounded it up with a bead head leech. I will admit that in desperation I have hung a small bead head ant (maybe similar to the bead head trico?) off a dry fly, and the cutts just love it. But it makes me feel dirty. :lol:


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