Missouri River Fishing Report

This Missouri River fishing report is valid from mid-April until early May.

Except on the Upper Missouri, right now is “nymph season, especially pink.” Fish AMEX, Rainbow Czech, Caviar Scuds, pink worms, pink Lightning Bugs, pink everything. Anything natural-colored (Zebra Midge, WD-40, assorted BWO nymphs) is sort of an afterthought, especially below Hauser. Look for fast walking-speed runs. Below Holter, avoid shallow gravel. Below Hauser, the population depends on stocking and you will see many anglers fishing redds. I still suggest fishing the deep runs, but you do you.

The Upper Missouri between Toston Dam and Canyon Ferry Reservoir is a sneaker bet for enormous trout this time of year. Nymph or swing streamers through the big, obvious runs. You will not catch many fish. You might get one or two huge ones, though. This is experts-only fishing more like steelheading than most area trout fishing. Check current regs to make sure you’re not fishing areas with seasonal spawning closures.

Land of Giants (Hauser Tailwater) is nightmarishly crowded for the next month, especially on pleasant days without much wind. Low flows will cluster boats in the 2mi below Hauser Dam, which makes the crowding worse overall. Fish various flavors of eggs as your first-choice pattern. Many of the fish will be very beat-up, and this can be almost shoulder-shoulder combat fishing. I have seen fist fights…

The Holter Tailwater will be busy too, but since there are many more access points and a lot more water, it is possible to spread out. Some mud might come in from Little Prickly Pear or the Dearborn, but it should be transient until early May. Some midge action is possible on the surface. BWO will be limited until early May.

Learn more about fishing the Land of Giants section of the Missouri River.

Missouri River Fishing Report – Relevant Links