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Discussion Starter #1
This Missouri river in MT video just got me bit! :laugh:

https://vimeo.com/185560307

Looking at a last minute trip next month to going to Craig or Cascade MT for some fall trout action.
Fly shops say October is better than November for fishing due to less snow ?

Flying into either GTF or HLN airport, renting a car and driving...

Bringing my 4 and 5 wt trout spey for swinging flies and streamers.
The lines I have are only floating but I do have various tips, intermediate, sinking, etc...
Really miss not having a triple density sinking head for steelhead like the FIST for my trout spey...
Planning on the colder weather with my steelhead outfit.

Other than that, what else would I need to bring ?

Any areas on the Missouri better for fall fishing ? Above Holter dam or below ?

Anyone use a guide they recommend ?

I heard Headhunters Fly shop in Craig is the trout spey leader...

Opinions ?
:confused:
 

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Head Hunters is awesome

Expect wind

Have a great time! Be sure to share your experience and some pictures

I am considering a similar trip
 
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This Missouri river in MT video just got me bit! :laugh:

https://vimeo.com/185560307

Looking at a last minute trip next month to going to Craig or Cascade MT for some fall trout action.
Fly shops say October is better than November for fishing due to less snow ?

Flying into either GTF or HLN airport, renting a car and driving...

Bringing my 4 and 5 wt trout spey for swinging flies and streamers.
The lines I have are only floating but I do have various tips, intermediate, sinking, etc...
Really miss not having a triple density sinking head for steelhead like the FIST for my trout spey...
Planning on the colder weather with my steelhead outfit.

Other than that, what else would I need to bring ?

Any areas on the Missouri better for fall fishing ? Above Holter dam or below ?

Anyone use a guide they recommend ?

I heard Headhunters Fly shop in Craig is the trout spey leader...

Opinions ?
:confused:
Bring a 4 or 5wt single hander as the dry fly for baetis could be very good.
You can certainly fish a floating line but it will limit you to shallower water and there is a good deal of water where it's nice to get down at least 4 feet or so.

October is typically safer for the weather and often downright glorious but November fishes just as well if you are swinging, in my opinion.

Even in October you should be prepared for the worst as far as weather goes. Bring your warmest clothes and serious rain gear. Most likely it will be nice if a front isn't moving through and you can hope for temps that might still get up into the high 60s during the day with lows in the 30s and 40s with possibly frost.

I personally prefer a skagit with a pretty heavy tip on the Missouri and keep in mind these are trout that actually want to chase a fly. Adding some movement to your fly will increase your number of hook ups compared to just straight swinging a fly. It usually fishes very well in the fall and you can expect double digit days when you get things dialed in.

You can rent boats from Headhunters and the other shops. The Mo is about the easiest river to row in Montana. There is also a good deal of public access from the dam down to Craig. The people at Headhunters can line you out for all of that.
If I was coming for the first time I would concentrate on the water from the dam to Craig and get to know some of the runs. There's great swing water everywhere on the river but the access on foot gets tougher below Craig as there is a lot of private property, houses etc. That being said there are many places to get into the river up and down the river and just driving around and exploring you will find them.

I usually fish a kreelex. Think smallish bait pattern flies around a size 4 streamer hook trout stuff.
You can certainly try steelhead flies and will no doubt catch a few but once again these are trout that want to eat trout food. I don't imagine a green butt skunk would fish nearly as well as almost any of the typical streamers used on the Mo.
I once got back from the Ronde in October and headed up to the Mo and fished the same black leech that I had been swinging on the Ronde and it slaughtered them on the Mo as well.

If you have any questions about specific spots to fish send me PM and tell you of a couple popular spots.
 

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I have a few recommendations for those coming over. First, if you want to swing streamers, I love the Shock and Awe tube fly that Headhunters carries, especially the foxy color. The Mo has an ample crayfish population, too, so these patterns also work all year long. Ninch at HH has caught 'em on a Purple Peril, too.

Don't come too early if it's a bad year for weeds(e.g. hot, low flows in combo). The river is very weedy from mid-July into October some years and it makes swinging less fun. You don't need a super tip for this river. Light sink tips are plenty and overkill for a lot of runs if the river is under 6,000 cfs.

Finally, don't neglect the small stuff. I swing traditional wetflies, soft hackles and caddis pupae here all the time and if there's an emergence happening, it is stupid effective. Like a bite every cast, effective. That said, if there aren't any bugs moving, it's not quite as fast fishing.

My main rod is an Echo Glass Switch #4. I like the Airflo Switch line in a 225, or the 225 OPST Commando with either a Riffle tip or a floating tip plus a Polyleader. Float, hover, and intermediate all have their applications. Scandi is also great with the traditional wetflies. If you want a guided day, I'd be happy to take you so give me a shout and I'll book you through my endorsing outfitter, Dixon Adventures. A drift boat is a big help with accessing the best runs. I've been fishing the river for over 10 years and love the place. Also happy to head hunt big risers!
 

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Head Hunters he accommodations by the way

Check their website

Julie is great as well as Ben and of course J. Arnold

Ask Arnold to spin some of his stingers up in copper
 
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I did this trip in April of this year.

1. All 4 days guided by Headhunters - my favorite guide was Duey.

2. Kreelex was popular but the hot fly in April was a sz 8 Fruit Roll Up.
(If you hire a guide they'll supply the flies)

3.I used a Redington Hydrogen 3 wt Switch rod with an OPST line and a sinking
polyleader - seemed just right to me. My buddy had a 4 wt switch rod and he felt that was a bit heavy. Guides will have 3 wts for you to use if you don't own one.

4. About 80% of fish caught were 18" - 21" range.
 

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I did this trip in April of this year.

1. All 4 days guided by Headhunters - my favorite guide was Duey.

2. Kreelex was popular but the hot fly in April was a sz 8 Fruit Roll Up.
(If you hire a guide they'll supply the flies)

3.I used a Redington Hydrogen 3 wt Switch rod with an OPST line and a sinking
polyleader - seemed just right to me. My buddy had a 4 wt switch rod and he felt that was a bit heavy. Guides will have 3 wts for you to use if you don't own one.

4. About 80% of fish caught were 18" - 21" range.
Duey is a great guide and guy! Kreelex is also a great one to swing, for sure. I forgot to mention, there are lots of damsels too. My favorite spring fly is a comp-loop bugger in Thin Mint colors. The HH crew is awesome. Certainly didn't mean to say otherwise with my little plug :)
 

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4sallypat
This is an awesome trip. We did this same trip November 4 - 8, 2016 after my buddy (lives in Stevensville, MT) and I had our heads handed to us after a week of steelheading on the unusually high and dirty Salmon River. The temps were cold and the wind brew very hard the whole time on the MO, but the trout spey fishing was still good. Dress warm, expect nasty conditions and you won't be caught by surprise - buy Hothands Insole Foot Warmers and your feet will be happy (trust me they work great!). Head Hunters are the guys to help with swinging flies - they speak two handed very well, and even loaned me a Sage One 3 wt. trout spey for the day to try out. Sage was rigged with a Commando and intermediate tip - keep lead stout and short. With the wind honking, I found my 12.5 ft 5 wt a better match (Skagit with 5 ft T10) but like GusG, I'm itching to use my Hydrogen 3 wt on the MO. I had good luck with black crystal bugger, black leech, and black Clouser in size 6 - hard strikes came on the swing and hang down with a rod twitch. KilgoreT's suggestion of soft hackles is a good one. Take a single handed 5 wt for dry fly beatis / BWOs which we also hit when we could find an area out of the wind. We stayed around Cascade and eat breakfast and dinner at the Angus Restaurant (good food at reasonable price - try the pork chops and walleye). We're on the Grande Ronde Oct 15 -20 this year, and maybe we may make a MO run too, depending how the Ronde fishes (could be tough sledding). Have a great time!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for your invaluable input!

Great to know folks here have experience on the Mo and willing to share with a newbie!

I have pinned down the second week of October and found a great airfare and rental car from Helena.

After speaking to a couple of guide shops, I found the one I am looking to use: Trevor Madden from Wolf Creek down towards the dam.

Trevor also found some great low priced lodging at the Wolf Creek angler lodge.

Although Trevor is a single hand rod guide, he said as long as I can cast well enough, he will put me onto fish!
That's a guide that is willing to take on a new client !

Will report back with photos and trip details!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have a few recommendations for those coming over. First, if you want to swing streamers, I love the Shock and Awe tube fly that Headhunters carries, especially the foxy color. The Mo has an ample crayfish population, too, so these patterns also work all year long. Ninch at HH has caught 'em on a Purple Peril, too.

Don't come too early if it's a bad year for weeds(e.g. hot, low flows in combo). The river is very weedy from mid-July into October some years and it makes swinging less fun. You don't need a super tip for this river. Light sink tips are plenty and overkill for a lot of runs if the river is under 6,000 cfs.

Finally, don't neglect the small stuff. I swing traditional wetflies, soft hackles and caddis pupae here all the time and if there's an emergence happening, it is stupid effective. Like a bite every cast, effective. That said, if there aren't any bugs moving, it's not quite as fast fishing.

My main rod is an Echo Glass Switch #4. I like the Airflo Switch line in a 225, or the 225 OPST Commando with either a Riffle tip or a floating tip plus a Polyleader. Float, hover, and intermediate all have their applications. Scandi is also great with the traditional wetflies. If you want a guided day, I'd be happy to take you so give me a shout and I'll book you through my endorsing outfitter, Dixon Adventures. A drift boat is a big help with accessing the best runs. I've been fishing the river for over 10 years and love the place. Also happy to head hunt big risers!
Great tips @KilgoreT

Just confirmed my flight, lodge, and guide for the Mo.

Sounds like I don't have to worry about light presentation on the Mo ?

From the replies here sounds like October on the Mo is like PNW type steelhead fishing - tight line, downstream swinging and big flies ?

So my trout spey rods, I will plan on bringing OPST and Skagit heads with various tips, poly leaders ???

Water flows are at 4000 cfs which I understand is very good ?

As soon as I arrive in town, I will be stopping by HeadHunters for their famous flies - check this video of the fly shop and Gig Harbor:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
While looking at other videos, I ran across Gig Harbor Fly shop who is doing a 2 groups traveling to Craig, MT the same week as I was planning.

Even this late in the planning, there is some room left so I am going with them.

Anyone travel with Gig Harbor Fly Shop ???
 
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