Missouri River

Helena, Montana 59602

Missouri River

Missouri River Professional Review and Guide

"Big river, big tailwater, big trout. The scale of the Missouri River is simply huge. The Missouri is the largest river in the United States. Its upper reaches, so favored by anglers for trout, span more than 100 miles, from the junction of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin at Three Forks to Cascade, high in the Montana’s arid steppe.

To varying degrees, each of the reservoirs provides cool holding water for rainbows and browns during the hottest days of summer. And in fall and spring, depending on their species and proclivities, large trout run up out of the impoundments to spawn. And each of the lakes slows the flow, allowing sediment to sift to the bottom, before the water is released into the next section of the river. Without these dams, and increasingly cooperative management by Montana Power Company, which now operates them, there would be few, if any, fishable trout in the Missouri below Three Forks. Species: Rainbow, brown. Angling methods: spin, and fly-fishing."

Missouri River Reviews

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If it's possible for a big river in Montana to be underrated, the Mo is it. The tailwater sections from Wolf Creek on down are, quite simply, some of the best fly-fishing waters in the world. If Montana had only the Mo, it'd still be worth a journey. Long banks, big bends, backwaters, braids, canyon walls, rip rap - this river has it all. It's been hammered by whirling disease and in the last few years the water levels have been uncomfortably low from late July on, but still very fishable. Big fish on little nymphs in March, and hammerhead hits on streamers. The only reason I didn't rate it five stars is the crowds in the summertime, much worse than the Yellowstone, when the hoppers are flying.

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Jul 2018