Walk into a fly shop or bar in Craig, MT and ask the locals what their favorite month on the Missouri River is... it will undoubtedly be May. Based on license plates seen in Craig, we'd venture to say that May on the Missouri is the best fly fishing in the country.
While freestone rivers brace for runoff, the tailwater of the Missouri River is protected by dams. These dams provide optimal flows, clear water and excellent angling. With temperatures ranging between 50°F-75°F anglers are comfortable while the trout feed consistently. If catching large, powerful fish is your thing— you cannot find a better river to fish in May, than the Missouri. The fishing is so good, you might even call it "Mayhem".
For the purists at heart, May is the prime time to fish dries to rising trout. Blanket hatches of Blue Wing Olives begin to replace the midge hatches of earlier months. The fish rise and take flies without hesitation. It's common to anchor up on a pod of rising fish, and test your skills by headhunting the largest trout in the group. Caddis and Drakes are also present during this time.
On the chance local stream run-off muddies the waters, nymphing and streamer fishing is still excellent in the month of May. Guides will nymph on long leaders, and connect with aggressively feeding fish. It's common to see anglers doubled up!
May is also one of our favorite month's at the lodge to enjoy the outdoors, begin our BBQ season, and savor a cocktail by the fire. Come visit the Missouri River Ranch, and experience the best spring fly fishing in Montana!