.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


Destinations: Fly Fishing the Missouri River, Montana

I didn't know which stream I should at to the Destination Series next. So far, I
have stayed fairly close to Yellowstone National Park with the streams, well,
maybe with the exception of the Big Horn. That being the case, lets go aways
west and north from Yellowstone to the river the Madison that begins in the park
helps form -
the Missouri River.

Now I don't think there is much trout fishing in the upper part of the big Missouri
River until it is dammed and the waters cooled by the depths of the reservoirs
created. The best ones of these dams as far as anglers are concerned is Holter
Dam. Its tailwater creates one of the best trout stream in Montana. Its rainbows
and brown trout are huge and there are plenty of them. It is like fishing a giant
spring creek below the dam. Of course it isn't all like that. It does have its riffles
and runs and other types of water in over a hundred miles of stream that holds

The river is also a giant insect factory. It is full of aquatic insects with multiple
hatches common. It isn't unusual to see trout rising all across the river, even in
the middle at times, and it is a very wide river. The smooth surface of the water
below Holter lets you see them well. The problem is that you want to try to get a
fly all of them. Just getting the fly to one trout without spooking is difficult enough.
Catching the big rainbows isn't exactly easy but it isn't extremely difficult either. I
guess you could say it takes doing about everything right.

Angie and I have spent a lot of time on this stream. I think one reason is
because it does frustrate me at times. It isn't easy for me to accept being
outdone by a tiny brained trout, but it often happens. The only way I can handle
it is to take another shot at them. It usually just takes persistence. Catching the
big trout on tiny dry flies is a lot of fun but also not the easiest form of fly fishing
one could experience.  

This is a weird stream in some ways. It isn't unusual to look up and see a man in
a float tube coming and then in a few minutes see another in a drift boat with a
guide and two anglers. It isn't unusual to see someone out near the middle of
the river wading in low water years. You have a lot of options.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh