Finally the Missouri is back to her old self for the spring/summer season, meaning some real bugs are peeling off the river and creating some excellent fishing. Not easy fishing, mind you, but excellent nonetheless if you are willing to put up with some serious weather and make that cast twenty more times before you get it perfect. Which is what Don and I did for three long, cold, windy, and rainsoaked days based out of Wolf Creek.
Fortunately on the Mo, when the weather goes to shit the bugs go nuts, which may be the only positive at times on that cruel river. Eventually those big trout heads can’t resist ten million Baetis popping at once and start feeding on the surface somewhere, though the chop on the water makes finding them difficult. With lots of flats, riffles, back eddies, and channels, finding these fish is a matter of searching that endless river for the areas that will produce today, and definitely not always the same lie from day to day.
In between spotting risers, the nymph game fished stellar at times for us. Finding the right bug and setting depth and weight was crucial, but once we solved the riddle those big bows were ready and eager to eat. Our final day was our best: good weather, only a couple hours of gale force wind, a damn good emergence of baetis and march browns, and heavy rising rainbows in a few riffles later in the day. Find them and they’ll eat right now, on the first good drift.