Fishing the Missouri was more scenery than fish

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“I was gonna go fishin’, but the weather report said ‘Rain’, so I decided to stay home and get things done instead.”

How many times have you heard those words? Or uttered them yourself?

A week or so ago, I was telling my neighbor why I hadn’t been fishing for a few days (see above).

His reply was, “I’d rather go fishing on a nice, sunny day and catch only half as many fish, than get my butt soaked.”


So, with those words in mind, I waited for a stretch of bright, sunny days to head over the mountains to Craig to fly fish in the Missouri River.

Fishing-wise, I sorta knew what to expect. Even the fishing report at said the weather “is just too nice.”

I wasn’t the only person who wanted to take advantage of a few more sunny days.

The parking lot at the Wolf Creek Bridge was almost full of vehicles. River traffic seemed like late-July.

Streamside leaves were yellow. A few small herds of mule deer grazed in cut hayfields.

Occasionally, very occasionally, a trout drifted upwards to suck a big bug off the surface.

Late fall conditions were perfect for fishing.

But the fish just weren’t biting. Even the guided trips were having trouble getting hook-ups.

Understand, I’m not complaining. Over the years I’ve caught a bunch of fish in the Mo.

The scenery was great. The fishing was fun. And I returned home warm and dry!

Jeyy Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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