Sunday, May 29, 2011


Now, I'm not one to jump on the "worm band wagon" , so to speak, but , State wide we are looking at some record run-off. One of the few rivers that is even fish-able is the Missouri River below Holter Dam . Because of the unusually high water , we are seeing outfitters from across the entire State of Montana  descend on towns such as Cascade, Wolf Creek and Craig. Some days due to either rain , or even the warmer sunny days when the snow will melt off from the Rocky Mountain front, one of the Missouri Rivers tributaries the Dearborn River, will expand it's size and flow the color of chocolate milk. Thus entering the main stem and discoloring the river all the way to Great Falls. This puts most of the fishermen floating from Holter Dam to just above where the Dearborn river enters the Missouri, around 12-13 miles of river to fish. Doesn't see so bad, but wait, there is another tributary, Little Prickly Pear which enters the river just below the Wolf Creek bridge, it is 2.5 miles from Holter Dam. This little stream can also throw some real brown mud into the main stem, nothing like the Dearborn, but, the river can be quite discolored making most fly fishing situations difficult at best.
Now the good news, with all this flooding  comes erosion, and with the erosion comes Worms, lots of Worms. Earthworms, Aquatic worms, big worms , small worms, skinny worms , fat worms, long worms , short worms, just worms dude!( You thought I was going to River City..anyway...) The trout love worms, they are gorging on worms, even in the high water, high dirty water, trout will eat worms. Are people catching trout on the Missouri River, yes they are, and most people are catching the trout on worms of all kinds... Lets take a look at some of the Worm patterns that seem to produce;

Here are some different types of worms, all of these are tied on different #8 sized hooks, some weighted , some not, but if you notice , they all have tails, making this group # 2 worms. The #1 worms are tailess, thus making tying on another fly attached to the bend of the hook more practical, and the second fly does not spin around as much when being fished, less tangles etc...
These worms are #1 worms, generally pretty heavy, tail-less, bright colored for attraction, and good sized, these are tied on #6 's. With the very high water,and the water being off colored, these flies will produce.The red bead is a large Tungsten bead, very heavy, enabling the fly to get down to the proper levels even with the very high water. In addition to this weight, two additional split shots will be needed usually 4-6 inches from the # 1 worm. When tying on the second fly, I like to use around 12 inches of flourocarbon from the #1 to the #2 fly. The #2 fly can be anything from a zebra midge , Baetis nymph, to another lightly or un-weighted worm. The idea being that the split shots will be on the bottom, along with the #1 fly, the lighter #2 fly will float above in another zone, fishing two different levels can be very important when the water is off color.
Here are some worms that are producing for me, I'm sure other people have their favorites patterns;
Earthworm, #6, Tung bead
Wire worm # 6
The Fat-Tay #6
Hot Bead # 8
Purple Power worm #8
Slim Jim # 8
 Eyes got it #8
These are just a few, I'm sure the worms you are using work great. Please do not use hooks larger than #6, the very large hooks can kill the trout, plus most times the smaller worms are the better producers!
It looks like we may have another month of nymphing, so Worm On!

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