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Missouri River Fishing Report for May:

Stellar nymphing; streamer and dry fly erratic at worst, glorious at best

Well, kids, here we are moving into May and sneaking up on summer. We’ve been enjoying and surviving the typical Montana spring weather – cold and windy. But the Mighty Mo’ is most certainly warming up and the fish are most certainly moving beyond their deep, slow winter borders…starting to spread out into faster, sexier water. As the temps begin to stabilize into a warmer pattern, dry fly stuff will improve. But when it comes to the right here and right now, this is the latest intel you need to plan your May fly fishing:

Nymph fishing: It’s really off the hook right now; typical for this time of year. Many different patterns are in play at the moment:

  • Scuds and sow bugs are in style. 

  • Some guides are doing well using small May fly type stuff. 

  • Short or long leaders both gettin’ it done.

Streamer fishing: As usual, streamer fishing is hit or miss in May. Just depends on who you talk to. For me, it’s been a bit of a miss the last few weeks. But for others I’ve talked with, it’s been glorious. There is definite potential for an amazing streamer bite if you’re in the right place at the right time and all the proverbial stars align. 

The dry fly situation: As with streamers, dry fly fishing is also erratic as of late. On cloudy days, the big blue winged olive hatch in the afternoon provides epic opportunity for a good stick if the wind stays down. As the water warms up a bit, we will have March browns and Mother’s Day caddis. There will be moments of glory during these hatches but not all day, every day. Consistent dry fly success is right around the corner in June.  

Call Channel Outfitters if you need a guide for some May action. We have the best.


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