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#6540162 - 05/26/12 Fishing the Mighty Mo'
RockyRaab Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/23/03
Posts: 14645
Loc: Ogden, Utah
I spent this week in Craig, Montana fishing the Missouri River. It was my first time in a guided drift boat, and there was a STEEP learning curve, starting with the fact that all my gear was - well, let us say under-qualitied, if you know what I mean. The guide just said, "Well, maybe I'll bring along a loaner..."

But here's the first fish of the first day. 18-inch brownie...



Here's an average-sized Missouri rainbow that still managed to take me all the way to the backing. MAN those fish are hot in this river! That's our primary guide, Tim Linehan on the bank.



And here's my partner and life-long friend Gerry Bertero from Boise, who invited me on this trip. This 'bow is a bit bigger, I think. It nudged 20 inches, if I recall correctly.



Can't wait to go back - with MUCH better equipment!
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#6540180 - 05/26/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: RockyRaab]
FlyboyFlem Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 9243
Loc: Nebraska
Looks like a super trip and I can almost taste those trout! The Mighty Mo down here show don't resemble that you'd be holding a flat head or carp instead... whistle
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#6540208 - 05/26/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: FlyboyFlem]
RockyRaab Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/23/03
Posts: 14645
Loc: Ogden, Utah
Woody, I didn't get even a taste of trout all week. They are STRICTLY catch and release. In fact, they don't even like to handle the fish enough to take photos. We had to really ask to get these shots. If I had carried one ashore to the only restaurant, I think I would have been lynched.
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#6540239 - 05/26/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: RockyRaab]
FlyboyFlem Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 9243
Loc: Nebraska
shocked Damn I was all ready for some fryin pan pics too.. grin
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#6541907 - 05/27/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: RockyRaab]
watch4bear Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 22253
Loc: wasilla ak
Brown trout sure have some great color.
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#6542450 - 05/27/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: RockyRaab]
ingwe Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 12/20/08
Posts: 57363
Loc: Southwestern Montucky
Rocky: thats pretty much in my backyard. Glad you had a good time plying the water! laugh
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#6542455 - 05/27/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: watch4bear]
Just a Hunter Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 2932
Loc: MT
Looks like you left just in time to avoid the snow. I grew up in Great Falls and fished that area a lot. Ate some of the fish too without any guilt.

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#6542623 - 05/27/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: Just a Hunter]
Mark R Dobrenski Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 28277
Loc: Bozeman, Montana
Great pics, thx for sharing! I spendt 15 years on that river. Now that I'm back in the Gallatin Valley I don't venture that way much anymo as we've some fair fishing as well.

Dober
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#6542630 - 05/27/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]
Mark R Dobrenski Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 28277
Loc: Bozeman, Montana
That first pic looks to me right below where the Dearborn dumps in. On that pic if you looked up and to your left a bit there are some cliffs that I always thought would be fun to jump off into the Mo from. Or at least it'd of been fun once...grin

Dober
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#6542842 - 05/27/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]
MontanaMarine Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 09/25/01
Posts: 8766
Loc: Canyon Ferry, Montana
Glad you had a good trip, and enjoyed some local coutry. I always enjoy traveling through the canyon. It's beautiful.

I've always noticed that area is pretty full of driftboats, and shore fisherman. Have meant to wet a line up there one of these times but mostly I end up fishing Canyon Ferry Lake from the shore.

I didn't realize catch-and-release was the drill though, I'm more of a catch-and-eat fisherman myself.....grin.

But I guess I can understand why the folks in Craig wouldn't want that water fished out. Fishing tourism has to be a big part of the town's economy.

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#6542848 - 05/27/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]
RockyRaab Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/23/03
Posts: 14645
Loc: Ogden, Utah
Spot on perzackly, Mark. We had just put in at Dearborn. We floated eight miles to a take-out I can't recall now. And yes, that cliff would be a helluva great cliff dive on a hot day.

There's a bald eagle nest in a tree not 200 yards from it. I saw one of the birds that day, and it or its mate on the nest on day three. We saw two large mink, sandhill cranes, white pelicans and many more kinds of wildlife. I even had a muskrat swim over to inspect my nymph indicator. Cool stuff.

MM, there are quite a few local boats mixed in with the guides, and the locals practice catch and eat. The only thing our guides would have allowed us to keep would have been whitefish, but there wasn't cooler space for it.
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#6542860 - 05/27/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: RockyRaab]
Mark R Dobrenski Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 28277
Loc: Bozeman, Montana
Have you ever fished the Sun in August with Hoppers?

That would be a fun Fire get together! Stay @ Sun Canyon Lodge, feesh our brains out and let Ingwe grill for us...grin

Dober
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#6542863 - 05/27/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]
RockyRaab Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/23/03
Posts: 14645
Loc: Ogden, Utah
I'm up for it!
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#6546189 - 05/28/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]
Just a Hunter Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 2932
Loc: MT
Originally Posted By: Mark R Dobrenski
Have you ever fished the Sun in August with Hoppers?

That would be a fun Fire get together! Stay @ Sun Canyon Lodge, feesh our brains out and let Ingwe grill for us...grin

Dober


I was there in April. The fishing is usually pretty good then, but the river was coming up due to an early thaw so not too good. I had my young son with and he wanted to clean his worm by wacking it on the water. Needless to say I didn't get much fishing done. If you have a boat go to the the mouth of the Sun where it comes into Gibson Lake. I was only able to do it once, but I almost got tired of catching cutthroat.

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#6546965 - 05/29/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: Just a Hunter]
Mark R Dobrenski Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 28277
Loc: Bozeman, Montana
That or take a day pack and hike the trail back and then get to ripping lips. That's some of my fav country in the world.

Dober


Edited by Mark R Dobrenski (05/29/12)
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#6558724 - 06/02/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]
Mule Deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 36657
Loc: Banana Belt, Montana
Rocky,

Looks like a great trip!

I used to fish that portion of the Missouri quite a bit after moving to Townsend 22 years ago, but that was in the early days of "discovery," before so many people started fishing that stretch. It was pretty easy to find a good piece of water to wade, and there weren't many boats.

Eventually the pressure got to be a bit much, and that tot catch-and-release became prevalent. It seemed to me the really big fish (20+ inches) got to be less common. There can be several reasons for that, including RELEASINg fish, as any river can support so much biomass, whether X number of 4-pound trout or twice that number of 2-pound trout. That's what was found in the Bighorn after catch-and-releace became so much of a religion: There were more trout, but the average was smaller. Then there's always a mortality factor, even when trout are released very carefully, and it's greater with bigger fish.

The fishing's still great in the Missouri, but streams without as much pressure can also provide great angling. In fact I've caught trout averaging as large or larger on some smaller Montana streams too small to float. If you ever get up here again, we could try some of those!
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#6558909 - 06/02/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: Mule Deer]
rattler Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 11/07/03
Posts: 28123
Loc: NE Montana
Rocky, you were to far up stream for the big fish in the Mighty Mo' here in Montana, your gear woulda been a tad light aswell.....my wife pulled this guy out near Wolf Point.....



Edited by rattler (06/02/12)
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#6559460 - 06/02/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: rattler]
ingwe Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 12/20/08
Posts: 57363
Loc: Southwestern Montucky
Dats the goofiest lookin' trout i ever saw..

But it IS a big one! grin
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#6560443 - 06/02/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: ingwe]
rattler Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 11/07/03
Posts: 28123
Loc: NE Montana
these and lake trout is as close as we get to trout fishing.....this was also caught in the Mighty Mo'(technically in Fort Peck Reservoir) early fall last year by my oldest girl.....

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#6560469 - 06/02/12 Re: Fishing the Mighty Mo' [Re: rattler]
FlyboyFlem Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 9243
Loc: Nebraska
Great pics rattler looks like fun! The "Mighty MO" lived up to its name down our way last year eek

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You better be afraid of a ghost!!

"Woody you were baptized in prop wash"..crossfireoops






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