The Missouri River below Holter Dam is one of Montana’s richest resources. Formed by the confluence of the Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson rivers the “mighty Mo” has been tamed by a series of three dams. This river exits below the final dam (Holter) as blue-ribbon water, a classic tailwater with immense hatches and stable flows.

Missouri River Rainbows


Blessed with exceptional spawning tributaries the Missouri has developed into a world class rainbow trout fishery. These rainbows have successfully adapted to a severe whirling disease attack and are currently at a historic peak in size and condition. These battling leapers average 15 to 20 inches so make sure you check your backing before you come! The rainbow trout population is currently 7,000 ten inch or longer fish per mile an all time record!

Missouri River brown trout

Equally as famous as the rainbows are the Missouri River brown trout. Thanks to spawning protection in Little Prickly Pear Creek the brown trout population continues to expand. While just as fat and feisty as the rainbows, the browns tend to grow larger. Brown trout over 20 inches are a daily occurrence for anglers from May through mid-August. Brown trout longer than ten inches currently number around 600 fish per mile.

Missouri River Environment

Despite its immense size, the Missouri flows over fine gravels and lush weed beds resembling a giant spring creek. From May through October large, consistent hatches provide angling opportunities unmatched by other waters. Although not a common as earlier years trout still seasonally feed in large pods. This gulper fishing is an event that every angler should experience.

Missouri River Hatches

Hatch Schedule

May ------------- Blue winged olives , midges, and excellent caddis mid to late month
June ------------ PMD and caddis
July ------------- PMD, caddis and tricos
August---------- Tricos and caddis
September------- Blue winged olives and caddis
October ---------- Blue winged olives and midges

Choose the season and the hatch you wish to pursue. The Missouri is an excellent terrestial river with ants and beetle fishing all months and excellent hopper fishing in July and August.