Trip Report Missouri River, Craig MT Sept 22-24

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by para_adams, Sep 26, 2017.

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  1. para_adams

    para_adams Active Member

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    My son and I took our first ever trip to Craig MT to fish the Missouri River. It lived up to its reputation of having large numbers of large fish. I hope to get back there again, it was amazing.

    We splurged by our standards by staying and fishing with Missouri River Lodge located just a couple miles downriver from the little huddle of fly shops known as "Craig MT". The lodge is a beautiful log home with 7 BRs all with two beds and an upstairs with dining room, TV room (Dish), a central kitchen and trophies on all the walls including bears, elk, mountain goat, bison, giant brown trout and on and on, all taken by the lodge owner over the years. Very Montana.
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    The owners are Joe and Lindsey Bloomquist. Better be a Dawg fan to get the max enjoyment of your stay, because Joe was the starting Strong Safety for the Huskies in a Rose Bowl in the early 1990's. Baseball fans will also love the 3 major league jersey's from his little bro', Willie Bloomquist. The Bone (Jay) fished there last summer and also left a jersery which is now on the kitchen wall.

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    Our first day turned out to be miserable weather to celebrate the first day of fall with blowing snow and rain. Great for knocking out the wildfires, tough for casting and for trying to play huge, hot trout with numb hands and shivering legs even with 7 layers of long underwear, fleece and rain-proof jacket.
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    But we went out anyways, can't waste a day. Joe took us to his favorite area, a stretch about 1/2 hour upriver between Holter Lake and Hauser Dam known as "Land of the Giants."

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    We struggled in catching fish only because I was so cold I kept breaking my 4x tippet on the huge fish. We still landed over 20 fish for the day mostly on small size 16/18 sow bugs fished as one of two flies below an indicator and small split. Joe said we caught very few compared to a normal day but did fine given the tough conditions. Some memorable fish were landed, some memorable fish were lost.

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    The next day was a beautiful fall day with temps in the upper 50's, sunny and calm. Joe took us on a 12 mile drift starting about 5-6 miles down from their lodge.
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    We caught around 35 fish between us. No real hatches on that day which was possibly our only disapointment. Joe says we were early for the BWO hatches which come on consistently in October. We caught fish all day long and had our best luck on a crawfish pattern drifted below the indicator although our small dropper nymphs got occasional attention too.
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    The crawfish pattern gave me my best ever brown, a gorgeous 22" beauty.

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    Our last day we didn't have to leave for the Helena airport until mid-afternoon so we ate another wonderful breakfast at the lodge, packed, said our heart-felt thanks to the Bloomquists and headed out to try a little fishing with our car and shore access. We got out our bamboo rods to try to give them a workout and had some luck.

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    Great trip.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  2. Josh Stroud

    Josh Stroud Active Member

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    Nice job! You guys did great!
     
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  3. jordan101

    jordan101 Active Member

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    great report. I love the Mo.
     
  4. Ron McNeal

    Ron McNeal Life's good!

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    Great water. Great Lodge! Next trip, try for the end of June.
     
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  5. fishon61

    fishon61 New Member

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    Great trip report. Enjoyed the pictures. Nice to see you out on the water again. Looking forward to be fishing with you again soon.
     
  6. Kenneth Yong

    Kenneth Yong Member

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    "Great trip" is probably going to be one of the understatements of the year.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Kenneth
     
  7. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

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    Nice writeup! Love the change in weather so rapidly!

    Must get some more warm layers because I'll be there on the Mo in mid October with the Gig Harbor Fly shop group & Headhunters!