Friday, September 25, 2015

Fall Fishing on the Missouri

There are a couple things to consider when fishing this time of the year on the Missouri. Fish still have to eat and they will but what they're eating are those damn little pseudos right now, which makes them incredibly picky and the better the weather, the more picky they are. Weather seems to trump everything. Clear bright sunny days aren't ideal but at least it's stable. Fish like stability and although they are almost impossible on the surface, the nymphing is still good. Go light and go small. The worst weather would be high pressure and usually comes after a cold front moves through. High winds and bright skies and fish can get lock jaw. The best weather right now is rain and cold and if that happens, every fish in the river will be looking up to blanket hatches of psuedos and maybe even BWO's except, they will be hungry enough to eat just about anything you put in front of them.
The other factors to consider is all the junk in the water. Weeds are starting to die off and the lake has turned so there's also a ton of algae in the water. That can cut down on visibility so some colors seem to work better than others. Just remember, rainbows on the Missouri are like high maintenance women; they like shiny things.
Another really important thing to consider is where to find the fish. That can mean generally like what types of water to fish or on more of a macro level like what section is holding the most fish. In general, the canyon has become the nursery so going down past Spite Hill can produce numbers but it might be tough to get past all the dinks in order to get to the good fish. (We need the dinks though so all fish are good fish.) The bigger fish seem to be moving up-stream or down past Prewett Creek.
The browns are going into spawning mode and a lot of them have just left the river all together, headed up the tributaries. Watch for shallow moving water for reds in the main river but if you see them, don't pound them. We really need those browns. However, if you're seeing fish up on those flats, it's usually rainbows looking for bugs and those fish are much more accommodating then the ones you see eating in the frog water.
Keep 'em where they live...

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