Craig, Montana, July 2, 2009070309montana1

Today I learned that it is possible to begin a float trip with negative mileage under the boat.

After a stellar day in Joe Moore's boat we mixed it up and I was fishing out of Greg Fall's rig with Jin. Rather than just push off from the Craig boat launch area and head down river, Greg wanted to fish this spot that was a good bit up the Missouri from the launch point. He asked Jin and I to walk up river while he rowed the empty boat past a particularly tough current seam. Once past the current he pulled up to shore and picked us up then rowed to an area of slack water where we rigged up for deep nymphing.
It was going to be one of those days. On his first cast Jin had a fish. I hadn't even had time to clear line for a cast. After landing and releasing his fish it was my turn to hook up and on and on it went with fish after fish coming to net. A raft of tourists were shocked when they watched Greg release a fat rainbow that Jin just caught. A few hours later we saw fish beginning to rise on some calm water a bit further up river so we tried some dry fly fishing.
This was particularly tough because although the fish were rising, they were not rising consistently in the same spot. You'd fire off a cast to the last rise but the fish would come up in a different location.
However soon we had to leave. We spent a lot of time working the area and had caught lots of trout but we still had the rest of the float to cover and we were in negative miles for the day.
EQUIPMENT: We used 6-weight rods, floating lines and fluorocarbon leaders for deep nymphing. The dry fly rods were 5-weight rods with leaders and tippet that measured between 9 to 12-feet long.

The Missouri River slide show