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Known world-wide for its exceptional dry fly fishing and incredibly strong trout, Montana’s Missouri River is without a doubt one of the most productive fisheries in North America. A tailwater by definition and the world’s largest spring creek by appearance, the “Mo” is a river that absolutely has to be fished by anyone who loves throwing dries or streamers to big, beautiful rainbows and browns. Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig, Montana offers the best fly selection, the best guides, the most accurate information, and the finest customer service in the area. Having booked the Missouri for over ten years, we can tell you that these are the guys that you want to fish with on the ‘Mo! From daily guiding to multi-day lodging packages needs, John, Mark and the entire gang at Headhunters will take great care of you.
Trip packages of any length can be arranged, from single day trips to week-long itineraries that include all lodging and guided fishing. Please contact Yellow Dog for full details.
Finding fish on the Missouri is easy. They're in the river. Finding lodging on the river, however, can be another matter. The small towns of Craig, Wolf Creek and Cascade have limited lodging options for visiting anglers, and the most popular accommodations are often booked a year in advance.
Headhunters operates the Craig Trout Camp on their property in Craig. Comprised of three cabins - Rainbow, Brown and Sutton - as well as 3 RV sites, the Craig Trout Camp is the most popular lodging option on the river. Craig has become the place to stay on the Missouri River, and these well-kept cabins are are great option. They do book early, so make your Craig Trout Camp reservations through Yellow Dog right away if you have plans to fish the Missouri!
Working with Headhunters, we also have access to a wide variety of other lodging options between Wolf Creek and Cascade. Whether you're a group of 2 or 10, we can usually arrange lodging for you as well as tell you about dining options, area attractions and more.
Izaak's Bar and Restaurant is located in downtown Craig Montana near the banks of the Missouri River. Isaks is the spot for dining in Craig. A perfect place to end your day for cocktails, appetizers, burgers, BBQ'd meats, steaks, salads and more! Isaak's menue features Kansas City BBQ, Steaks, Pasta, Chicken, and extensive Appetizer menu, Ice Cream, Great Bar Service, and all your fishy friends.
Many people think of Montana's Missouri River as the West's largest spring creek, and if you are a dry fly enthusiast who appreciates large trout with attitude, then you will no doubt find your dream tailwater fishery on the Missouri River. Insects hatch on the Missouri almost all summer long, allowing anglers to target rising fish in a variety of different situations. With the river’s gin-clear water, an angler can focus on large, selective fish feeding on small mayflies, or instead choose to bang the river banks with hoppers and caddis. During the strong mayfly hatches the fish will tend to “pod” up, allowing an angler to spend hours casting to specific groups of fish. You will need your best cast and best insect imitations to fool these fish, and fishing the Missouri with the right guides - like the ones from Headhunters - is imperative to success. When all is done correctly and you do get a Missouri rainbow on the line, it will be well worth it, as the bows on the 'Mo are some of the hardest fighting, toughest fish around!
At Headhunters, you’ll find a great selection of Missouri River fly patterns, the best fly fishing guides, accurate and up-to-date information, and customer service that will help make your trip successful and enjoyable. Headhunters' friendly staff will hook you up with the hot flies, point you in the right direction, and arrange for all of your guiding and lodging needs. Headhunters exists to help you have a successful trip to the best river in Montana, and Yellow Dog is proud to recommend their services.
March – April
If you enjoy solitude on the water this is the time to consider visiting the Missouri River. With little pressure, the aggressive trout will be predominately feeding on midges and blue winged olives. If there are overcast skies you can almost count on rising fish for hours a day. Beginning in May the rainbows will begin their spawning season which will leave the river almost vacant, so go early!
Late May - June
Be careful of spring run-off water conditions from Prickly Pear Creek and the Dearborn River. Since the Mo is a tailwater, however, conditions are never that bad for very long and the food of choice for the trout will be PMD’s and Caddis. The mayflies will be out during the morning to mid day with caddis mostly in the evening.
July – August
Middle of the summer will provide great weather and great dry fly fishing! Tricos, caddis, and hoppers will bring fish to the top with streamer fishing providing action for larger fish in the lower sections of the river. If you are looking for an extreme dry fly challenge hit the river early in the morning for the trico hatch, as it will all be over by noon.
September - October
Seasons are changing again in Montana with cooler fall temperatures and shorter days. This however is one of the best months to fish the Missouri with psuedocleons, blue-winged olives, and midges providing the top-water action. Caddis and hoppers will also bring fish up, and don’t forget to try big, ugly streamers down low on the river towards Cascade.
Most Headhunters trips on the Missouri are done float fishing-style from McKenzie drift boats and skiffs. Headhunters has a fully-stocked fly shop located in the heart of the town of Craig. They can provide you with the best fly selection in town, and all of the equipment that you'll need for fishing the 'Mo.
The Missouri River is primarily a fishing destination, however, there are many lakes, hiking trails and historic destinations in the surrounding area providing good non-angling activities. (Please call Yellow Dog for more details.)
The nearest commercial airport is located in Helena, Montana. Serviced by Delta, Northwest, United, and Horizon Airlines, the airport is approximately 45 minutes from Craig, Montana.
You will need to rent a car in Helena at the airport and follow Interstate 15 North from the airport, which will take you directly to the town of Craig. As soon as you exit at Craig you will see the Headhunters Fly Shop on your right.
For more information on multi-day package, or for lodging / guided fishing combo options, please contact Yellow Dog.
Full Day Guide Trip -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- $450
(1 or 2 anglers)
* Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.
Yellow Dog has a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.
Honest communication is imperative between you and your fishing guide. If you only want to fish a certain technique (or don't like certain techniques), you need to tell your guide before the day begins. The Headhunters crew will accommodate you any way that they can, so let them know how to can assist you in creating a superior fishing trip. If you have any special or additional expectations or wishes, please share this information with Headhunters and they will make it happen. Headhunters guide trips are all about you!
All Headhunters Guided Trips are All-Inclusive
Headhunters guide trips are all inclusive, and you need only provide a current Montana fishing license and personal items. Many guests bring all of their own equipment, but if you need rods and reels or wading gear, they will provide everything for you. All flies are provided by your guide, and their boxes are filled with everything form Missouri River standards to the hottest "home brews" fresh from the vice. Headhunters' excellent on-stream lunches will recharge you at mid-day. Made by Craig's local eatery Izaak's, they include gourmet sandwiches and wraps, fresh fruit, salads, and something for that sweet tooth. Plenty of bottled water and non-alcoholic beverages are provided in an ice cold cooler.
Floating the Missouri
The Missouri River was made for drift boat fishing, and its calm waters make for an enjoyable float while you target the wild trout of the Missouri. Headhunters' guides operate from modern drift boats that are comfortable and designed for fly fishing. If you haven’t fished from a drift boat before, you’re in for a wonderful experience. Front and rear leg braces allow anglers to stand up and boom a long cast with a streamer. Comfortable seating allows you to sit while you fish, or just lean back, and enjoy the scenery. Modern boats have dry storage for your extra gear and rod holders so you can have that extra stick strung and at the ready.