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Fishing PMD's on the Missouri River

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Fishing PMD's (Pale Morning Duns) on the Missouri River can be a great experience for fly fishermen. The Missouri River in Montana is known for its prolific PMD hatches, which occur from late June through early August.

The Missouri River in Montana offers fly fishermen a remarkable experience during the PMD (Pale Morning Dun) hatches. From mid to late June through early August, anglers flock to this renowned river to witness the prolific emergence of PMD mayflies and engage in thrilling fly fishing pursuits.

The PMD hatches on the Missouri River are truly a sight to behold. These delicate mayflies blanket the water's surface, creating a feeding frenzy among the river's resident trout. The hatch provides an abundant food source, enticing trout to rise and feed aggressively, presenting fly fishermen with exciting opportunities to land some prized catches.

Anglers often find success using PMD imitations, such as dry flies, emergers, and nymphs, to mimic the appearance and behavior of the hatching insects. Presenting your fly with precision and imitating the natural drift of the PMD will greatly increase your chances of enticing strikes from hungry trout.

The Missouri River's wide and expansive channels, combined with its nutrient-rich waters, create the perfect habitat for PMD hatches to thrive. As the hatches progress throughout the summer, anglers can experience varying levels of intensity and duration, providing a dynamic and ever-changing fly fishing experience.

While the PMD hatches are the primary draw for fly fishermen on the Missouri River, the river itself offers stunning scenery and an abundance of other insect hatches, making it a well-rounded fishing destination. With its diverse trout population and the possibility of landing trophy-sized fish, anglers can enjoy a rewarding and memorable fly fishing adventure.

Whether you're a seasoned angler or a beginner looking to test your skills, fishing PMD's on the Missouri River is an experience not to be missed. So, mark your calendars, prepare your PMD patterns, and get ready for an unforgettable fly fishing adventure on one of Montana's most iconic rivers.

Here are some tips for fishing PMD's on the Missouri River:

  1. Timing is key: PMD hatches on the Missouri River tend to occur in the late morning or early afternoon, so plan your fishing trip accordingly. Look for slower-moving water with a moderate current flow where PMD's are likely to hatch.
  2. Use the right gear: A 9-foot 5-weight or 6-weight fly rod is a good choice for PMD fishing on the Missouri River. A floating line with a 9-foot leader and a tippet size of 4X or 5X is recommended.
  3. Choose the right fly: PMD nymphs, emergers, duns, and spinners can all be effective, so bring a variety of PMD patterns in different sizes and colors. Use nymphs and emergers early in the hatch, and switch to duns and spinners as the hatch progresses.
  4. Pay attention to the water: Look for areas with slow-moving water, as PMD's tend to hatch in these areas. Watch for rises and feeding fish, and adjust your technique accordingly.
  5. Be patient: Fishing PMD's on the Missouri River can be challenging, so be prepared to spend some time on the water. Take your time and focus on making accurate casts and presentations.

It's also important to check local fishing regulations and obtain any necessary permits before fishing on the Missouri River. With a little patience and persistence, you can have a successful PMD fishing trip on the Missouri River.

PMD Patterns for Fly Fishing in Southwestern Montana:

Pattern Size Stage Technique
Parachute PMD 16-18 Dry Fly Dead Drift
PMD Comparadun 16-18 Dry Fly Floats Low
PMD Sparkle Dun 16-18 Dry Fly Visible and High Floating
PMD Emerger 16-18 Emerger Swung or Dead Drifted
PMD Cripple 16-18 Dry Fly Imitates Spent Mayfly
PMD Split Case 16-18 Nymph Dead Drifted Near Bottom
PMD Soft Hackle 16-18 Wet Fly Swung or Leaded Drift
PMD Beadhead Flashback 16-18 Nymph Dead Drifted or Swung


pmd missouri river montana fun fly fishing

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