Craig Madsen's Montana River Outfitters (MRO) is the Missouri River's premier full service guide service and lodging operation. The guide shop and lodging is located in Wolf Creek, just 3 minutes from the very best fishing on the Blue Ribbon Missouri River, just below Holter Dam and only minutes from downtown Craig, Montana. Fly fishing on the Missouri River is known for its sight fishing to large brown trout and rainbow trout sipping tiny dries.
The Missouri River is their specialty, ranging from the trout rich runs below Holter Dam, to the "National Wild and Scenic" float downstream of Fort Benton. MRO provides trips on the Missouri's scenic tributaries as well, including the Sun River, Dearborn, and the famous Smith. For additional variety, other trips are offered to other Rocky Mountain Rivers including the Blackfoot and multi-day/overnight excursions to the South Fork of the Flathead.
Known worldwide for its exceptional dry fly fishing, the Missouri River is a destination that fly fishermen owe to themselves. A tailwater by definition and the world's largest spring creek by appearances, the Mighty Mo is every fisherman's dream.
Montana's Missouri River is simply an awesome fishery. Both rainbow and brown trout thrive in the wild - for 34 miles there are nearly 4,000 trout per mile. Rainbows and Browns range from 15 inches to well over 2 feet.
With rising fish from the middle of April until November, there really aren't too many factors that can make the Missouri unproductive. The hatches on the Missouri are prolific and include Mayflies, Caddis, Midges, and a couple of Stoneflies. The terrestrial fishing is also great with Hoppers, Ants, and Beetles.
Unlike the waters surrounding Missoula and Bozeman, the Missouri doesn't get loved to death and it is big enough that even on a crowded day it is possible to fish in tranquility.
Many people will wish to fly into Great Falls, MT via Alaska Airlines where rental cars are available. Also nearby is the historic capital city of Montana, Helena. From either location, the towns of Craig and Wolf Point are a short drive away.
Days are long during Montana summers, and each guide will have his or her own game plan adapted to your preferences. The guides are excellent at doing their part to help you catch the fish on the river but are also skilled at adapting to the fishing as it presents itself each day (dry, nymph, streamers) and to your preferences ensuring that you have the greatest time.
Guides will put you on the river for up to 10 hours a day, usually finishing up between 5:00-8:00 pm, while some may choose to stay later depending on fishing conditions and your desires. Often in the heat of the summer time the guides may want to get early starts, around 8:00 am or earlier, to beat the rush and get you out on those fish before anyone else! At other times, guides may start later in the morning or afternoon and stay out on the river chasing the catch until dark. This again will be a collaboration of your preference and the guide’s expertise! If you desire a shorter day or would like to be in by a certain time, be sure to let your guide know. Half-day trips, either morning, mid-day, or afternoon, are available as well. All guides are willing to give fly fishing instruction, and are full of local fishing lore.
Montana River Outfitters has 11 options for on-site lodging minutes away from the fly fisherman’s paradise – the Missouri River. There are 4 cabins, 4 motel rooms, and 3 bungalows on their property, all with daily housekeeping service and free wireless internet access. All of these are located within walking distance of 2 restaurants and local “watering holes,” and the Canyon store which has groceries if you want to feed yourself as well as fuel and licenses. MRO is only a short drive to Craig Montana, which has most everything one would ever need. In addition to the on-site lodging, MRO also offers a variety of lodging options from Bed and Breakfasts, to Guest Ranches, to riverside homes for rent.
Full Day Guided Trip (Lunch included) $450 per boat
MRO provides a generous lunch and assorted drinks on day trips, but not on half day trips. Feel free to bring extra snacks, food, and drinks on any trip. The guides will provide a cooler.