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Winter fly fishing in Craig, Montana

Winter fly fishing in Craig, Montana
Posted at 10:35 PM, Feb 19, 2024

While Montana has plenty to offer, such as hiking and skiing, here in Craig, Montana, the most popular winter hobby is fly fishing out on the Missouri River.

Fred Telleen, sales manager for the Craig Trout Shop, said winter is the best time of the year for fly fishing.

“Fly fishing in the wintertime is a little different than other seasons. It's obviously weather dependent, but we are blessed here with lots of yo-yos in the weather,” Telleen said. “Two weeks ago we had 60 degree days, last couple of weeks it's been super cold, [we have] snow on the ground, but today is absolutely beautiful.”

After being a fly-fishing guide for thirty-five years, Telleen says fly fishing in the wintertime is more enjoyable, more peaceful, and mostly easier than any other season.

Telleen said, “The difference between fishing in the wintertime versus the summer is that the fish are very opportunistic, which is good for the fly fisherman. They don't have a lot of food choices like they do in the summertime when there's lots of bugs hatching, [so] if you can find where they're living and present them with something, they're much more likely to eat it honestly than they are in the summertime.”

Fishing in the winter can be done in a variety of ways, including ice fishing which can also be done using fly’s for bait.

“If you know where the spots are, if you learn those spots, you can choose to fish with nymphs, you can choose to fish with streamers to imitate small fish, or you can even today with some clouds, there were a bunch of fish up earlier today [biting] little midges, which are very tiny little dry flies,” said Telleen. “Your options are across the board and the fishing can be really good.”

For questions about current fishing reports or conditions, you can call Fred at the Craig Trout Shop at 800 337-8528 or click here to visit the website.