Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Dearborn River - Craig - Montana

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midge Afternoon 20-22 Zebra Midge
February Midge Afternoon 18-20 Griffith's Gnat
March Blue Winged Olive Late Morning-Early Afternoon 16-20 Sparkle Dun BWO
April Blue Winged Olive, Skawla Stonefly Afternoon 10-14, 6-10 BWO Emerger, Skawla Stone
May Pale Morning Dun, Caddis Morning, Evening 16-20, 14-16 PMD Cripple, Elk Hair Caddis
June Salmonfly, Green Drake All Day 6-10, 10-12 Rogue Foam Salmonfly, Green Drake Dun
July Yellow Sallies, Caddis All Day 14-16, 14-16 Yellow Sally Stone, Elk Hair Caddis
August Tiny Baetis, Trico Morning, Afternoon 18-22, 20-24 JuJu Baetis, Trico Spinner
September Hoppers, Cicadas Noon to Afternoon 6-10 Chubby Chernobyl, Foam Cicada
October BWO, Mahogany Dun Late Morning-Early Afternoon 16-20, 14-18 Parachute BWO, Sparkledun Mahogany Dun
November Midge, BWO Afternoon 18-22, 20-22 Smokejumper Midge, Emerger BWO
December Midge Afternoon 20-22 Ice Cream Cone Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

Located in Montana, the Dearborn River offers one of the best fly fishing experiences. Here are some top spots on the Dearborn River – Craig:

  • Highway 435 Bridge: Offers perfect spots under the bridge where trout love to hide. Spring is the best time to catch rainbow and cutthroat trout here.
  • Timber Train Bridge: A remote but rewarding option, best to visit during the summer months.
  • Dearborn Confluence: The area where Dearborn River and Missouri River merge are a hotspot for brown trout.
  • Lower Dearborn River: The section between Highway 200 and the confluence has a high population of rainbow and cutthroat trout. It is also a peaceful area to fish, away from the crowd.

Best Access Points

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, fly fishing on the Dearborn River near Craig, Montana offers an unparalleled experience. Here are some of the best access points:

  • Highway 287 Bridge: An easily accessible location, great for those looking to cast their line without a long hike.
  • Evans Riceville Road: This spot requires a bit of a hike but offers tranquil and secluded fishing spots.
  • Peter Koch Bridge: Located near Wolf Creek, this access point is ideal if you’re looking to combine fishing with camping.

Remember, respect private properties along the river and always clean up after yourself to keep these stunning locations pristine. Keeping a local fishing guidebook handy can also be helpful to learn about specific restrictions or catch limits.

Local Fish

  • Trout: Trout are the most common fish targeted on the Dearborn River. These include both rainbow trout and brown trout.
  • Mountain Whitefish: These fish can often be found in large numbers in the deeper holes of the river.
  • Yellow Perch: This species can be found in the slower pools and backwaters of the river.
  • Walleye: Considered by many to be one of the best-tasting freshwater fish, walleye can be tricky to catch on a fly rod.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth bass are not as common as other species, but they can be found in certain sections of the river.
  • Pike: Pike is another fish that can be targeted on the Dearborn River, especially in the lower reaches of the river.
  • Arctic Grayling: This beautiful fish is not common in most rivers but can be found in the higher reaches of the Dearborn River.
  • Brook Trout: Another common catch for fly fishers, brook trout, are typically found in the river’s cooler waters.

About The River

The Dearborn River in Montana, flowing from Scapegoat Wilderness, is a picturesque river that has a unique history. This river is not only famed for its exceptional natural beauty but also for its fascinating past.

The name ‘Dearborn’ was given by none other than Lewis and Clark during their monumental westward exploration. They named it in honor of their Secretary of War, Henry Dearborn. However, the local natives had been using this river for centuries prior, as a bountiful fishing locale.

  • The river is about 70 miles long, contributing to the Missouri River.
  • It’s fabled for its rich ecosystems, providing habitat for a diverse range of wildlife.
  • Later, during westward expansion, it aided in fertile grounds for agricultural development.

Today, the Dearborn River in Craig serves as a paradise for recreational purposes. From canoeing to fishing, its significance remains intact in portraying the charm of Montana’s beauty and history.


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