Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Missouri River - Fort Benton - 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 Midges Afternoon #20-26 Griffith's Gnat
Blue-winged olives Afternoon #16-20 Sparkle Dun
February Midges Afternoon #20-26 Griffith's Gnat
Blue-winged olives Afternoon #16-20 Sparkle Dun
March Midges Afternoon #20-26 Griffith's Gnat
Blue-winged olives Afternoon #16-20 Sparkle Dun
April Blue-winged olives Afternoon #16-20 Sparkle Dun
May Baetis All day #16-18 BWO Soft Hackle
June PMD Morning-Afternoon #14-16 PMD Emerger
July Caddis Evening #14-18 Elk Hair Caddis
August Hoppers Afternoon #6-10 Parachute Hopper
September Terrestrials All day #8-12 Chernobyl Ant
October Blue-winged olives Afternoon #16-20 Sparkle Dun
November Midges Afternoon #20-26 Griffith's Gnat
Blue-winged olives Afternoon #16-20 Sparkle Dun
December Midges Afternoon #20-26 Griffith's Gnat
Blue-winged olives Afternoon #16-20 Sparkle Dun

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

The Missouri River in Fort Benton is acclaimed as one of the best spots for fly fishing enthusiasts around the world. Here are some of the superb fishing areas along its course:
  • The Land of Giants: This area near the Hauser dam is renowned for Rainbow and Brown trout and is accessible only by boat.
  • Below Holter Dam: This 30-mile stretch of the river offers prolific hatches and large trout making it a favored destination for anglers.
  • Craig section: Known for its excellent dry fly fishing due to the vast amounts of hatch. Frequent catches of Rainbow and Brown trout characteristics this zone.
  • Helena Valley Regulating Reservoir: Offers a unique fishing opportunity for warm water species like Walleye, Perch, and Northern Pike.
  • Missouri River Headwaters State Park: Situated near the town of Three Forks, it’s a prime spot for Rainbow, Brown trout and Mountain Whitefish.
Remember, all these spots not only offer excellent fishing opportunities but also breathtaking views of the stunning wilderness that surrounds the river.

Best Access Points

The Missouri River in Fort Benton provides some of the finest fly-fishing spots in Montana. These access points offer both beautiful scenery and abundant fish:

  • Canyon Ferry Lake: Besides being a popular fishing spot, it also hosts a decent Trout population.
  • Hauser Lake: As a tailwater, it regularly holds big Trout and offers excellent hatches.
  • Holter Dam: Annually produces some of the biggest Rainbow Trout in the state and also an excellent access point.
  • Craig Bridge: Known for a healthy Trout population, it’s an excellent place for wade fishing.
  • Stickney Creek: A lesser-known spot with smaller crowds, perfectly suited for the solitary angler.
  • Wolf Creek Bridge: Provides great amenities including ample parking, easy water access, and a boat ramp.

Whether you are seeking solitude or an area with plenty of conveniences, you’ll find it at these access points on the Missouri River in Fort Benton.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout – Known for their fight and beautiful appearance, they are probably the most targeted fish in the Fort Benton area of the Missouri River.
  • Rainbow Trout – Another popular species among fly fishermen, they are plentiful in the Missouri River and distinguished by their vibrant coloring.
  • Walleye – Recognized for their unique appearance with a large mouth and sharp teeth, they can provide a challenging catch for fly fisherman.
  • White Bass – An aggressive species, they can provide quite a thrilling experience for those looking for a fight.
  • Northern Pike – A predatory species, known for its strength and size, offers an exciting challenge for fly fishing enthusiasts.
  • Smallmouth Bass – Although smaller in size than some of their counterparts, they provide an exciting fishing experience with their aggressive behavior and dynamic fighting style.
  • Yellow Perch – Known for their vibrant coloring, they are a popular catch among fly fisherman.
  • Channel Catfish – With their distinctive barbels and long bodies, they are a unique addition to the fly fisherman’s list of catches.

About The River

Experience a voyage through time by exploring the Missouri River and the historic location of Fort Benton. Originating in the 19th century and considered the world’s innermost port, this place played a vital role in the expansion of the United States. It was the last stop of the steamboats travelling via Missouri River, connecting early regions of the Midwest to the Wild West.

Here’s a little timeline of its remarkable journey:

  • 1846: Establishment of Fort Benton as a fur trading post by the American Fur Company.
  • 1860: Transformed into a booming town during the Montana gold rush.
  • 1865 – 1887: Served as a crucial transportation hub welcoming hundreds of steamboats stocked with settlers and supplies.
  • Present Day: A living museum encapsulating the riveting past of the American Frontier.
Let’s not forget its critical role in Lewis and Clark expeditions. The Missouri River around Fort Benton breathes history, waiting for you to uncover its captivating stories.


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