Near Craig in western Montana, the Missouri River offers great floating in pursuit of brown trout. The river is known for its outstanding fly hatches and for its challenging to land trout. One of the more popular sections is right below Holter Dam.
The Missouri River is formed by the Three Forks confluence of the Gallatin River, the Jefferson River and the Madison River. From Three Forks, the roughly 300 foot wide river flows about 20 miles to Toston Dam. This upper stretch has warm water and is not very productive. From Toston Dam, the river runs another 12 miles to Canyon Ferry Lake. This middle tailwater stretch has decent rainbow trout and brown trout that migrate up and downstream at times of year. The next stretch from Canyon Ferry Lake is from Hauser Dam downstream to Holter Lake. It is also known for migrating trout.
The lower section below Holter Dam is a tailwater, spring creek stretch that is the most popular. It runs 34 miles to Cascade. It is a world class dry fly fishery. It is a pretty flat water section with few riffles and large pools. Even so, it is a challenging place to float for beginners, especially near Half Breed Rapids. This section of water is supported by the towns of Wolf Creek, Craig and Hardy.
Overall, Missouri River is the 19th most popular fly fishing river of all 21 fly fishing spots in Montana.