Fishing on the Missouri River around Pierre, SD can be some of the most fun fishing of the year. Smallmouth Bass, White Bass, Pike, and Walleye all eagerly take flies throughout the Spring and early Summer. Fishing over at Pierre isn’t exactly technical, and that’s one of our favorite parts about it. If you find a likely-looking spot or a spot where you’ve caught fish before, there’s a pretty darn good chance there will be fish there. While we’ve caught fish on a ton of different patterns, we’ve found a few flies that seem to work well over the last several years. Minnow and baitfish patterns seem to be the most effective types of flies, as the fish of the Missouri have a primarily baitfish-driven diet. The flies in the picture above have proven to be great choices when fishing around the Pierre area, and you shouldn’t be without them!
Jawbreaker – This is the top fly in the above picture, and has proven itself to be a great pattern for the Missouri. It works especially well on Smallies and Largemouth bass when they’re on rocky shorelines and riprap. The jig hook gives the fly a great action in the water that fish can’t resist!
Chain Reaction – This is the first fly on the right. The bead chain tail with a tuft of marabou wiggles it’s way right into the mouth of hungry smallmouth! The Chain Reaction has a great action in the water, and is nice and heavy to get down. It’s quickly become one of our favorite Smallmouth Bass patterns!
Todd’s Wiggle Minnow – The second fly on the right side, the Wiggle Minnow works wonders when the White Bass are close to the surface! The lip on the front of the fly makes it dive and wiggle like a Rapala, and fish can’t resist it. We’ve done best fishing this fly on an intermediate tip line, which makes it dive down just a bit deeper.
Spectre Minnow – The bottom fly on the right hand side, this Kreelex-style fly has just the right jigging action that fish find seductive. We’ve caught a lot of walleye on this pattern for some reason, but it works great for smallmouth and white bass as well!
Murdich Minnow – The first fly on the left hand side, this is one of our best flies for big smallies! Pike and Walleye like it as well, and if you get into a school of big white bass you’ll do great. The Murdich is a lighter fly that is best fished on a sink-tip line with a short leader.
Clouser Deep Minnow – The second fly on the left, this is one of the all-time best warmwater flies. Bob Clouser did something right with this fly, because it catches just about everything! This is one fly to not be caught without if you’re fishing on the Missouri.
Bully Bugger – Local Missouri River guru Don Polovich fishes one pattern in a dozen different colors, and this is it. A simple fly of Don’s own design, this fly is hands down one of the best warmwater patterns ever fished at Pierre. I’ve had days where I didn’t use anything but a Bully Bugger and caught fish all day. Definitely have a few in your box!
If you’re heading over to the Missouri River this Spring and Summer, definitely have a few of these patterns in your box! Over the next few days look for more blog posts on fishing the Missouri River, including rod selection, how to pick the right line and leader, and how to target the fish!