Weekend Warrior: Divide and Conquer

Well, the front-and-center bug is front and center on the Bitterroot, and you can officially load your cannons for skwala-seeking trout in the afternoons – if conditions are right. Look for that water to hit the early 40s before throwing the dry if you want your best chances, or just stick with a dry/dropper rig throughout the day and you’ll move some fish. Don’t forget the small stuff, and look for hatches of mayflies that could be showing up. All in all, the Bitterroot is a very solid choice for fishing this weekend. The olive crystal stimulator with a prince dropper, or your favorite skwala/stone combo will keep you in the mix. The weather might not be sunbathing style, but with the temperatures predicted to stay in the 50s all weekend, the rain will give you a chance to see how those wader repairs you did last fall held up through the winter.

Rainbrowns on rubberlegs. That never happens in western Montana. It’s a miracle.
 Zach Orth with another netful of Montana gold mined the old fashioned way. 

Just another day in paradise in western Montana, so be ready for changes in weather and changes in what the fish focus on when on the water this weekend. Be ready to nymph them up at times, and if you’re a streamer king you know what to do. From all reports, streamer fishing has been working close to town, so if you’ve only got a few hours look for the good stuff and let ’em rip. The upper Clark Fork is looking very tempting, though reports of good fishing have been spotty. Don’t let that stop you from being the first to bang them up on this water, where you’re sure to find some solitude. Below town things are starting to pick up on the Clark Fork, and with the clouds and rain this could be the weekend when the fish really go after a streamer down there.

Wading Rock Creek is an option this weekend, though I wouldn’t count on being the only person at your favorite spot on the lower river, and the upper parts are still running a bit cold to make the drive worth it from Missoula. If you’re headed this way be prepared to find most of your fish subsurface, eating the stonefly nymphs that are just starting to move. If you’re looking for solitude the Blackfoot always surprises this time of year if you hit it right. Don’t expect dry fly fishing- deep stonefly rigs, streamers and a whole lot of deep stuff to try out.

This weekend the weather looks perfect for a boat full of idiots, a thermos of coffee and a lot of bent rods, so pick your spot and get out there in the rain like a real man. (Or woman. Or other.) Hit up your favorite shop, grab a few of the hot bugs and tie one on. Divide and conquer and go get bent. (Your rod, I mean.)

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