Spring fishing in western Montana is here, and there are some good options for the weekend. I’m going to keep it short and sweet on the Clark Fork: Skip it. High and off color, not worth your time. Rock Creek is staying cold as well, and if you’re really loving watching the bobber you could get into some fish but the dry fly fishing isn’t going anywhere. But enough about where it isn’t fishing, lets talk about where the fish are!
|Skwala nymphs so tasty the Simms trout logo even eats them.|
The Blackfoot is greening up, which can only mean one thing: take your chances and toss some big meat with the boys this weekend! The water is still cold, so dry fly fishing is definitely off the table, but deep nymphing and big streamers find fish when the color is right, and it’s looking good from the road. Will this be the year you get into that 30 incher? The Blackfoot streamer fishing can be an all or nothing game, but your odds are getting better by the day. If you’ve been missing the Blackfoot it is worth a shot, but be careful as the water is always ripping and chilly as it gets. Flashy streamers and deep, slow retrieves can find fish. Black is a great color in the green water. Deep stonefly rigs will nymph them up.
On the Bitterroot, the cold weather is holding the skwalas on the move a bit longer than usual, and that’s fine by me. There are fish being caught on the dry, though during our recent floats the dropper was the key to those inside bend fish. The water temps are staying lower, and the bugs are collecting very close to shore, so keep that in mind when looking for fish to take. A prince variation on a short leash behind a bullet-head skwala pattern will find fish, and for those dry fly fanatics it can be worth tossing a double dry rig with a dun pattern off the back to the slow stuff. There are BWOs in the mix for sure, and drakes are sure to make an appearance. The Bitterroot is dangerous this time of year, and it’s not time to learn to row out there. Get someone experienced behind the sticks and be ready for changing conditions and stay safe.