Weekend Warrior: Unleash the Streamer Fiends

The streamflow charts for all of our rivers look like they are high and stabilizing, but the bumps that occurred over the week still have the rivers off a bit. Last weekend we saw surprisingly good fishing, and we may get lucky and find fish where they aren’t supposed to be this weekend as well. Unfortunately, the bumps have taken a few rivers off the table. The usual suspects: Lower and upper Clark Fork and the Blackfoot are not great options right now. Stick to the reliable rivers during these bumps and drops of spring. The Bitterroot and Rock Creek are always the first to come into shape, and sometimes fish great straight through the muddy stuff. Hatches are happening, and we’re hearing from some boats of dry fly fishing from put in to take out, with it improving as the day goes on if conditions are right.

Over the hills and far away on the Mo.

The dry fly window for the skwalas is still beginning in the early afternoon, and the right pattern is getting the job done on the Bitterroot. Lots of happy anglers there. BWOs, March Browns, the bugs are there but the bite might be slower than it has been during the week. Keep at it and you’ll have some luck. No one wants to watch the bobber this time of year, and if the rivers stabilize a bit then we can rule this option out altogether. If nymphing seems to be the best option, stick with stoneflies to get them down and soft water to find the fish. With the bugs present and smaller fish moving on them, the time for the streamer fiends is upon us.  Rock Creek up high was the trick last weekend and will remain so this weekend if you want dry fly eats, and similar situations are about on the river in the right places. Streamer opportunities will be here, there, and everywhere. Try flashy or dark to get seen in the off color stuff, and don’t forget to dead drift your Slumpbuster in the plunge pools.

Flies to have in the boxes this weekend are your favorite skwala pattern, though the fish haven’t been particularly picky about it when the bugs are there. Parachute adams in a size 14, and a couple in size 18 will help when the mayflies are out, and a good gray drake pattern wouldn’t hurt your chances on the Bitterroot or Rock Creek. Grab the streamer rod and some smaller sculpin imitations and give it a shot if the fishing gets frustrating, and don’t forget the rubberlegs and hare’s ears for the nymph game.
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