Little Sun, Little Snow, Big Fish

Took a detour from the herd headed to the Bitterroot yesterday, and after shoveling snow out of the frozen boat the fishing wasn’t bad at all. The time of year, taking a chance on some different water might not be in the cards for outfitters who have sold a skwala trip and need the numbers, but if you want some solitude and a break from the crowd, taking a gamble can be more than worth it. We opted for the lower Blackfoot, on a day that broke with the rest of the week’s beautiful warm days and decided to spit snow and blow hard winds at us from the get go. It didn’t stop the fish from taking the streamer, though it made hoisting them out of the drink an agonizing proposition. Frozen fingers are great for stripping, and rowing into blustering headwinds just helps you stretch a float out. That’s what you can tell yourself while you do it, anyway.

First of the day came while the sun came out. Streamer game was on, and the chuck and duck kept us warm.

The Blackfoot is chugging along, but its got great color for the moment. We all agreed that with the weather looking to warm up throughout the week, and the snow in the hills piling up all day that the next few days might see a bump and a bit less clarity. That wouldn’t stop me from heading up there again anytime soon. Shuttle bums are waiting for the calls, and entire sections of river with just you and the trout are always welcome. We found what we were looking for, despite frozen toes and windburn. Skwala fever might have it’s grips on Missoula right now, but a day off from the Bitterroot might be just what the doctor ordered.

Winter isn’t done with us yet. Despite the snow and wind, the Blackfoot was fishing great in the right places. 

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