Full on spring fishing is on the menu this weekend in western Montana, and your options are all good ones. Want to toss streamers? It’s on. Want to catch lots of fish? Dunk a nymph rig. Want to throw dries to risers? Yep, we got that too. Right now, spring fishing is looking good, and the rivers are giving up their secrets.
Yes, the big skwala are still out on the Bitterroot and lower Clark Fork, but remember as the hatch tapers off the smaller bugs hatch and the fish have seen a whole lot of artificial junk floating over their heads. Choose your patterns wisely, and don’t hesitate to drop it down a size if you’re finding no takers. Sometimes a grey drake or another slim mayfly pattern off the back of your big dry can make all the difference so if you’re having trouble finding them on the single dry, double them up and give it a rip. Fish are in all channels of the river lately, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking for those fishy opportunities like back waters, woody holes, and slicks after riffle runs. Good presentation and good approach will make the difference in your fishing this weekend, so dial in that cast and get stealthy.
|My original whitefish pattern the “Whitey Bulger” will be out and about in some fishy hands this weekend.
Let’s see if he can get up to no good like his namesake.
My choice for fun fishing this weekend might not be a numbers game, but the Blackfoot has been great on streamers and nymph rigs and warm enough to find risers in the afternoon. If you’re looking for a change of pace and some beautiful wooded runs to fish, grab some streamers and head up there. The boat traffic will be a lot less to contend with, and there is always a chance of landing a big fish on the Blackfoot. Yellow streamers, flashy stuff in the off color water or straight black all have been handily roping fish.
As for the Clark Fork, it is getting better by the day though it is always a gamble this time of year in some sections. Below town could see some mayfly bonkers hatches in backwaters if the sun gets it cooking just right. Worth a float and a wade if you’ve got the patience for figuring out this tricky water this time of year. Dry flies have been working, so stick with it and stick a fish. Rock Creek can be a bit tricky to find water to fish, but with the fish being so willing, it’s worth nudging into a spot and spreading out. Find your own water and you’re sure to find fish. Across the board you should be carrying some smaller skwala patterns, some drake patterns and a good selection of mayfly patterns along with your nymphs and streamers of choice. If there are risers, take a look and get into the right spot before casting to them, and you’ll be into fish in no time. Stay safe, spread out, and slay some trout!