Weekend Warrior: Hit the Slopes

This weekend, if you’re headed out to fish you better know of some open water before you head out the door. Rivers around Missoula are under varying levels of ice and snow, and the ice that is there isn’t exactly the stable kind. Maybe you would like to head over the hill to hit the Missouri? Your choice, though from what we here shelf ice is a big problem there as well. And cold is a factor across the board: the Headhunter’s crew cancelled their weekend spey clinic to keep from losing some appendages along the way. A better choice might be hitting the area ski resorts, where you’re sure to find some fun. Cross country skiers are having some great days around Pattee Canyon and elsewhere as well… Fishing? Not so much. Sure, you can find some fish if you’re willing to put in the time, and you’ve done your research. Early January is usually a bit of a lull when it comes to finding fish on the fly. Maybe try ice fishing!

Open water is a lot harder to find these days, and with winter conditions good and settled you know what that means…

If you are headed out to the rivers, standard cold weather tactics are your only options: dead drifted small streamers, nymphing using eggs, worms and hot bead patterns, and creative ways of getting the fly to the fish in the likely spots. Midge activity is at it’s lowest this time of year, though toward the end of the month things usually pick up a bit, so focus on places to dunk that worm, son. Or just get a leg up on that winter tying list, and enjoy some dry waders and warm feet.

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