The weather this week has made for some great fishing on the Bitterroot and the Missouri, and I’ve seen a lone angler on the Clark Fork below the Doubletree Hotel on my daily commute home from work every day. Suffice to say, fishing is happening and the time is now. Sure, it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, but there is fishing to be had, and women never mind if you blow them off for fishing. Never.
The warm weather might feel a bit unseasonable, but we’re in better shape than last year at this time, though not by much. Last year the hills were bare and the rivers were wide open, and this year there is a bit more white stuff up there and hopefully more to come.
|The Rattlesnake valley on February 16, 2015. Last year things were lean on the water side.
This year we’ve got a bit more snow, but lets all keep hoping for more.
If you are headed to the river, the hot beaded nymphs are great bets in the slow stuff, and there are reports of good fishing with slow stripped or dead drifted streamers as well. Whenever you fish in the winter, remember the fish aren’t hugging the banks like they will when the bugs are hatching steadily. They like to hang in the slower stuff, the deeper stuff where they don’t have to work hard. Fish every inch of the good water, and fish methodically. Once you find a depth and a water speed where the fish are hitting, look for similar water and work it like Beyonce at the Super Bowl. From now until the skwalas arrive the fishing should be decent all around, and you might even see some heads popping up for midges in the right conditions. For you weekend warriors, time to re-up that license if you haven’t already and get in the mix. Things are looking good in the neighborhood.