Weekend Warriors: Up High or Not At All

You’ve got a couple of choices for your fishing this weekend. Up high, or not at all. High up on the Bitterroot might work. Low down on the Clark Fork will not. High up in a lake will work. Low down on Rock Creek will not. Yep, you’ve got to take it to the places you might not usually fish if you want to find success this weekend. The hot weather of last weekend combined with the mixed bag this week has started that off-color, high bank boogie on area rivers, making for tougher fishing all around. The Missouri is a great choice this time of year, and the extra drive time can be just the motivation to get your A game going. BWOs are there, and a whole lot of ways to fish them. The West Fork of the Bitterroot is your “up high” and you might get lucky choice, and as of this morning the flows are up but stable and even dropping a bit on the Bitterroot, though that doesn’t translate to safe floating or great fishing. Again, get to a lake or the Missouri if you want anything close to stable conditions.
There are tons of lakes around Missoula that are worth hitting up, and it takes very little intel to find one that is fishing well this time of year. Hit up the guys at the fly shop, and they should be able to point you toward a good one. Even better still, hit up the guys at the counter of the spin fishing stores. You know the big box ones? Well, they get anglers of all styles and interests and that means one thing: LAKE INFO. Lots of it. Get there and get the skinny, and you’ll stay happy through runoff.

You’ll need a few imitations of these bad boys if you want to catch fish through the dirty stuff.
Worms, not the four year-old kid. Those ones are harder to design a fly to match.

What kind of flies should you be throwing this weekend? Well, with rising banks come the inevitable worms, crane fly larvae and other assorted junk so the old standby worm patterns are big hit. Streamers are fun. Dry flies? Not so much. Unless you head to the Mo, those boxes can stay in the truck. The trick this weekend isn’t going to be what flies you have on, but where you choose to fish. And packing a few worms can’t hurt.

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