Monday, April 24, 2017

Slow Burning Spring Dry Flies pt. 2

It seems too good to be true.

The rivers of western MT just keep on ticking. Even the ol' Clark Fork has come to life these last few days. Something for everyone out on the river lately and we are soaking it up. We have had a good run this (late) spring with happy repeat clientele and plenty of rising trout to boot. While the weather has swung from bluebird sunshine to blustery to costal Alaskan mist the fishing has remained consistent and at some times stellar. Stellar I say. The afternoon top water bite has spoiled us this year, so much so that we gotta go and do something special in June to top this.

This week the March Browns have popped in full will flotillas of the little kickers showing up like lunchtime clockwork. The fish have taken notice. The Skwala fishing is still the go-to for us daily boat jockys but a little mid-day head-hunting with the sneaky mayfly offers welcome variety. Tying on a #14 parachute behind the big bug or just straight up committing to the smaller fly has paid off recently with some stunning fish hitting the net. Don't just believe me, believe the pictures and the raving reviews.

Mr. Brown

Also Mr. Brown

Like all things that are good this cannot last forever. The specter of high water runoff is looming as the afternoons continue to get warmer. Second week of May? Sooner? With every rainy morning in the valley the snowpack coasts another day into the heat of summer. With our current 115% snowpack waiting in the hills the time is coming soon. The Big Hole will soon be calling us over the divide with relief from the monster, muddy, rock-grinding, tree-falling Bitterroot.

Until then. . . .

Bruce The Moose

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Slow Burning Spring Dry Flies

The Spring Equinox has just past and the bite for western Montana seems to be turning around. While the nymph game has been consistent for weeks now the top water action started out anemic at best. Some times we are honest on this blog. Sometimes. It has not been a gangbuster start to the flyfishing season this year and that much was expected: With all the snow accumulated this winter along with a record-setting stretch of cold temps the rivers are slow to warm this year. While some have quickly grown accustomed to finding superb spring fishing as early as mid-February these past several drought years, this spring is a return to the Skwala hatch being more of a gamble. This past two weeks, however, has seen the fish shake off the winter slumber and go back to eating on the surface full time. Man oh man is it fun when things come back to life!

This past week has seen a change in fortune for the dry fly flickers. More numerous and more willing surface feeders are lined up opportunistically sipping the well-presented Skwala. Any day now we should be seeing our first consistent March Brown hatches of the season. While the eastern March Brown comes off in March like the name suggests our western hatch R. morrisoni is rarely seen before April. Once it gets going you can count on the 1-4pm window hosting concentrated areas of this prime hatch. It is best to post on pods during this hatch rather than prospect with the searching mayfly pattern. Find the fish focused in on the mayflies and catch them there. Not too much calendar left before we head off to foreign rivers trying to avoid the Bitterroot Brownout. Runoff will be a doozy this year but the Big Hole and Missouri figure to be prime. The season long game of finding fish has just barely started.