Snow is the word of the day. Big wet spring flakes, the kind that make the fishermen hide and the trout rise. The perfect spring dry fly weather in my book. Is is chilly, yes. Is it good, yes. Forget the dropper and cruise.
Well, I was watching some retro “PeeWee’s playhouse” with the kids this morning and “Do” was the word of the day. That got me thinking. I would be willing to bet the guys around here that catch the most fish are the guys that “do”. That is, when you wake up in the morning hung over-feeling like you were hit by a pickup truck-wondering if you can get to the oars….Do. When you can’t fight the headwind another minute…do. When you don’t want to switch bugs because your fingers are frozen…do. You get the picture, the best anglers are the ones that always “do” no matter the conditions. Thanks for the words to live by Pee Wee.
The Clark Fork through town looks fishable again, which is a good sign that flows are evening out. It is important to remember this time of year that clarity is more important than flow. The rivers will fish well when the flows are up as long as there is decent visibility -an not too much silt. You know the silt you hear echoing through the dimple bottom as it scours the gel coat from your boat-yeah, not good for fishing. There is also a huge difference between the visibility underwater, and that which we see when looking down into it. The clarity remains much more hazy when looking horizontally through the water than it does form above. Adjust your flies and presentation accordingly. If you are the type that is out to catch fish no matter what I suggest a worm on dropping off-color water…big secret, I know. Here is Jason with a dry fly rainbow from the Bitterroot and a stupid hat.
The water is up. Rain and warm temps have started producing the roller coaster flows of spring. The good new is as the water clears it’s going to get good. Not just the Bitterroot, but all of them. Be ready and watch the graph. Better yet, find a day in the forecast that will be warm and cloudy and fish hard in the afternoon. HIt the banks and insides- as rising water will push fish to softer lies. This is the time of year to find that monster brown that spends it’s summer days buried deep in an untouchable log jam. Here is Courtney with a Bitterroot Rainbow that took a Skwala Dry.
The boats are out in full force thorough the Missoula Valley, and the Bitterroot looks like a carnival ride on the weekends. Fishing is good underneath and average on the surface but look for that to change with the heatwave this week. Skwalas will be right around the corner along with the influx of Washington License Plates. The low rider will turn more heads than the bushy wings as the hatch progresses, so keep that in mind. These fish get Beat Down this time of year in no time flat, and the angler that adjusts his technique accordingly will see better results. Top bugs have been the Bittterroot Prince, the worm, and the Foamie Homie.