I have had a busy spring running all over the country chasing fish. It feels good to be home. Here is a pic from a trip to the Dry Tortugas, dropping in to shoot one on a tower 70 miles offshore. Damn fine vis for the Gulf. Trout pictures soon enough. Picture by Sean Matthews of Salinity Gear, thanks buddy.
Time to hit the road to the east side and rope a few fish in the Missouri. This is a tough time to predict in the Missoula area, and while one day may produce great fishing, the next may find the river blown out. Oftentimes the drop after said bump fishes very well, how long it will fish is up to mother nature. If you live here, keep after them. If you are flying across the country to fish anytime soon, chances are your best option will be below a dam.
This time of year the weatherman has about as good a guess as you do when it comes to what to expect on the water. Just go, and be prepared for anything. If you sit around and wait for a bright sunny day this time of year you may be disappointed with the amount of company you have. The bugs are there, and the fish are eating them.
There are plenty of bugs coming off depending on where you fish these days. Blue wings on the nasty days, Skwalas on the warmer ones. March Browns are mixed in where you find them. There are plenty of places to fish around Missoula, no reason to pile in on top of people. Fish the weekdays if you can. you’ll have much less company out there.
One thing to keep in mind when fishing this time of year is the temperature swing that may take place daily. During our spring days it is not uncommon to start around freezing in the morning and end up in the 60* range. Dressing in layers is always a good idea here. Remember that those fish are feeling about the same, minus the beers. Bugs and fish activity increasing daily, and pretty damn good depending on the time and place. Look for things to be quite productive in the coming weeks. Bring your A-Game as you won’t have it to yourself. Man I love fishing under cloud cover.
Water temps are still a bit cold, but there is plenty of movement underneath to tell us things are about to pop. Overcast skies in the forecast should have them happy to look up, and any Mayflies will spend a good bit of time on the water before going airborne. If your gear is still dusty from last fall, change that.
It’s midge season in Western Montana, and the weather has been doing us a favor this last week. Warm sunny days have produced great hatches of midges and there are even a few fish eating them. What does this mean for us around Missoula? Capnia, nemoura, and skwalas are right around the corner. So, even if tiny bugs aren’t your thing, it’s time to dust off that gear and hit the vise..or bang a couple on the nymph rig to get yourself back in the swing.