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.
Hot, hot, hot. It is supposed to hit the 104* mark this weekend. That coupled with the meager flows spell disaster for the trout this year. The driest June since 1910. The repercussions of this summer may linger for a few years to come. My advice is back off a bit this summer, even if there are no river restrictions as of yet. Fish early and give them a break in the afternoons. Flies to fish Bitterroot Stones, Bridle Chute, Rusty Spinners, Goldens, Yellow Sallies. Here is Mardi from Napa with a nice Brown from the Root that ate a dry.
There is a whole lot of sun in the upcoming forecast, and frankly that’s a bummer. Will it kill things? No, but it sure will slow things down a bit. There are good bugs out there and the variety basically depends on where you are at any given time. The upside this week is that with the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers fishing the Root will see a little less pressure-hopefully. Everybody got an early start slapping the water this year with the warm weather in February, so there are a more than few fish that have seen poor drifts. Fish well and your odds go up dramatically coming into the late spring dry fly window. I’d pass on that size 8 chubby and opt for something a little more subtle. Here is Jason from Riverside, Ca with his first one from the Bitterroot.