Runoff arrives early….

Since last week we have had several days of warm weather with high temps in the 70’s & 80’s. This has the mountain snow melting fast and a bit early. River flows are running about 4 times above normal levels. Runoff should be significant and last awhile since we have 105% of normal snow pack. Fishing is tough and a bit dangerous with the water running this high and off color. I expect the river to shape up again in early – mid June depending on how the rest of spring goes. The best fly fishing this time of year is on the tail waters which have dams to control flows. The Missouri and Beaverhead are the best rivers within a couple hours drive of the Bitterroot. Drop me a line if you are interested in fishing those rivers between now and June. I will continue to update my fishing report on current conditions…. See ya on the river………..

What a difference a week makes.

When I posted my last fishing report a week ago it was snowing in the valley. Since then we have had temperatures as high as 75 degrees and some great dry fly action. The warm weather definitely brought the fish up but unfortunately after a couple days of warmth the river came up as well. Fishing slowed down considerably with the higher water but is now picking up as the river is on the drop. We worked hard for the fish but managed to catch a couple 20″ + on Skwalas. There are still good numbers of the big stone flies out and fish are keying on them. The spring mayflies ( March Brown, Gray drake ) are emerging in good numbers every afternoon. It seems that fish are not as focused on them yet this spring and many fish taking may flies will take a Skwala if it passes over. Best fishing is still in the afternoon, run a Skwala to prospect or a double rig with a may fly about 16″ behind the stone. We are living on borrowed time as far as river levels go. While its been cool and the river is dropping, it’s only a matter of time before spring warmth gets runoff going See ya on the river………  ~><(((*>


One thing that is consistent about spring weather in Montana is that it’s inconsistent. Woke up to snow falling this morning. Forecast is for 2-4″ in the valley and 9-14″ in the mountains. Maybe I put those skis away too early. No worries, highs should be back in the 60’s early next week. As for the fishing, it’s been up and down like the river. Last weeks heavy rain brought the Bitterroot up 3 times normal volume. Any significant rises in water levels usually shuts the fishing off until the river stabilizes and begins to drop.  Thanks to the cold, the river has dropped big time since peaking on Sunday. Water clarity is also improving significantly. Dry fly fishing is on again but the afternoon window of opportunity is short due to the cold water temps. We caught a few fish in the afternoon on Skwala’s but they were all good fish. The spring hatches are in full swing and as we warm up I am expecting some of the best dry fly action this year. There are still lots of Skwalas, nemouras, and Capnia, but the big news is that the mayflies are emerging in big numbers. The river was covered with March Browns and a few Gray drakes. Fish what the trout are keying on or run a double dry with a mayfly behind a Skwala. See ya on the river……dress warm.