Missoula weather has been very conducive to fly fishing as of late. The Bitterroot river has been seeing some traffic, according to one of our guides who lives on the river. The Clark Fork has been great for the wade anglers in the afternoon. You can try to pull a streamer on these waters but really the temp is a bit cold. Try #12/14 BH Prince, BH Stones in appropriate colors to imitate the skwala nymphs. Zebra midges might come in handy once you stumble upon risers. Don't expect huge numbers, but if you don't hack it up you can put a few in the net.
Here is a link to our snow-pack reports. Make of it what you will.
A couple of our guides have been out fishing in the past few weeks. There has been a midge emergence on the milder days and the fish have been on them. Jeremy Kneeland did well on Friday with several to the net. He said the best bug was a prince dropped off of some pink scud-thing that he ties. The Bitterroot and Missouri might be good places to hit if you need to wet a line. Griffith's gnat, small thread midges, small princes etc. I'd skip the mornings and focus on the warmest parts of the day. If you're on the Missouri look at the water near the dam. Zebra midges, rainbow czech, pink amex should do the trick if you don't mind watching a pink bobber all day. We have had guide trips in the past few years in late January, and our clients have had consistently good fishing. It's not for wimps, however.
Spring is on it's way and it's time to start thinking about skwalas. If you have never been in western Montana for this hatch, I would highly suggest trying to make the trip. This is when we take some of the largest trout of the entire year.
Everyone wish Zach Lazzari well on his adventure to Chile. He scored a guiding gig for the next couple of months. Never fear- he will be returning in mid-March, just on time for the Skwala hatch. We look forward having him back for the 2014 season.