Saturday, March 29, 2014

Missoula Fly Fishing Reports-I lost my razor last September

BITTERROOT RIVER REPORT: There have been a few skwalas out. Our guides had good dry fly fishing last week. The river bumped a few days ago and the dry fly bite took a hit. The boats are very cloggy in the middle reaches. If you go: Try fishing somewhere besides Bell to Stevensville. I talked to the local biologist and he said that there are fish in the entire river. We looked into it and it's true. 
CLARK FORK RIVER REPORT:We had some decent fishing this week. The dries were working and then it came up and went off color. My suspicion is that the rains will knock everything out for a bit. If you find midgers they will eat the skwala.  Try brown buggers, 12/14 princes, skwalas, zebra droppers. We just can't      

bring ourselves to tie on the SJ worm. Nope.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Missoula Fly Fishing Report-Boaty! Boaty! Boaty!

So at about 10 this morning I pulled into an access on the Bitterroot River. I gotta tell you, it was nothing short of disturbing. There were about 9 in, and another 4 on the deck. What in the world possesses someone to go ahead and put their boat in after they KNOW that there are already a dozen in?  Best of luck, compadre.
   So the skwalas have made a decent attempt at an emergence. There have been a few here and there, but these damn cold H2O night temps have kept this whole thing at bay. Doesn't really matter; the masses have descended. Everyone is hoping that the bite will be "sick" and that the oodles of knuckleheads plowing the water won't matter.
   If you eat 3 Valium and go anyway,  here's the scoop:  12/14 prince under a skwala. If they won't eat the prince or the skwala then try something else. But they should eat that. Seriously.
BLACKFOOT RIVER: Pretty cold. If you have to fish a fish a dry fly go somewhere else. If you can tolerate cold and ice and leftover snow, try a double bead with a red worm. Streamer-wise, go darker before lighter. Olive-ish-ness is always a good bet. Slow and low, for sure. We used to drill them on a low riding yellow marabou muddler.
CLARK FORK RIVER: Still rather big and dirty. I would seriously think about going elsewhere. If you do think you are more awesome than the environment, try a worm/prince combo or bugger-ish stuff fished low and deep and slow. The water's still wicked cold.      Corn, there's always corn.
ROCK CREEK: It should be great right now. The skwala nymphs should be starting to move up to the shallows and there should be a few midges out on the nicer days.  Visit Deb at Trout Bums for more accurate info. We haven't been on the creek in a while.  Or call them @ 406-825-6146.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bitterroot River, Montana Fly Fishing Report-better than yard-work!

Bitterroot River Brownie not caught on a skwala. 

Considering that we have a bunch of fly fishing trips coming up soon, I figured it might be a sweet idea to go poke around the Bitterroot and see about the skwalas. Here's the scoop:
You might read that there are bugs out. There are NOT. We saw one very cold, very lonely adult out today. He drifted down a primo seam. That's it. He just drifted down the seam.
You might also hear that the dry  fly fishing is good. It is NOT. The boats that we talked to day were very excited about the 2 dry fly hits they had had. Yep, two...
   But seriously, the water looks sweet and there is plenty of it. There is so much fishy water that once it gets cookin' it will be good. With night temps in the high teens it could be a while. We caught a few on the good old prince. We caught a few more on a midge. The risers that we found were eager to eat the small bug. We had one come up and nudge a skwala pattern and then swim off, laughing. Not because the fake looked bad, but rather because it seemed so unlikely. Bring a thermos and mittens if you go 'cause it's gonna be on the cool side. Oh, and we saw a dude belly-crawl up to the edge of a nice bank and then flick his thingamacan'tcastitbobba off the edge. I don't believe I've ever seen someone do the stealth thing only toss a plastic ball, lead and two flies into 6 feet of water.  There so many spots where you can stand up and fish.

The Woodside diversion looks extra evil right now. I heard tell that it ate a boat about a week ago. Just portage the dam thing. (Get it?)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Missoula Montana Fly Fishing Report ( and some fun from the Missouri,eh?)

Yep. We're going fishing!
This was highway 200 headed up over Rogers Pass. One might ask why in the world we would drive through this kind of weather just catch a trout? One of our best customers from Calgary decided he need to scratch the itch a bit, after an insanely long Canadian winter. Too much back-bacon and Tim Horton's makes the soul restless. Anyway, he drove down on monday morning.
   Prickly Pear was roaring as we pulled into Wolf Creek. With all of the low-elevation snow and rain as of late, the first taste of un-off had begun. We would learn from the gang in Craig that the Dearborn was totally blown and the middle and lower river was shot. So off to the dam we went.

This Canuck can get it done!

   It was the usual fare. A # 12 czech with a short dropper, like an #18 zebra or #14/16 hot bead whatever,  took fish on nearly every good drift. Water temps were in the mid-30s. Clarity was great but there were releases both days. I would expect the flows to fluctuate. There is a ton of water coming into the upper reservoirs.
   We fished casually but effectively, and by the end of the day we had caught enough to be bored.  Plus, it was really freaking cold and rainy. How many frozen Canadians does it take to catch a trout? Just one, apparently. So it was off to Cascade for a warm drink, hot meal and some much needed sleep.

Someone finally ordered it!


The Driftwood Bar has long made some of the finest bar burgers east of the continental divide. In recent years they have featured a sandwich called "The Hutterrite". Now, I have never, ever seen anyone order this thing. But on this night our good Canadian friend decided that he had to. Long story short, he finished it. Oh, and he washed it down with most of a box of Nilla wafers. Impressive.

   If you ever want to actually meet this guy you can give Bow River Adventures a ring.  He is the owner. At least until he keels over from a massive heart attack. Clear!

This was the fish of the trip.

Day two found us sitting in the sunshine, contentedly drilling trout after trout. I thought the fishing was better, even in the sun. It was the same story, same rig, more fish. As much as I don't like to nymph, we had to do it. The pay-off was well worth it.

   So if you made it this far into this post, here's the scoop on the Missoula fishing:

BITTERROOT RIVER:  Blown!!!! The water is high and might come down this week. We have had so much valley snow and it is all melting.
CLARK FORK: Blowner than the 'root.
BLACKFOOT RIVER: Blown and wintery. We drove by it last night and it was mocha-licious and looking cold. Ice to the water's edge and raging. Don't bother.
Think warm thoughts for the rest of the month. The Bitterroot might come in. If it does, it's gonna be awesome. Big flows, fewer wade dudes, and trout that haven't been assaulted for a month. It is nice to get all of the early season pressure off the river. There's always a silver lining, eh?