Monday, November 2, 2015

Missoula Fly Fishing is still going strong!

   Hooray for climate change! As I write this, fish are still being caught on dries on Missoula area rivers. Baetis are a daily occurrence on the Blackfoot, Bitterroot and Clark Fork. October caddis are gone, but the midges are out. Think about starting late and fishing until dark. If you're a waterfowl geek, take along a shotgun and drill a duck or two. If you want to tug a wet fly, look to Rock Creek. The browns are horned up and looking to attack! There is basically no traffic, so you should feel free to take your time and pick each run apart. It looks like the weather is going to hold for another day or two, so get out there and catch a trout on a dry fly. Also, if you want to nail a pike pike on a fly, then this is a good time. Big northerns get greedy this time of year, and if you know where one lives you can catch him.

   The outlook for the winter is either optimistic or dreadful, depending on which source you choose to consult. The Farmer's Almanac says that things will be warmer, milder and drier than normal. NOAA says that we will be wetter and milder than normal. Whatever the case, the rivers are brutally low and we will need a significant amount of snowpack to rebound. When I look at the flows on the Blackfoot and Bitterroot in particular, I am shocked to see how little effect closing all of the irrigation ditches had on volume. They are still very low, and at these levels brutal cold and anchor ice would be highly detrimental. Hopefully this rainy cycle will continue a few more days. I noticed yesterday that the Jocko was very swollen and very muddy. Good news! However, both weather forecasting sources agree that the summer of 2016 could very well be hotter and drier than normal. That's great news if you're a locust or a Syrian refugee, bad news if you're a trout or penguin. It is what it is...



Monday, September 14, 2015

Missoula, Montana Fly Fishing Report

Another perfect day...
We weathered another fire season, put up with hoot-owl restrictions that went on far too long, tolerated gaggles of mouth-breathing inner-tubers, and caught oodles of big trout on dry flies. The Clark Fork was, and is still , very good.  The Bitterroot flows were pathetically low, due in large part to irrigation demands for the acres and acres of alfalfa grown for cow fodder. In other words, EAT MORE BEEF. Maybe we can reduce the numbers of cows on the planet through mass consumption of their tastiest parts. The Blackfoot fished really well in spite of the low water conditions. The inner-toob boobs did little to enhance the ambiance, save for the innumerable empty beer cans littering the stream bed, the single lost flip-flops that appeared as though they were put there by Flip-Flop Appleseed, and the inability to park a Subaru Outback in an orderly fashion. Love 'em or hate 'em, they're an inevitability. 

So the current report looks like this:
Blackfoot River-rubber legs brown, purple prince, czech nymphs, if you're going to be a dropper dangler. Purple haze, smaller hoppers, October caddis patterns late in the day, if you want to actually use your fly rod to cast. We love the smaller white Coffey fly if you want to pitch a streamer. 

Bitterroot River- The trico fall has been good, but I'd bet this is coming to a close. Choose a good mayfly pattern when you grow weary of casting to sipping trout. Like that would ever happen. Hecuba are out but they are out but there aren't many. In the right spots, the fish will be on them. Peep show, P.t., purple anything.

Clark Fork-Hoppers are still on the menu. Purple haze 14 will get it done, even as a searching pattern.      
We've been throwing straight dries, but I'm sure the usual dropper suspects will work. White streamers have been good early in the day. Fish them light and keep them high enough to  see the takes. It's more fun that way. 

Rock Creek- Word has it that the fishing has been good along it's entire length. Big Goddards, purple haze, light colored Wullfs, small Adams. Check in with Deb at Trout Bums, as she gets good daily info from other anglers. 



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Missoula Skwala Fishing-Almost,almost,not quite...

Not bad, for a beginner!
   I managed to test float a new fly fishing guide this past week. It went about as expected; in, out, too fast. Overall, not bad. We can shine him up. I fished a dry, as did Mike the Meatman, and we caught a few. The eats were confident and the weather was perfect. There were plenty of 100% banks that I can now call 99% banks. But it was good enough. It's March 12 for Pete's sake! If you're gonna make a day of it look to the upper and middle reaches of the Bitterroot. A single dry will work if you just leave it on your line. Look to the slower banks for solid dry fly grabs.  Actually, it would be better if all of you local floggers just stayed home. Isn't there still enough snow for some knuckle-draggin'? But seriously, if you go put your hat on straight and leave the Gopros and tweets in the truck.

   Earlier this week I also got into a fender bender with a driver on one of Missoula's beautifully planned streets. Judging from the massive Power-Bait decal that was blocking his sight-picture, I can only assume that he was bait fisherman.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Montana Fly Fishing Report- Jan 27, 2015

This is so AWESOME!
   Missouri River fly fishing has been sick! Think pink! Find the slow water and fish deep-ish. The weather over there is tropical and it would be a great time to scratch the itch.  You can fish from the dam to Prewett with no trouble.  There are some ramp-ice issues at Pelican. Small, darker streamers fished slowly should turn out some fish, too. GO!
   The Clark Fork and Bitterroot have been decent, but it's still winter.  Small stone nymphs, sj worms, princes-You know, the usual stuff. We haven't been on the 'root, but we've heard some stuff.  It's great that for the next month, while the water is super low, it will be getting pounded by bobber-jockeys. That should really help the dry fly fishing later on. Watch out for soft ground at some of the Bitterroot accesses. It's so sad when those Tundras get bogged down to their axles. The good news is that you can Gopro/Youtube the tow truck extraction, with some catchy music and cute captions.  Hooray for Tundras and film festivals.  They've given the angling world so much!

I guess I might have a touch of cabin fever.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Missoula Montana Fly Fishing-Ice, Ice, Baby!

   From our perspective, 2014 was a great year for fly fishing in Montana. We had strong flows and beautiful hatches that carried us through. So far, the snowpack in our most important drainages appear to be well above normal. I really don't think we'll have any water issues in 2015. That's good. It's gonna be a great year, again! If you haven't booked your spring dates, you'd better get on it! Our early booking specials end this month.
   There has been a little fishing on the Clark Fork and Bitterroot rivers, but it is day by day, and it's really cold. If you can find a day without flowing slush-ice, you might do well with small princes, Zebra midge/blood midge #18, S.J. worm #12/14. 
   The Missouri would be a good play right now, too. Fish anything pink; amex, czech, scud in #14/16/18. Look to the slack water.  Mess around with rig length, current speed, etc. It's the Mo'. It ain't rocket science. 
   Rock Creek is pretty locked up, but given some warmer weather it'll get going. The pink or red worm is the ticket. Fish a shorter rig in deep slow stuff.  In another month look toward the skwala nymph patterns to get the job done. For current Rock Creek conditions talk to Deb at Trout Bums-406-825-6146. She'll have the low-down on road conditions, flies to use and asst. fishing info.