What a great Skwala and March Brown season we’ve had here in the Bitterroot Valley! Our weather and river levels remained perfect from the first week of March until this last week of April, and the bugs and fish responded with solid daily hatches and heavy topwater feeding. Can’t say I threw any nymphs this whole season.
Which is probably about to change, as the Bitterroot is starting to bump up with the coming of May. Soon the Skwalas will fade away from the spotlight, and caddis will replace our coveted stoneflies. As the Bitterroot rises, fishing can be much less consistent, and downright tough if the river has just bumped any significant amount. Nymphing and streamers become our new staple to deal with the heavy flows; trout hunker down and feed subsurface on all the food blasting through the water column.
So thank you to all the brave souls who fished the early hatches with Bitterroot River Guides. We saw tremendous fishing this year, and we were able to pull off every trip on a single dry fly. Each day had high points where the fishing was red hot, especially around two o’clock on the mayfly hatch, and the Skwalas hatched consistently throughout every day I was on the river, bringing up good fish.
We’ll see how runoff shapes up this year: it’s not looking like a whopper snowpack so we should be throwing a line through the whole season. The Missouri is fishing excellent right now, and will continue to just get better as summertime approaches. Being controlled by Holter dam, the Mo keeps in good shape throughout runoff with Blue Wings and Caddis hatching profusely. The Big Hole also fishes well through the runoff, mainly the upper third of the river, as this is the time to hunt big browns with streamers. Get in touch with us and let’s go fishing!