Our winter of 2014-15 turned out to be pretty dismal, with warm dry weather dominating the bulk of the winter season. Snowpack was barely above 50 percent in some valleys and not much rain ever came to help out. So, we knew it was coming at some point; low, warm water conditions and river closures.
The Bitterroot has closures on the main river starting at 2 o’clock to fishing, so we fish early and run scenic floats in the afternoon. We are still fishing in the mornings until the heat cranks up and the river goes quiet around 2, then hang out and grill up a big riverside picnic on the nearest gravel bar. Brats, burgers, and a cold one isn’t such a bad way to go during the heat of the day. With the rods put away and everyone kicking back, we head on home. Full days can still be run on the West Fork, and soon enough the main river will have restrictions lifted with the coming of fall.