Captain’s Column: Unpredictable Spring Weather
By Kjel

Posted: April 5, 2012

If you had a chance to spend any amount of time outside Sunday then you knew that the periodic breeze, or should I say wind, made it tough to enjoy whatever outdoor activity you were doing. My youngest son William and I planned on spending some time getting him familiar to a junior bow that I bought him for his birthday. Our introductory session was cut short because of the sharp spring wind. We still managed to spend 30 minutes shooting the bow but it was cold. I could not help imagine what it was like out on the water. Fishing the local rivers or maybe trying your luck on Flathead Lake’s Spring Mac Days in a boat had to be uncomfortable no matter how many layers of clothes you were wearing. Spring weather in Montana! If you don’t like it just stick around 5 minutes and it will probably change.

I did have a chance to get some information from John Perry otherwise known to his clients and friends as the Mountain Man. Perry had some clients out on the Bitterroot River on Friday and Saturday last week. “The fishing was good on Friday but Saturday the river came up and the fishing was not very good at all”, Perry said. Even though you will have days like Saturday on the Bitterroot River Perry still thinks that it is the best bet of any large river in the Missoula area. “Even though the water is fluctuating a bit and water color is off somewhat anglers are having fair to very good days on the upper river using a variety of Skwala stone fly patterns,” he said. The darker olive patterns seem to be producing a little better from the reports. Inside seems, tail outs, and foam lines seem to be the most effective water between 2 and 5 in the afternoon. However if you plan on starting your days early on the river  use a larger skwala dry and try dropping a size 10 stone fly nymph about 2 to 4 feet off of it-depending on water speed and depth. One final tip from Perry-at the end of the drift try pointing your rod down-stream towards your flies and then let skate or swing and retrieve slowly. This technique will work for a fish every now and then. For more information feel free to contact Perry at

Jim Johnson from Lincoln called and said the trout fishing continues to improve on Holter Reservoir. “We had our limit of 10 fish in a couple of hours, but none of the fish were very big,” said Johnson. They had most of their luck with a fire-tiger syclops 1/16 spoon and were trolling it about 12-15 feet below the surface.

Fishing isn’t the only thing on Montana sportsman and woman’s minds. Turkey season opens in little over week on April 14 and Black Bear hunting season opens the next day on Sunday April 15.

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