Please let us know if you would like to see your weekly fishing report included in this compilation by emailing your report to us before the end of the day on Tuesday of each week here along with your business website/email address.
We’re all stocked up and ready to go!! Only a few things left to get on the shelves as well as all new apparel coming soon!!
We will be open Friday 8-6, Saturday 7-6, and Sunday 7-4 until May 8th.
We have minnows, night crawlers, nitro crawlers, and frozen bait.
We will have biscuits and gravy for breakfast and cooked-to-order lunch items including burgers, pizza, wings, mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, popcorn chicken, chicken strips, soft pretzel bites, and fries. Hot dogs are on the roller grill ready to go and nachos are quick and easy too! We have a large selection of candy, snacks, and grocery items along with beer, soda, juice, and energy drinks.
Stop out and check it out!!
via Tongue River Reservoir State Park on March 30: Good morning everyone! Just wanted to let everyone know that both of our boat ramp docks at Camper’s Point and Pewee North are officially on the water! As soon as it gets warm out feel free to come over and get your boats out on the reservoir.
Due to unforeseen circumstances we will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Sorry for any inconvenience and we hope to see you Thursday.
We are now hiring for all positions in the restaurant. If you would like to join a fun fast paced work environment with flexible hours the Fort Peck Marina might be a good fit for you. We are looking for seasonal and full time employees. Waitresses/Bartenders and cooks. Pay will depend on experience but we are willing to train the right individuals as well. Also accommodations may be available to individuals who do not currently reside in the area and would like to work and stay right at the lake. If you are interested please contact us or stop by and fill out a job application.
Garrett O: Great ice on Hebgen! 15-18”
Jimmy, Max and Derek managed to get out for an early spring float on the Yellowstone yesterday. Ice shelves have cleared and early spring hatches should be ramping up soon!
Echo Lake- Open water, some small mouth and a few big pike being caught.
Fennon and Church Slough- Open water- Church Slough is closed to boats until April 11th.
Fennon Slough- Open, some bass action and a few pike.
Middle Thompson- Open water, no reports.
Smith Lake- Open water, few pike on bait.
Loon Lake (Ferndale)- Open water, catching a few rainbows.
Horseshoe (Ferndale)- Open, no reports.
Koocanusa- Low Water- Launch at Rexford, Pike Gulch or the dam. Catching nice rainbows and bulls. Try Dave’s PlugIts in salmon colors and or planer boards and flies.
Flathead Lake- Good lake trout or mid lake bar 120’ water trolling. Delta is good, fish are shallow 15-30’. Try large whole fish on bottom. East Bay, no reports of perch yet.
Ashley, Bitterroot, Lower Stillwater – still froze- NOT SAFE
** SPRING FISHING EXPO APRIL 9th, 9:00-4:00**
at the Fish Camp
New Spring Gear
Lots of fish stories
Fins and Feathers scores the Lower Madison a 4/5
Blue wings could be out today on the lower if the wind doesn’t get too crazy, if not they should be here at some point this week and there should be midge adults as well. The weather looks cloudy and windy in the mid 50s in the first half of the week and high 60s in the second half of the week. Nymphing with crayfish, worms, zebra midges, BWO nymphs, and sowbugs/scuds will still be your best bet for catching fish. Streamer fishing should be productive as well with most colors I would try olive and tan first.
Flathead Lake – Fishing has been very steady off of the delta. keeping around 20-60 foot of water has been productive, peamouth or smelt off of the bottom has been great.Flathead River – On the rise, starting to get muddy.
McWenneger Slough – Open water, some pike being caught throwing white spinnerbaits. Try fishing the weed edges and structures.
Echo Lake – Open water, No current reports.
Church Slough – Some decent pike and crappie being caught, Try peamouth under a large bobber.
Mcgregor Lake – Mostly open water, Rainbows have been very aggressive, Try throwing cast master spoons (Gold / Silver)
Brandon B: Patchy ice on Swan this morning
It’s official the big pond Is ice free. Still a little in Marina bay but with the wind it won’t hang out long. So it is go time. Hope to see you all soon. Any questions on lodging,fishing report or wanting to book a trip give us a call 496-525-3597.
Here in Yellowstone Country, winter snowpack and how this snowpack melts from late April through June play the most important roles in summer water supply for both fish and agriculture from early June through mid-September. June through mid-September temperatures and rainfall play a secondary role. Only after mid-September does day-to-day weather play the largest role in overall water levels and water quality. Winter weather is thus very helpful in planning summer fishing trips to the region.
On the heels of low snowpack in 2020-2021 followed by a record warm, dry summer that came early, we are currently in severe to extreme drought throughout the YCFF operations area. Most areas are in extreme drought, the second-worst category overall. Montana is in worse shape as far as drought than any other regions in the West except for Oregon east of the Cascade Range and southern Nevada. Unfortunately, we have had a very dry winter and had record warmth (now thankfully over) in the latter half of March. This record warmth ripped the guts out of what meager snowpack we do have and primed this snow to melt.
As of right now, areas within our operations area are at 68% to 80% of normal, with the most important basins–the Yellowstone River Basin in WY and Yellowstone Park and the Yellowstone River Basin in Montana–at 80% and 75%, respectively. Combine the drought and the low snowpack and you get a recipe for exceptionally low water through much of the peak mid/late summer season. I would not be surprised if most of the snowpack disappears straight into the ground as it did in California last year.
Long-range outlooks offer some hope for cooler weather through April, but none for much late-season snowfall.
Summary of Anticipated Water & Fishing Conditions
In a general sense, here’s what we expect for June through mid-September streamflow and fishing conditions. This is based on current conditions and the longer-range outlooks. Think of the following as something like a weather forecast from a week out: it’s too early for specifics, but the general outline is probably accurate. Absent an exceptionally cold and wet second quarter to the year, we now anticipate extreme low water conditions starting in mid-July and lasting until the fall rains come sometime in mid-September.
- The fishing and guiding seasons began a couple weeks ago and fishing has been good. The period from now through about April 20 as well as June and the first two or three weeks of July are almost certain to offer the most consistent fishing of the year.
- Below-normal snowpack and resulting summer streamflows are now certain. How low we go depends on how much moisture we get through mid-May and how the snow melts from late April onward. Record-low water in late summer is very possible.
- We anticipate a light snowmelt and an early end to the snowmelt cycle. The end point will depend on when the snow starts melting in earnest.
- Mid-June through mid-July will offer much better conditions than August and early September on all waters, including many small streams and areas within Yellowstone Park that are typically too high and muddy to fish before early July. An early start to the spring melt will put the latter half of July in jeopardy as well.
- The fish are likely to be spooky and difficult from mid-July through mid-September more often than not, with steeper, faster, deeper water holding on longer.
- 2:00PM fishing closures will be common to almost universal across our operations area between sometime in the last ten days of July and late August. Closures outside of these timeframes are possible if we have an early extreme warmup as we did in 2021.
- Complete fishing closures are possible on many waters in August if we have a repeat of last summer’s record heat and drought. This could include total fishing closures in Yellowstone Park. These are much less likely in Montana.
- Very limited legal or at least ethical fishing opportunities are possible in August if we have a hot/dry summer.
- The fishing opportunities will increase substantially with the first spell of cooler weather, usually in the last week or so of August, but the fishing will remain very difficult most days until the weather gets cold and gray sometime in the latter half of September.
- Due to tinderbox conditions throughout most of the West, fires and smoke from both local and distant fires are likely to be very bad this year beginning in mid-July.
- Due to anticipated very poor conditions in August, we now discourage fishing-specific travel to the area between August 1 and at least August 20. We are still accepting bookings for this period, but only if clients are willing to book “guide’s choice” trips in terms of duration (full-day vs half-day, the latter being much more likely if we’re targeting trout), trip type (walk or float), and target species. In regards to target species, high stress on trout and widespread closures on trout waters may mean that carp will be our preferred target species in August, particularly on full-day trips.
- Due to the winding-down of COVID (we hope) prompting high tourism, as well as the rapidly increasing population in the region, fishing pressure will be intense from the end of runoff through early October, assuming fires and stream closures allow for it. The quality of the fishing will not play any role in how many people are on the water. We are already seeing much more fishing pressure than used to be typical, including record-high bookings for March and April.
Detailed Fishing Conditions by Water
The following information is coming into sharper focus now, since most of the snow that will accumulate has accumulated. The real X factors remaining are when the spring melt starts in earnest (early–>late April, normal–>first ten days of May, late–>anytime thereafter), how much June rain we receive, and how soon the first summer heat wave hits. In 2021 we were in much better shape for snowpack than we are this year prior to the end of April, but we had an early melt, an exceptionally dry June, and broiling-hot weather from mid-June through mid-July. These three factors crushed us last year.
If we have a normal or late start to the melt, a normal to wet June, and a normal to cool June and early July, we will be in good shape to avoid widespread closures. If we have a similar start to summer as we did last year, complete fishing closures in the vast majority of our operations area are very likely in late summer.
- Yellowstone River: While it’s conceivably we won’t have an unfishable runoff on the Yellowstone, only a few muddy days here and there, it’s more likely runoff will end between June 5 and June 20, with June 10-15 most likely. The fishing will be best for the month following. One of my long-time clients booked for June 20-21 and I suspect he hit his dates perfectly. Hot, bright days from about July 20-25 through early September will be very difficult, particularly in shallow, gentle sections of river. 2:00PM fishing closures are very likely on the entire Yellowstone River from YNP to Laurel from sometime in late July or early August until sometime in late August. Complete fishing closures are possible in the first three weeks of August.
- Madison River: The Lower Madison will not experience any appreciable runoff and will be best prior to June 10. After June 15 it will generally run too warm after noon depending on day-to-day weather. The Upper Madison (really outside my ops area) will likewise probably not experience much of a runoff. It will be best from mid-June through mid-July. 2:00 closures are certain on the Lower Madison beginning no later than early July and possible on the upper Madison beginning in late July.
- Boulder River: Runoff will end between June 5 and June 20, with June 10-15 most likely. The river will get too low to float by July 10, and perhaps sooner. High water temps and low flows will almost certainly be a problem even for wade-fishing in August due to this small river’s intense irrigation drawdowns. The Boulder seldom sees any fishing restrictions due to water levels or temperature, but in all honesty I expect areas downstream of Natural Bridge should be closed 24 hours a day in August this year, due as much to irrigation drawdowns as water temps.
- Stillwater River: Runoff will end between June 10 and June 20, with June 15 most likely. Upper sections will be too low to float around July 10. Lower portions downstream of the Rosebud confluence will be high enough to float through sometime in August, probably the 15th-25th. The best fishing will occur in July. 2:00 closures are possible in late July and August.
- Missouri River: No appreciable runoff will occur. The carp/walleye/pike water upstream from Canyon Ferry Reservoir will as always fish best from late July through early September. Head-hunting carp here will be our preferred option for early August trips if we have a hot/dry summer. The trout water downstream of Canyon Ferry (including “Land of Giants”) will fish best from now through June. Both the trout water and the “other” water are less likely to have closures than any other water we fish.
- Private Lakes: Day-to-day weather is more important on the lakes than snowmelt. These lakes should fish well from early April through at least mid-June, with hot/bright weather thereafter the determining factor on when things get slow.
- Paradise Valley Spring Creeks: Fishing is always best on the creeks from early March through April, then again from about June 20 through July 20. Unfortunately, radically-increasing pressure on the creeks now means that many prime dates in June-July 2023 are now booked solid. We’re basically done guiding on these creeks except in March-April because of this.
- Other Waters: The Gallatin River will likely drop out of runoff in mid-June and possibly get too warm by late July. The Jefferson River will drop from runoff by June 10-15 and probably be too warm the instant it does. Immense fish kills occurred on this river in 2021 and this year will be no better. Many portions may honestly never recover, given the likely future flows and water temps current climate models predict. Montana small streams will generally fish best in July and perhaps early August if they don’t drop TOO fast. Public lakes in Montana will be best in May and early June except for carp, which rise to hoppers on some lakes in late July and August.
Yellowstone Park Fisheries
- Yellowstone River: The Lake-Falls stretch always opens July 15. It will be best for the week thereafter. The Grand Canyon from the Falls to the Lamar confluence will not experience an unfishably-high runoff. It should fish well with nymphs and streamers as soon as it opens on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, though it won’t necessarily be “pretty.” 2:00 closures are likely in August, though only because YNP tends to use a hammer as its only tool in fisheries management–in reality, this section of the Yellowstone stays under 70 degrees and is deep enough to offer good cover even in awful drought years. The Grand Canyon will probably offer the best fishing of any stretch of the Yellowstone this year averaged out over the whole season, including sections both inside and outside the park. The Black Canyon section downstream of the Lamar confluence tracks similarly to the Yellowstone River outside the park.
- Gardner River: The Gardner will be fishable on a day-to-day basis from the park opener through mid-June, then be good through early July throughout and after early July only upstream from Boiling River. Downstream of Boiling River will be too warm until mid-September. Note that the Gardner saw overwhelming pressure in 2021 and generally fished poorly because of it except in June and October.
- Lamar River & Tributaries: Runoff will end between June 15 and June 25 on Slough Creek and between June 15 and July 1 elsewhere. The best fishing will be for the month thereafter. Late August and early September will see low water and spooky fish, particularly on Slough Creek. Roadside areas saw overwhelming pressure in 2021 and 2022 might well be worse.
- Firehole River: The Firehole will not experience an appreciable runoff and will fish best between the park opener and June 10. The first hot/dry spell between June 5 and June 20 will shut down fishing until after Labor Day. Overall, this will be a very grim season for the Firehole. We did not guide on the Firehole in 2021 and almost certainly will not in 2022, either. If current climate models continue, the Firehole will cease to be a relevant fishery downstream of Old Faithful by 2030 due to repeated fish kills associated with high water temperatures.
- Gibbon River: The Gibbon upstream of Norris Geyser Basin will be fishable sometime between the park opener and June 5 and will be best before mid-July. Areas downstream of Norris Geyser Basin are unlikely to experience an appreciable runoff and will be best between the season opener and June 10. After June 10, the first hot spell will shut the fishing off until September 1. This is going to be a bad year for the lower Gibbon.
- Upper Madison River: Generally similar to the Firehole but will hang on for a few days after the first hot spell. This is going to be a bad year for the Park section of the Madison.
- Lakes in YNP: Ice-out will depend on day-to-day weather but should occur before or right around Opening Day. All should be accessible from this point onward due to limited snow on the trails. All will fish best from ice-out (or Opening Day, whichever comes second) through June, then trail off through early July.
- Creeks in YNP: Meadow-type streams will become fishable between June 5 and June 20, with those draining lakes becoming fishable towards the earlier end and those draining mountains falling into shape later. All will be best for the first month after they come in. Rough, mountain creeks will come into shape between June 15 and July 1 and be best for a month starting about a week after they fall into shape.
–no new report–
This Kootenai River Montana fishing report is being brought to you by Orvis Endorsed Linehan Outfitting. This report will be updated weekly to provide current conditions, weather, hatches, patterns, and flows to our local waters and across the state.
Flows from Libby Dam: 4000cfs
Water temperature at Libby Dam: 42 degrees
Hatches: midge, baetis
patterns: zebra midge, parachute Adams, parachute pmd, Rosenbauer’s olive rabbit foot emerger, purple haze, purple chubby, red chubby, olive sparkle dun,bh prince, soft SJ worm, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers
The Kootenai River is currently in excellent shape and spring fishing conditions are terrific as well. Gray days with slightly warmer daytime temperatures are helping the situation.
This time of year tributaries can bump and add a bit of color to the river but unless we get substantial rain, good conditions will remain. Don’t worry if the river is a bit off color. It will continue to fish well unless it really gets blown out. That said, there is no big rain in the immediate future. That means we can generally expect another good week of fishing.
Dry fly action has started. Don’t expect to see much insect activity until later in the afternoons. Look for baetis, March browns, and early caddis. If you see fish rising, they will most likely eat a dry. Even though it’s early in the season a good drift is still necessary to since most of surface activity is being in slick runs and soft pools.
This is always a good time of year for nymphing. With low flows you don’t need a heavy rig. You just need to get the flies down in softer runs and pools where trout are most likely to be holding this time of year. Don’t spend a ton of time fishing fast riffles.
Streamer fishing is also productive this time of year especially since bigger fish will be hungry after laying low for a couple months during the dead of winter. Keep in mind they will not necessarily want to move too fast or too far to get a meal. Get your streamers down and fish them slowly and erratically. Nothing like a wounded minnow to get a big rainbow interested in at least a sniff.
In Boston Red Sox news, it’s PLAY BALL! The Sox are off to a terrific start and even though it’s still only spring training it’s better to have more W’s in the column than L’s. For now the Sox have managed to keep essentially the same playoff roster they had last season. Infielders Dalbec, Arroyo, Bogaerts, and Devers are key players. In the outfield Jackie Bradley Jr. has returned to Boston and Kike Hernandez and Verdugo will anchor the deep green. Ace Chris Sale will hopefully be healthy and other starters from last year will hopefully pick up where they left off in October. Go Sox!!!
Give a call anytime if you need more Kootenai River details or information on any of our hunting or fishing adventures. And please check out our e-commerce site for all Linehan Outfitting branded swag and Orvis gear. https://linehan-outfitting.myshopify.com/
We look forward to hearing from you. 406-295-4872
The ice went off the lake last night. The ramp below the marina is open but is only usable in dry weather. The ramp at Boy Scout Point is also open and has gravel, so can be used anytime.
Looking like fairly typical early April spring weather on tap for the week ahead. Daytime highs in the upper 40s to low 50s every couple of days interrupted with chances of showers and some snow flurries mixed in. Those cloudier days should herald the beginnings of the spring blue winged olive hatch along with the continuance of midges. Trout have been active and fishing has been good! We did go through an unusually warm spell a little bit ago and the river has bumped up a bit from the low flows we saw most of the winter. With the more typical spring weather, the water has settled a bit. The ultra low and ultra clear that was 2 weeks ago has changed. You will see some color in the water but it’s not a bad thing. A little green can be good.
Mornings, start out nymphing or streamer fishing. You may find yourself fairly deep to start. The water temps are good, but they can start out in the mornings on the cold side of things. Fish will be in the deeper, slower “off speed” areas. Stonefly patterns along with a smaller midge or baetis dropper fly have been the “go to” setups. As the day warms, you can start to see fish moving up in the water column a bit and even into some faster locations. If you are starting to see those baetis or blue winged olive mayflies hatching, you can bet that the fish will be right there with them in the shallower riffles and such. So continue to shorten up your fly to indicator as the day goes on and then switch up to dry/dropper or just single dry fly as the hatch comes on. Enjoy the couple hours that it lasts and make those dry fly casts count! As the hatch slows or bug activity in general slows, you can count on few fish being active and strikes will diminish. Switching back to a deeper nymph rig or streamers again might put you back on a few more fish in that late afternoon time.
This will be the modus operandi for the coming weeks. Good luck out there!
Flies to try: Pat’s Rubberlegs in coffee/black or olive/brown sizes 6-10 weighted to get down; Tung 20-incher in 8-12, Marabou rubber legs camo/black or olive size 6-10, Good ol’ wooly bugger black or olive same size 6-10 and weighted. Run any of those along with a Tung Zebra midge black size 16-18, Tung Zebra olive same sizes, FB PT 12-18, CDC PT 12-18, Prince 12-18, Juju Baetis 16-18, Mirage lightning bug 14-18 are all good bets. For dries: Para Adams 12-18, Para Purple Haze 12-18, Royal wolf 12-18, Baetis Hackle Stacker 16-20, Baetis sparkle dun 16-20, BWO Indy parachute 16-20, Griffiths Gnat 18-20, I Can See It midge 18-20, Bighorn Cluster midge 18.
- CFS: 321
- Dries: March Browns, Skwalas, Brindle Chutes
- Nymphs: Hare’s Ears, Pheasant Tails, Perdigons, San Juan Worms
After what felt like a particularly long winter, we are finally starting to see some warmer, sunnier days on Rock Creek. Given that our geography means most of the creek lies in a narrow valley, the fishing doesn’t pick up as quickly as other rivers like the Clark Fork and Bitterroot due to a lack of sun exposure in multiple sections. Keeping that in mind, fish the areas where the valley is wider and gets more sun for a longer stretch of time throughout the day. The insect life will fare much better in these spots, and the fish will respond in kind.
Early spring is one of my favorite times to fish the creek. The bigger trout are hungry and more eager to take your patterns versus later in the summer, when they are hunkering down and more wary. The reports from the fishermen going out have been very good this week, with everything from San Juan worms to pheasant tails to perdigons working well. I went out a couple days ago and tried a number of patterns, but I had the best luck fishing a classic hare’s ear.
–No New Report–
Happy Spring everyone! We’re now officially on to the next season, and it certainly feels like it outside. With a forecast of 61 today and lots of 50s/60s coming up it’s pretty safe to say that spring fishing is right around the corner.
First, to get it out of the way, let’s talk snowpack. Despite a decent storm recently, numbers still aren’t where we want them to be. All of our river basins here in southwest Montana are sitting in the 80th percentile. There are a lot of factors that come into play on how the rivers will be this year. We’ll be keeping a very close eye on conditions as we move into spring, and will be hoping for more snow.
It’s impossible at this point to say how this summer’s water conditions will be. But we remain optimistic!
So how’s the fishing been lately?
Things are definitely improving. Warmer temps are melting ice in the river, driving some insect activity, and the trout are getting more active. We’ve seen and heard more positive reports this past week or so than we have in a while. The large ice jam mid-valley on the Yellowstone River has melted, opening up more ramps and float options.
Nymphing has been the most consistent, but you can find a few fish eating midges off the top in places where the wind isn’t howling too badly. A two-fly rig with a larger attractor fly followed by a hare’s ear, pheasant tail, or lightning bug has been the most productive. Fish something like a dead drifted wooly bugger or stonefly pattern as your lead fly. Perdigons have been effective as well, like always. Streamer fishing is picking up as the fish get more active. A slow presentation has been best with larger flies.
The Lower Madison has been fishing better as well, and if you’re after a dry fly day that’s where we would head in our local area. The easily accessible places are getting pretty crowded on these beautiful spring days, but walk up Bear Trap a ways and you’ll find some solitude. The Gallatin through the canyon is fishing pretty decently as well.
This is the time of year when the warm weather shifts everyone’s focus from skiing to fishing and we all start hoping for spring to arrive in full force. Our really good spring hatches are coming up fast, and as water continues to warm we will see an uptick of interest in streamers as well.
Pre-runoff spring fishing can be some of the best of the year. The waters are less crowded, the trout are feisty, healthy, and hungry after a long winter, and the air is (hopefully) free of wildfire smoke that’s become the norm later in the summer. Give us a call for more info on spring fishing!
We’re booking guided trips for the 2022 season and our prime dates are going fast! A guided fishing trip is a great way to experience the Yellowstone River and our local area. Call the shop at 406.222.1673 or stop in to learn more and book your dates. We’re also getting more and more spring gear in almost every week – rods, reels, apparel, technical gear and much more! Come check it out!
Scores a 3/5
The Gallatin is a nice glacial green color right now which usually correlates with good nymphing. I would try some mid sized darker Pat’s Rubberlegs, red worms, zebra midges, and perdigons. Keep an eye out for adult midges and BWOs drys. Streamer fishing has been ok in the valley with small black or white wooly buggers and slower in canyon. The weather will be windy in the low 50s Monday and Tuesday but the rest of the week should be 60s and sunny with mild winds.
Gallatin River Webcam – Located at Karst, which is about 1/2 way between Bozeman and Big Sky on HWY 191.
Rock Creek has been fishing very well in the last couple of days as it drops in flows. The dry skywalks are consistent from early early afternoon on, with the Plan B Gray/Olive and a Rogue Skwala taking fish. The 20 Inches has been the skywalk nymph of choice, followed by the TJ Hooker. Nemouras are also working, so have a few when you head up to fish.
The Western March Browns are established, and offering consistent fishing on the upper and lower sections of Rock Creek. If you’re heading to the top of Rock Creek, take the P-Burg route. The middle section of Rock Creek Road is still a bit gnarly. Have your Parachute hare’s Ears and Parachute Adams when the WMB’s start to hatch, and a DuraCell Jig or a Pink Hot Spot for working the bottom. It’s also worm season, and the San Juan Worm is taking ore than it’s fair share of fish.
The streamer game is low and slow, with the Sculpin Sparkle Minnow working extremely well. A Baby Gonga or White Sculpzilla is also moving fish, but again, get it deep for better production.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!
BRO’s Tips of the Week:
Skwalas will become more prominent on the Clark Fork in the coming weeks, and the fish have started looking up. We’re seeing bugs on the water, but last week’s warm weather has caused the river to cloud up a bit. Dead drifting a Skwala imitation that rides low in the water is a great way to entice fish to eat, and adding a dropper will maximize your odds. Sometimes adding a little twitch will help move picky fish.
7 Day Outlook:
Expect chillier weather though the weekend before temperatures warm again toward the end of the week. Nighttime lows in the 20s and 30s should help flows stay even, and highs will climb back into the 50s and 60s by Thursday. Flows are starting to drop again on the Clark Fork, making this weekend a good time to fish!
Our Recommendations for the Best Techniques and Patterns:
Skwalas are starting to become more active on the Clark Fork and the dry fly fishing is getting better. Meanwhile, nymphing will still produce fish as temperatures and clarity improve.
If you’re fishing a single or double-dry rig, look for patterns that ride low in the surface film. The Brown Wing Skwala and Oswald’s Rastaman Skwala in #10-12 are two-of our favorites. If you’re planning on running a dry-dropper rig, Skwala imitations with more foam are going to be your friend. Jake’s Blackout Stone, the Rogue Stone, and the Water Walker are all great, floaty foam flies. Carry a few Plan B’s in your box, too.
For nymphs, winter/spring staples are still going to be in play. Girdle Bugs, TJs and San Juans in #8-12 are productive flies and have the weight to get your rig down. Don’t sleep on the worm- it’s one of our most productive flies when the water is cold!
If you’re adding a second fly to your nymph rig go for a Lightning Bug, Jig PT, Prince, Duracell, Spanish Bullet or Perdigon in #12-16. These bugs are great for dry-dropper rigs because they won’t sink your Skwala.
Streamer fishing has been okay, but stick with a slow retrieve until the water starts to warm up. Sparkle Minnows, Kreelexes, and Thin Mints/Buggers are all good to have. Low and slow is the name of the game!
Goings on at World Headquarters in Missoula:
The new Online Store is live! Check it out!
Call or email us for up to the minute updates at 406.542.7411 or if you are in the area stop in- WE HAVE MOVED TO OUR BRAND NEW LOCATION AT 275 N. RUSSELL STREET IN MISSOULA- for all your Orvis gear and the right bugs.
Scores a 4/5
The Mo’ near Craig will be one of the better fly fishing options. This stretch has been nymphing really well with some good Midge fishing on top as well. The BWO’s won’t be too far off so keep an eye out for bugs on the surface and rising trout. For sub-surface, San Juan Worms, Zebra midges, Rainbow Warriors, Scuds/Sowbugs, or smaller Perdigons will get it done. Streamers have been worth a shot but is definitely a day-to-day game. Spey fishing is also a good idea if you are wade fishing and want to reach some of those harder runs out in the middle. Keep an eye out for spawning redds and stay away. Let the fish do their business to ensure good fishing for years to come.
The park is closed for the season! Check back next May. See you next season!
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