Skwala dry - Bitterroot 4/29 - Rambl'n Cowboy
General Outlook: The rivers are all hanging in there. Cold weather has the water levels in check and there are still plenty of options out there. The forecast is calling for a slight warming trend with some showers so we have to wait and see how it materializes. The lakes are starting to open up and we have some good Rickard’s patterns in the shop. The pike should be moving in to the shallows too so come in and get your Chuck’n Duck red and whites. The Thompson River is dropping and is a good bet in the next couple days if it continues on the downward trend. The Bitterroot is still providing the most consistant dry fly fishing.
Blackfoot: The flows remain stable on the Blackfoot. If your looking for good numbers of dry fly eats then skip it. If you want to catch some nice fish underneath and have the river to yourself, then it’s a great option. Tandem nymphs under an indicator will produce. There are a few bugs around and the afternoon might provide a few dry fly eats. A large stone nymph for your weight fly followed by a prince or SJW should do just fine. Streamers on a tip fished slow will work too.
Fly Patterns:Girdle bugs, db Stones. SJWs, general beadheads, Glo bugs, buggers / streamers
Lower Clark Fork: The flows have flattenned out from the small bump and things are stable. The sun and wind are not your friend. Look for calm cloudy conditions for optimal dry fly fishing. Tandem nymphs with a stone and a smaller beadhead attractor or sjw will get some fish. Streamers on a tip……mid sized in the olive and black flavor should get some grabs. Fish’m slow. Look for March browns, bwos, skwala, & grey drakes to give you an afternoon dry fly window. Especially if it’s calm and cloudy. The fish are still somewhat consentrated in certain areas so if you find them try to get a few before you move.
Fly Patterns:Girdle bugs, Double bead rubber legs, prince nymphs, fb p-tails, SJWs, buggers / streamers, purple haze chutes, p-tail cripples, foam skwala stuff.
Flathead: The North Fork and Middle Fork have crested and are now on the drop. Hard to believe that with all this snow the Main Flathead is still an option. The Flathead system is high so the fish are isolated in slower back eddies and slow runs for the most part. The afternoon has provided some decent dry fly oppotunities if you know where to look. Small foam attractors in the skwala version and mid sized parachutes and cripples are all you need IF you see rising fish. Indicator rigs with a stone and a prince will work too. Try a streamer on a tip on some of the deep slow seam lines.
Fly Patterns: Pats rubber legs / girdle bugs, db epoxy stones, 20 inchers, general beadheads, pink stuff, glo bugs, sj worms in pink or red, buggers, streamers, foam skwala variations, midges, bwos.
Swan: The upper is closed through the 3rd Saturday in May. Now is the time to hit the bay in search of a big lake run bow or cutt. Some lake trout should start to show up soon too and they will keep you entertained on a streamer. They seem to like flashy and white. The skiddish smolt is a great lake trout streamer.
Fly Patterns: Pats rubber legs / girdle bugs, db epoxy stones, 20 inchers, general beadheads, pink stuff, glo bugs, sj worms in pink or red, buggers, streamers