Spring came in hot. An impressive amount of valley snow has melted in the last week. As a result the freestone rivers came up BIG.   The Bitterroot is on a steep drop and fishable but will be challenging until it drops a bit. On the bright side the higher water in spring usually brings out a few big ones on the skwala. So the Missouri is the place to be if you want to do some fishing catching. The Flathead is huge. Not going to be a great option for a bit.

All the usual nymphs will work over on the Mo. Scuds, amex, czechs, green machings, zebras and midge variations, with BWO mayfly nmphs coming into play. Or skip that and chuck a foamie blind all day. You might only catch a couple but it’s way more fun than the gumball. Or drag a dead white rabbit around for a while. You can see it and the slimy 17″ rainbows wont mess with it. Also more fun than the gumball. But if catching is more important than fishing we understand. After all, the above fish was fooled with a nymph and there is nothing wrong with catching a bunch of nice rainbows. Especially in the spring when you just want to get a bend in the rod.

More rain and warmish weather are in the forecast so things are probably going to be touch-and-go for a while. With all the low elevation snow, the river flows are going to be interesting this spring on the freestones I think…The Missouri will fish straight through as a fall back to any freestone plans crushed by spring run-off episodes.

Jason Lanier
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