skwala brown

Skwala destroyer.


The dry fly fishing has been pretty darn good the past week on the Bitterroot River and Clark Fork River, better on the Root but the Clark Fork is coming around. With flows on a 6 day drop these rivers are coming into a sweet level for the dry fly.  The Clark Fork is clearing and coming online so the crowds should start to relax a bit on the Bitterroot, giving everyone a little more room to float their skwalas down the river.

The spring hatches are coming on strong. Consistent afternoon BWOs and March browns the past several days have provided target practice on rising fish in the right kind of water. Most mayfly risers will crush a well drifted skwala, but not always… It’s a good idea to have a few March brown cripples on hand for the fussy risers.

With above average flows, pattern choice hasn’t been critical to success. The store bought shop bugs have been keeping up with the home brews for the most part. That will probably change with dropping flows so you might want to bench the chubby and try a more realistic low pro offering, especially on the Bitterroot.

The weather and water forecast for the next week is looking GREAT! Slightly warmer day and night air temps coupled with dropping flows should light up the dry fly fishing and broaden the window of insect activity. We have had some really cold mornings this past week but it looks like ramp to ramp dry fly fishing is in the forecast.

Watching big trout come out of classic freestone trout lies to crush large dry flies is where it’s at, and now is the time…


Another nice Bitterroot River brown.



Bitterroot River morning – Skwala season


Jason Lanier
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