It’s a great time to be on the water. Run-off is still a few weeks out and the fish are looking up. We’ve had a recent spike in flows that is already dropping. A nice refresh to stir things up. This next couple weeks should have some good dry fly fishing in the afternoons.

BWOs, Skwalas, little winter/spring stones( capnia, nemoura, leuctridae) and March brown mayflies will usually bring fish up in the afternoons. Small dark bodied stimis, foam skwala variations, and parachute mayflies will all work. Mid sized tung rubber leggs, tung skwalas, Jig frenchie and PTs, princes, SJWs are just a few that will produce off the foam fly. You can always put a streamer and a tip on and find some fish on just about any river in the state this time of year as well.

Flathead – Its up a bit but maintaining decent visibility and starting to drop. Nymphing has been productive and we’ve seen some fish up in the afternoons. The next few warmer days should produce some decent dry fly fishing.

Blackfoot – The river has come up quite a bit and the temps have dropped with the cold weather. A few days of dropping flows and some warmer weather should bring it back. While not the most consistent spring dry fly fishery, a warm afternoon and stable flows can produce some good skwala action. Streamers and nymphs can also produce some bigger fish this time of year as the pressure is generally lite. The brunt of the spring traffic around Missoula is focused on the Bitterroot so it’s a nice time to enjoy some solitude on the Blackfoot.

Clark Fork – BWOs and skwalas have been out. You can likely make a day hunting with the skwala but running a dropper in some select spots will certainly help pad the stats early in the day. The afternoons should see BWOs, Skwalas, and March browns and you can ditch the dropper.

Missouri – Great time of year to be on the Missouri. The freestoners are still occupied and the river isn’t infested yet. Midges, BWOs, Skwala stones, and March browns will provide some dry fly fishing in the coming weeks for those who stick to it. The streamer bite is also productive and the bobber gig is almost always worthy for those concerned with stats. Once the freestones blow and every boat in the state is there, it’s less fun. But still fun…

Jason Lanier
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