Skwala fly fishing on the Bitterroot River
The skwala season is approaching fast. If we continue to get warmer than average temps we could see good dry fly fishing with the big bug in just a few weeks. Typically the last week in March and the first two weeks in April are the most consistent with weather, water, and bugs but we’ve had great skwala fishing as early as the first week in March. Although the skwala hatch continues well into May, run-off generally starts towards the end of April and conditions become hit and miss for the remainder of the hatch. The Skwala stone fly is not the only hatch during the spring season that gets the fish looking up. BWOs, March browns, and caddis are also present during the spring months and often provide good action when the fish get tired of the foam fly.
During runoff (late April – May) we switch our focus from the western freestones to the Missouri River. As the latter half of April approaches the Missouri River dry fly fishing starts to heat-up and fishing conditions will remain stable through runoff (especially on low water years). We also get windows of opportunity on our freestones rivers during run-off. When cold spells bring the flows down the fishing can be outlandish in May when the conditions line up right.
Though one can never predict weather and run-off, our current snow-pack is at or below average for most of the state. This bodes well for a great skwala season that starts earlier and lasts later. But you never know…