Spring is in the air. There’s still lots of snow on the ground but the days are getting longer and the song birds are starting to sing early in the morning. Warmer days are around the corner… We’ve been poking around on the Flathead River a few times recently and are finding some nice cutthroat in the typical winter spots with the typical winter flies. PTs, frenchies, turds, worms, princes, etc. Some streamers too on the slow troll or swing. In the coming weeks we will start to see some spring hatches. Little dark stones, skwalla, midges, bwos, march browns will all start to show once we see a handful of warmer days. Some of the Flathead’s best dry fly days of the season are pre-run-off. When the conditions line up, solid hatches of march browns and little dark stones(capnia, nemora, Leuctridae) will get lots of fish up on warm spring afternoons.

We have lots of spring options both locally and around the state. The Flathead and Swan both provide some good spring fishing and are convenient for an afternoon outing. A great way to knock the winter rust off. The lower Clark Fork also has its moments and the Missouri is always a trusty option for those willing to make the haul over the pass. Once run-off kicks in and the ice comes off the lakes, we have some good still-water site fishing for large cutthroat and greyling(great for kids and beginners).

New flies and gear are starting to trickle in for the 23 season. We’ve been in the shop Thurs-Sat 11-5 most weeks. Call ahead. Guides are itching to hit the river so give us a call if you want to get a spring day in before the masses infiltrate the Valley.

Jason Lanier
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