There are lots of moving parts involved in spring fly fishing here in Montana. Weather, water levels, spawning fish, insect hatches, & water temp all play a role in the spring transition. To say that spring skwala dry fly fishing is a slam dunk is a bit of a stretch, even though the guy in the cowboy hat at the trade show might have promised it. We are in the midst of the spring transition as I peck out this blog. We have a bunch of water in the Bitterroot right now so the dry fly bight isn’t real great yet. A few more warm days and a few days of dropping flows and it should come around. And according to NOAA and the weather guessers that’s what we’re going to get.

I’ve always told the hatch chaser types that hitting it right is like planning your ski vacation and landing on a powder day. Sure, it happens but you should be prepared for all conditions. As you can see from the last six years of skwala season graphs on the Bitterroot, these big pushes of water happen EVERY YEAR. If you happen to land on one of the up-slopes chances are you’ll be staring at a gumball on the Missouri River. For dry fly fishing, under 1000 cfs and stable or dropping flows is what you want. 500ish is prime. So you can look at theses graphs and calculate real odds or just pick a week and go for it and be ready for whatever…



Jason Lanier
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