Spring fishing is starting to happen. Midges and winter stones are what you will see on warm afternoons for now. Not many skwalas on the Flathead but you might see a few later this month and into April. The fish will grab a skwala if they are up on little stones but they usually like the smaller stuff better here on the Flathead. Small-ish dark stimi type patterns, purple haze, and midge clusters will all work on rising fish. Slow swinging/striping streamers on a tip in the deep slow runs is worthy sometimes. Nymphing will continue to be the most productive per usual in the early spring/late winter but be on the lookout for risers. Tung princes, tung turds, UV 20 inchers, soft spot jigs, and a variety of other attractor nymphs will work. We caught a few nice fish out there this week but the fishing was pretty slow over all. That could change any day but we’ll likely need some more nice weather. Not too nice though as we don’t want the river to jump a bunch.
Skwalas will be showing on the Bitterroot and Clark Fork as the warm weather continues over the next few weeks. From the talking I’ve done with guide friends and fellow outfitters in the Missoula area it looks to be one of the busiest skwala seasons we’ve ever seen – like late June salmon fly season busy… So you might need to adjust your state-of-mind and go with it or you’ll likely be a frustrated mess. The covid masses have flooded Montana this past year and things in the recreation world are noticeably busier. Doughtful its going to change. That being said, you might get the random lucky day and find some solitude and a few willing trout to rise to that freshly tied skwala pattern you’ve been spinning up.
There’s probably a few good ski days left and another dose of winter before Jack Frost retires for the season. Our snow pack is looking pretty good around the state and that’s always nice headed into the season.
The shop is starting to get filled up with new gear for the 21 season. Sawyer oars, NRS rafts, new flies, new lines, and some new BFA schwag all on its way and showing up daily. Avery will be manning the shop Thurs-Sat 10-4pm so stop in and bring him a White Claw.
The 21 season has a good buzz around it so far. We will be full swing in a blink. Looking forward to seeing everybody and spending some time on the water.