April Fishing Report for Missoula Montana
So far this spring the fishing has been off the charts. Lots of bugs on all of our water and the trout haven’t been holding back. It’s been everything we have been wanting out of our spring so far. We are getting a bump of water that might slow the fish down for a couple of days on the lower sections of our rivers. The pulse of water will clean out the systems and give the fish a bit more water to spread out in though. With the mayflies starting to move around and becoming active don’t be scared to thrown on come copper johns, princes, or any mayfly nymph to your bobber set up. Things are starting to change, so if you aren’t getting eats through good water change your rig.
The ‘Root has been great. No lie. It has also been crowded in some places, no way around it. That being said, with a little work you can get away from folks and have some great days. The Skwalas have been out in good numbers on the right days. We have also been seeing a handful of mayflies. If you want to go double dry, any S pattern and a purple haze has been getting the job done. This cooler weather with clouds and rain in the next few days should bring some great dry fly action. The Root could be a great option over the next few days. With this bump in the water it will be worth your time to fish higher up. Think anywhere above Hamilton.
We have been fishing the Clark pretty hard over the last week or so. We have had some decent streamer action both above and below town. Catching some nice fish and moving some real hogs. The sparkle minnow has again proven to get eats when a lot of bugs wont. Some days the bigger and uglier the bug, the better. Just keep cycling through your streamer box until you find what they want. The dry fly action has also been great in the warmer afternoons. The Rastaman has been the skwala pattern of choice, with the Purple Para-roster taking a great number of fish as a second dry. The Clark is a great option to get away from the Bitterroot crowds, but the lower river might be off color with everything dumping into it. Keep the Clark in your back pocket.
When the Blackfoot has been on, it’s been great. Big fish eating dries, nymphs, and streamers. When it’s off it has been slow. Fish at your own risk. Could be gangbusters, or you could get bageled. Those of you who like strippin big bugs with the chance of sticking a monster will be heading that way this week. Right now the Blackfoot is about quality not quantity. Just keep an eye on the graphs and make a call in the morning before you head out. If yo want to nymph go big. Pink or red worms and the Rubber legs have been putting fish in the net for us. We did find one adult Skwala when we floated earlier this week so dries aren’t out of the question, but don’t bank on it.
As always The Creek is fishing. The upper sections of the river have been giving up some great days. On the right day the dry fly action can be great up there. No need to get technical in your fly selection. The Purple Haze has been picking up lots of fish. Your “Tweener” bugs are also working. Size 12 and 14 Stonefly patterns that can go for Skwalas or Neumoras have also been the ticket. If you are looking for numbers put on an indicator, a Rubber legs, and a worm. If you put some miles between yourself and I-90 you can have a great day away from the crowds.
The fishing is great this time of year and lots of people are coming in the shop with big smiles and good reports. Get out now before we get the real high water and catch some fish on dry flies. Don’t forget your sunscreen. It’s too easy to forget about it when the fishing is good. All of us in the shop have the early spring “Raccoon eyes”.
We will be here from 9 to 5 everyday. Stop by the shop for some bugs and a point in the right direction.
We are still running our Spring Skwala Special for guided trips. $350 for two anglers for a full day. Give us a call at the shop to book a day on the water!