Missoula Fly Fishing Report 3/9
The Bitterroot river had a bump in flow the last few days which makes things a bit difficult. The upcoming forecast with highs in the upper 40’s will help stabalize the flows. These colder days will postpone a good Skwala hatch for the coming week. We floated a few different stretches last week and considering the conditions, it fished pretty good. We fished Skwala dry/nymph dropper most of the day and a handful of fish smashed the Skwala dry. There was some decent fish eating midges in the afternoon but this was a short window of 2-3 hours. During this window, the fish eating midges would also eat our Nemoura patterns too. The streamer fishing stayed consistent throughout the day and of course the dropper pulled in fish most of the day. It’s easy to get excited for Missoula fly fishing this time of year after a long winter and we believe it’s worth it to get out there. Don’t set your expectations to high this week, get out and enjoy the river and be happy with a few fish here and there. Here’s a few of the Skwala dries we had fish eat, True Skwala, Olive Plan B and the Rastaman. For droppers try the Hot Spot Ptail, H/T Ptail, Two-bit Hooker and perdigons. Stop in the shop and grab some of George’s Nemoura patterns as this was one of our more productive dry flies when fish are eating on top. Darker streamers in black, olive and brown seemed to be the favored meat of the day.
The Blackfoot River had a considerable push of water the last few days. Add the bump in flows to already cold water and that makes a perfect recipe for poor fishing. We still had a few fish eat the streamer but they were few and far between. Let the Blackfoot stabilize a bit and warm up a few degrees before considering this an okay option. If you enjoy Montana fly fishing by yourself then this is definitely the place to be. Don’t expect a great day by any means but if you work hard then you will definitely have success up here. Again, keep your expectations low and enjoy the time on the water
Clark Fork River
Just as the Clark Fork River hit that magic number of 43 degrees above town to get a few Skwalas hatching, the flows bumped and the fishing turned off for the most part. The flows are starting to stabilize but the temps dropped down below 40 degrees. The streamer fishing was decent and we had a few hours of midge dry fly fishing were they would eat a bigger bug like Capnias and Nemouras when presented properly. The streamer fishing was inconsistent but we caught a few nice fish that aggressively smashed light colored and flashy streamers. The Clark Fork fly fishing is not a good option now but keep an eye on water levels as this week cools off and give it a shot. We had stretches all to ourselves and we expect that to continue for the next few weeks. Olive and Black streamers were the meat of choice for the Clark Fork Fish the last few days.
Rock Creek fly fishing was one of the more consistent streams lately as the rest of the rivers had significant bumps water flow. Rock Creek had a minor bump and stabilized fairly quickly. With water temps hitting right below 42 degrees the last few days, we are right on the verge of Skwalas Starting to hatch. For now the Stonefly nymph is where it’s at with all the nymphs moving closer to the bank in anticipation to hatch. We have had a few reports of decent streamer fishing too. For nymphs try Pats Rubber Legs, Double Bead Stones, 20 Inchers, Ptail Jigs, Hare’s Ears, Worms and the G-Kes. Flashy Streamers like Sparkle Minnow and Kreelex have been productive.
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Click any photo below to find out more information on each individual hatch. Includes life cycle, best fly patterns, helpful tips and where to find these hatches in your Western Montana fly fishing adventure.