Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Skwala Fishing Report for March 3rd

Well we have made it. It is officially March here in Montana. I guess everywhere else as well. March means warm days, birds singing, and Skwalas, river wide…. Well not yet. The cold temps that brought March in will slow things down for just a few days. By the end of the week we are looking at warmer weather.

Now cabin fever is the main trigger for early spring fishing. The best and most consistent Skwala fishing seems to be around mid to late March through mid April. That being said, don’t be surprised if you find bugs this weekend. We have seen fantastic dry fly fishing as early as late February. The last time we were on the Bitterrooot the Skwala nymphs were in shallow water close the the bank. And by close I mean inches. It could pop soon… When things are right.

As for right this moment.

The Bitterroot: Nymphing the inside bends will still produce fish. Skwala nymph patterns in size 8-12. Rubberlegs, double bead stones, tungsten nymphs. San Juan Worms in Red, Pink, Purple, Gummy, and Wire. Soon the dry fly fishing will be a legitimate option. When it goes, make sure you have a variety of Skwala patterns. Big and fluffy and low profile both have their days. For the big and fluffy bugs look for the Fat Frank, Ninch’s Peanut, The Para-Skwala and the Widow Web Skwala. For the low pro bugs the PK Skwala, The Bullethead Skwala, The Rouge, and The Cali Blonde. When the Skwala’s start rolling keep fishing the winter water. The fish won’t be in the fast summer stonefly water. More often than not, if you aren’t catching fish, turn around 180 degrees and cast the other direction.

Once that water warms up it will be game time. So keep tying and get ready for the season.

-The MAngler

…Because You Fish

Missoula Fishing Report

Feb 2.26 Fishing Report

The New Mangler Fishing Reports are all going to be found right here! Check back often for the latest!

We are getting close to the time of year when the fishing around Missoula starts to pick up.  However the fish are still responding best to winter fishing tactics.  With that being said stick to the slow inside corners, in about 4- 6 ft. of walking speed water.  The double nymph rig is still going to produce the numbers of fish, but a slow swung streamer has been producing some of the bigger fish.

Rock Creek and The Bitterroot will be your best late winter options. The Clark Fork and Blackfoot will be coming into shape in the near future. If you want to make the drive over to the Missouri, the nymphing has been productive from the Dam down to Mountain Palace. We haven’t floated past there since the warmer weather came this month. But don’t be afraid to do some exploring.

Nymphs – Worms (Pink, Red, Purple, Sparkle…..whatever.)  Stoneflies (Pats rubberlegs, double beaded stones, trout retriever, tungsten stone.  Size 8-12)

Streamers – Sparkle minnows and other smaller minnow patterns. Less is often more this time of year. Come check out the new streamer patterns in the shop! Our bins are overflowing with new patterns. Your new favorite pattern is waiting for  you.

Dries- Midges, Nemouras, and Skwalas coming soon!

-The MAngler

…Because You Fish

October Is Our Favorite

As most of the fishing pressure around the Missoula area is winding down and focus is shifting towards the animals in the mountains, the fishing only gets better.

The nights are getting longer and the days are getting cooler. The trout seem to know whats coming and they are eating whatever comes over their heads. The Mayfly buffet is better then the senior special at Golden Corral. When things line up right you can have non-stop dry fly action. When things don’t line up you can roll an attractor where they should be a watch it happen.

BWO’s, Mahoganies, Tricos, A few Hecubas, October Caddis, and don’t forget the streamer fishing.

The Bitterroot and Clark Fork shine as the dry fly rivers right now. But don’t forget the Blackfoot as a streamer anglers Valhalla. So pick your river and go get ’em.

The bugs on our fly patches right now…. Beck’s Peacock Trico spinner. Hi-Viz Beatis. Red Willy’s Ant. The Sparkle Minnow. The Articulated Sparkle Minnow. Copper Haze. Parachute Adams. There are more, but those will get you started.

We have a few openings for guided trips left for October. If you would like to get out on the water one last time before winter sets in, now is the time to do it. If it means anything, Mangler guides are fishing hard on their days off right now. It’s that good. Our favorite time of year.

-The MAngler

…Because You Fish

Missoula Fly Fishing Outfitters

Fall Is Here.

Well that happened fast. Wasn’t it just early July and the Salmonflies were everywhere? Did August even happen this year? I guess time flies when you are netting fish.

The good news is that we are full swing into the mayfly buffet. Tricos, Hecubas, Mahogonies, and Blue wings. Don’t forgot the October caddis. Lot’s of those around as well.

Missoula Guided Fly Fishing

The fishing has been nothing short of fantastic this year. Some of the best that we have seen in recent memory. We still have our favorite time of year ahead of us though. Mid-September through October. The best dry fly fishing of the year. Just come see for yourself.

-The MAngler

Missoula Fishing Report

Mid Summer Fishing Report 7.23

It seems we have quickly switched from high water to high summer. Our big bugs are gone and the fish have started to eat hoppers on all of our local rivers. The Hoppers are clicking around on the grass banks and the trout are chowing on them in the rivers.

The Clark Fork- The upper river is starting to see a little bit of moss. The good news is that the dry fly fishing has been fantastic when you hit it right. They are eating hoppers. Purple, Yellow, Tan, and Pink. Morrish, Pavs, More or less, and The Yeti have all been putting fish in the net. The lower river has been fishing very well when the clouds show up. But the lack of clouds can make the lower river feel like a ghost town.

The Bitterroot- The upper river, around and above Hamilton has been fishing very well. Mayfly and stone fly attractor patterns are bringing fish up. The hoppers are starting to play a bigger role. The mid and lower rivers have been good to spotty. If we get clouds go to the Root. If it’s bright and sunny you also have better options than the mid and lower Bitterroot. Upper river is where it’s at right now.

The Creek- Rock Creek is in its typical summer swing. The fish are looking up and willing to eat a dry fly. Again, just like everywhere else, if we get cloud cover the fishing will be better. But The creek fishes well regardless. A great wade fishing option right now.

The Blackfoot- The Blackfoot has been fantastic. Great dry fly fishing early to mid day. Around mid day things start to slow down. They have been eating the hopper like mad. Purple and Pink seem to be what they want the most. Moths soon.

Great dry fly fishing in the Missoula Area right now. We have a boat load of bugs in the shop. Stop by for what you need before you get on the water.

-The MAngler

…Because You Fish

Missoula Fishing Report

Independence Day Fishing Report

The Rivers around Missoula are shaping up for an awesome summer of dry fly fishing. The high water has been a blessing in disguise. While June was a struggle to find clean water around Missoula, The rest of the summer will be a dry fly anglers dream. The Salmon Flies , Goldens, Drakes, P.M.D.’s, and Caddis are all coming off on all of the Missoula area rivers.

The Rivers are going to be crowded this weekend. If you are looking for some water to yourself I would look for a little creek you have never fished but always wanted to. This is a great time of year to do some exploring.

FWP has reopened The lowest section of The Blackfoot and soon reopening the Woodside area on The Bitteroot. Please use extream caution if you choose to float these stretches of the rivers. Portage left at the Woodside diversion. The dam is deceiving from the upstream view. Our rivers are still high and very strong, use caution this weekend.

Happy 4th of July everyone!

-The MAngler

…Because you fish.