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.
…Because You Fish