Missoula Winter Fly Fishing

December

Hatches: Midges (18-24), Abominable Snowmen (XL-XXL)

Weather: Average Low 30’s

Fishing: 

The main stems of our rivers are open to catch and release all year. Getting out with a double nymph rig can offer up some good fishing underneath as you look for the midging fish in the warm afternoons in the local spots. We’re all watching the snowpack levels and trying to forecast how the water will be this season, everyone is eager to get the boats dusted off for a launch on any sunny day. The Fly Fishing Film Festival in February always gets the frenzy fired up

January

Hatches: Capnia (16-18), Midges (18-24)

Weather: Average Low 30’s

Fishing: 

Most days the fishing this time of year will freeze your line and your fingers. However, when the temperature creeps up above freezing and the sun comes out, the fishing can be good. When this happens, it will be a nymphing game. Looking for “Winter Water” and fishing low and slow is the most productive way. While it may not be stonefly or mayfly fishing, you are fishing in the winter and a few bonus days on the water can be just enough to keep cabin fever at bay.

February

Hatches: Capnia (16-18), Midges (18-24), Nemoura (14-16)

Weather: Average Upper 30’s

Fishing: 

Depending on weather, February can be a favorite for the local angler. The water temperatures typically start warming up and the trout become more active. As the water warms the insect life is also becoming more and more active subsurface. Insects like Skwalas, Capnias, Nemouras, March Browns and BWO’s are all preparing for the warm spring temperatures to come and fish will often feed heavily on the nymphs during this period. This combination can make for some great nymph fishing. The streamer fishing can also pull out some of the biggest trout of the season in February.


Additional Winter Resources