For the last week, the water levels have been on the fall and the clarity is now back to normal. Even though the bump of high water we had a week back slowed the fishing for a few days, it has restored the rivers and given the fish more space to spread out. On Friday I drove down the Bitterroot Valley in hopes of some bug activity with the great water conditions coinciding with warm 55 degree weather. I was greeted by a smattering of Gray Drakes, March Browns, and a couple Skwalas.
A smaller brindle chute and hare’s ear parachute adams were effective for imitating these bugs. As always a drag free first cast proved to be the most important factor in getting fish to eat your dry, even if you don’t have the hatch matched perfectly. Cannot stress the first cast enough when fishing to rising (or not rising) fish.
On saturday all the weather models were calling for snow, rain, and up to 40 mph wind gusts. Something about that combination made me less than enthused to be out on the water. So we drove up into the mountains, poked around, and shot the bows a little bit.
On sunday, new fishing friend Jason and I hit the water on a chilly post-frontal day. We had some decent action on stoneflies and mayflies, but the action on top definitely didn’t turn on until late afternoon when the water warmed a little. We took a 41 degree water temp just after we got on the water, one of the coldest readings in the past few weeks. Jason is less than enthusiastic with his views on modern-day fly fishing blogs, to say the least, but finally let me snag one fish picture for the day.
Overall it was a pretty good weekend. Here in the Missoula area, we probably have just 2 or 3 weeks left until the real runoff begins, weather depending. Until then we should continue to have the good dry fly fishing we’ve been experiencing this spring. Get out there and enjoy the good water while it lasts.