While over on the Missouri River last week, I saw several pods of rising trout. Even now, the weather forecast on the Mo’ looks to be warmer than average and the fishing should be pretty good.

In the Missoula area, cold air has settled in the valleys rendering fly fishing impractical and futile.


I just took a look at snowpack numbers from around Montana; just out of curiosity, time-wasting and boredom. There’s definitely some snow in the high country, but there isn’t much at lower elevations. Yeah, yeah, it’s way too early to make any real predictions but I was bored, and my computer was on. Most guides would have been searching something more more deviant and perverse. But not me.

Missoula Fly Fishing has Begun! Woo-hoo!!! (and thingamabobbers still suck)

Well, it looks like we’ve muddled through most of another winter. This week has been outrageously pleasant; like terrifyingly pleasant. Remember last year about this same time? Let’s hope that we get a little more snow in the high country and some colder night-time temps. I cannot handle another summer with needlessly prolonged river closures and smoke.

Bitterroot River fly fishing in February

We had a trip this past week. It’s always so fun to get out when nobody is around, for that won’t be the case in about 6 weeks. The fishing was what I would call “good”.
This week will be the week to go make a few casts on any of the Missoula area rivers, what with the 50 degree temps that are predicted.
Rock Creek: Flows are just about right for some wade fishing fun. Look to the deep, slow stuff. The old San Juan, p.t. and small Pat’s rubber legs should turn some heads. Rigs about four feet long will do the trick, and keep ’em light, as in, go easy on the lead. You’ll be limited to everything below about mile 10. The road is icy and sketchy. Call Deb at Trout Bums-406-825-6146. She’ll have the most current scoop.We really have had success lately using the pink bobber. Now, I know this is a bone of contention amongst a lot of these new local guides-some say yellow, orange, and some even say white. These guys should know- they go through a lot of them each year. But, if you want to catch more trout, use the pink ones.
Bitterroot River: So we guided the Bitterroot last week. The good fishing window was from about 1-4:30. I must say that I was impressed with how agreeable the trout were. Water temp was a nipply 35 degrees, so it goes with saying that there were no fish up. I did see a handful of midges, and we managed a fish or two on the mighty zebra#18. Our best bug was a wire worm with a standard SJ dropped off of that. The whole rig was 4 feet long. As previously mentioned, our bobber was pink. I have heard, and it makes perfect sense, that the Grizzly Hackle has the most extensive selection of Thingamabobbers in town.
Missouri River: The fishing has been good on all of the standard stuff. Czechs, amex s, zebras, etc…
You can pull smaller streamers through the frog water and pick up nice fish, too. It was about 3 years ago in mid-february that we had several skwala eats between Wolf Creek and Craig. Stop in the Trout Shop or Wolf Creek Angler for bugs and chit-chat. Definitely check the wind forecast before you pull out of the driveway.
Lastly, I must share this picture of a popular local outfitter:

Missoula Montana Fly Fishing
Dreams of sugar-plums…



Missoula Skwala Fishing: almost, almost, not quite…

Not bad, for a beginner!   I managed to test float a new fly fishing guide this past week. It went about as expected; in, out, too fast. Overall, not bad. We can shine him up. I fished a dry, as did Mike the Meatman, and we caught a few. The eats were confident and the weather was perfect. There were plenty of 100% banks that I can now call 99% banks. But it was good enough. It’s March 12 for Pete’s sake! If you’re gonna make a day of it look to the upper and middle reaches of the Bitterroot. A single dry will work if you just leave it on your line. Look to the slower banks for solid dry fly grabs.  Actually, it would be better if all of you local floggers just stayed home. Isn’t there still enough snow for some knuckle-draggin’? But seriously, if you go put your hat on straight and leave the Gopros and tweets in the truck.   Earlier this week I also got into a fender bender with a driver on one of Missoula’s beautifully planned streets. Judging from the massive Power-Bait decal that was blocking his sight-picture, I can only assume that he was bait fisherman.

Montana Fly Fishing Report

This is so AWESOME!   Missouri River fly fishing has been sick! Think pink! Find the slow water and fish deep-ish. The weather over there is tropical and it would be a great time to scratch the itch.  You can fish from the dam to Prewett with no trouble.  There are some ramp-ice issues at Pelican. Small, darker streamers fished slowly should turn out some fish, too. GO!   The Clark Fork and Bitterroot have been decent, but it’s still winter.  Small stone nymphs, sj worms, princes-You know, the usual stuff. We haven’t been on the ‘root, but we’ve heard some stuff.  It’s great that for the next month, while the water is super low, it will be getting pounded by bobber-jockeys. That should really help the dry fly fishing later on. Watch out for soft ground at some of the Bitterroot accesses. It’s so sad when those Tundras get bogged down to their axles. The good news is that you can Gopro/Youtube the tow truck extraction, with some catchy music and cute captions.  Hooray for Tundras and film festivals.  They’ve given the angling world so much!I guess I might have a touch of cabin fever. – Predator

Missoula Montana Fly Fishing – Ice, Ice, Baby!

From our perspective, 2014 was a great year for fly fishing in Montana. We had strong flows and beautiful hatches that carried us through. So far, the snowpack in our most important drainages appear to be well above normal. I really don’t think we’ll have any water issues in 2015. That’s good. It’s gonna be a great year, again! If you haven’t booked your spring dates, you’d better get on it! Our early booking specials end this month.   There has been a little fishing on the Clark Fork and Bitterroot rivers, but it is day by day, and it’s really cold. If you can find a day without flowing slush-ice, you might do well with small princes, Zebra midge/blood midge #18, S.J. worm #12/14.    The Missouri would be a good play right now, too. Fish anything pink; amex, czech, scud in #14/16/18. Look to the slack water.  Mess around with rig length, current speed, etc. It’s the Mo’. It ain’t rocket science.    Rock Creek is pretty locked up, but given some warmer weather it’ll get going. The pink or red worm is the ticket. Fish a shorter rig in deep slow stuff.  In another month look toward the skwala nymph patterns to get the job done. For current Rock Creek conditions talk to Deb at Trout Bums-406-825-6146. She’ll have the low-down on road conditions, flies to use and asst. fishing info.

Missoula Montana Fly Fishing – Spring Booking Specials

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine…So it’s cold. Really, really cold. Furry mammals like us shouldn’t live at these latitudes during the winter months. But there is a a light at the end of the tunnel: Skwalas! In four short months there will be big trout that will come to the big dry.  Only 4 months! As usual, we are running our spring fishing special package. For two anglers including lodging and guided fishing: $450 per day. Valid dates-March 15-April15On the other hand, you could drill a hole in a frozen lake, lower a tasty bit down the hole, and wait. And wait. And wait. Your call.CLICK THIS LINK TO FIND ANGLING HOPE!

Montana Fly Fishing Report

The season is winding down, but the fishing continues to be very good.  The weekenders are gone and the tubers have hung up their tubes, along with their limited cognitive abilities. Hooray!   We have had happy anglers in all of the guides’ boats, with many trophy-sized fish coming to net. Our waters of choice have been the lower Clark Fork, lower Bitterroot and the Missouri. Best bugs continue to be October caddis patterns, #14 purple haze, #18 MagDel baetis. There have been some baetis around, as well as a ton of pseudos. Adult October caddis are out sporadically, too. The point is, if you hunt around you will find risers. But I know that some of you only know how to chase colorful plastic orbs around the middle of the river. Maybe it’s time to evolve. If you want to hang a dropper try the #16 peep show, #18 zebra midge, or just go old school and tie on a P.T. Rock Creek has been good with the purple haze, black buggers and Wulff patterns being the best bets. Think twitchy/skating if you head up the crick. The weather is great, and looks to be staying that way, so you might consider one last fix. This is the best October fishing that the RFO team has seen in a number of years. It’s only a matter of time before it gets nasty.Joe W. with a streamer caught Missouri River brown.

Montana Fly Fishing as it relates to the Innertubulas Idioticus

The fly fishing report is as follows: Hopper/dropper, tricos, caddis, maybe a mayfly, or streamer. If on the Missouri or Blackfoot, try the same.More importantly, I believe we have uncovered the mythos surrounding the inner-tubing human. As in, where they come from.  Here it is. Are ya ready.  After 18 years of research we have finally found an explanation.Innertubulus Idioticus: “toober”When the great floods last came, the humans divided into two groups; half ran to high ground to escape the terrifying water. The other half grabbed the urinary bladders of stegosaurus’ that they had fed upon and floated away upon the biblical waters. As time went on (over millions of years) the dry-land humans continued to evolve. The bladder-folks continued on their path toward stupidity and lemming-like selectivity. At this point in human evolution there was a massive split in the progress of man. Advance one million years, and you will find a sunday afternoon on the Blackfoot river.  These hominids can be seen today on any warm afternoon on the Blackfoot River near Missoula, MT. There is no Earthly reason why they haven’t been picked off by tigers, vultures and hamsters.  They aren’t smart,but they are lucky!  We have deduced that they stay afloat not by their inner-tube devices, but rather by the air in their heads. What a discovery!!! If you see them loafing lazily in the sun, consider this a tremendous occasion. It’s like seeing a beer can on the road. You should probably youtube it.  They’re a dime a dozen. Please report these other “humans” to your local MTFWP officer. Chances are good that they can be found following a steady stream of Subaru Outbacks and/or Honda CRvs. with

Rock Creek/Blackfoot River/Missouri River reports

Drilling a few before I drag the boat over. The creek is happenin’!  ROCK CREEK- The fishing has been very, very good. Our best flies have been a 6/8 Chubby with a touch of pink/yellow/black on the under-side, smaller orange stimi, para-drake in 10.   The fish have moved off of the bank a bit with the drop in flow. Yesterday the green drakes came off in a big way. We found nice fish in the braids and they were very willing. As for the big jam, it’s really not too bad. Just pay attention.  Also, did anyone lose an oar around mile 23 recently? If so, send a note with a description.  If not, then I guess I have yet another oar to put in the pile.BLACKFOOT RIVER- The salmon flies have been out here and there. Rubberlegs in 6/8, pink and red worms, halloween buggers have all been doing the trick. If you want to toss a dry around, think BIG.  Fish the heavy twitch and you might drum up a little biz. Look to the big olive, pumpkin, tannish streamers to move some nice fish. The flows look great and the best fishing is yet to come. Stay tuned.MISSOURI RVER-The fish are tuned into to a bunch of winged critters. Caddis, PMD and sallys are on the daily menu. As usual, there isn’t any real reason to go chase bobbers around at the damn dam. If you want to hang a dropper off of a dry, try peepshow 16/18, czechs in 14/16. The flows are low and the fish are hungry. There has been no shortage of rising fish each day. Simply put, the fishing on the Mo’ is very good.Predatorwww.flyfishmissoula.com