We have hit full stride here in Southwest Montana. The Mother's Day caddis hatch showed up right on time and we had some good dry fly fishing before the Madison and Yellowstone blew out. We have switched gears and are now guiding on the Missouri River for the next few weeks. Although the weather has been wet, the river has been fishing well. This week we saw great hatches of March Browns and BWO’s that have brought many fish to the surface in the afternoons. The nymphing has been consistent and the added dry fly bite has made the fishing great. We hope to see this continue for the next few weeks. Right now the fish are uneducated, but it won’t take long for them to wise up. It will be a few weeks before the Madison and Yellowstone come into shape. But by the end of June I expect the trout to be hungry and looking for our famed Salmonflies.
Give us a call or write us an email if you are considering fishing the area. If things continue to hold true, it should be a great year to fish Montana.
Regards, Dane Huzarski
THE BEST TIME TO FISH MONTANA
We are often asked, "When is the best time to fly fish in Montana?" Montana has many different seasons and offers many different options for fishing some of the nation's best blue ribbon rivers and streams.
This month's three flies are all centered around the Missouri River. The first fly is a sow bug. This is a spring time staple on the Missouri River. The trout must eat them like popcorn at a movie. There are many variations. Some with beads, some without, some with flash, some without. They all seem to work, but every guide has their favorites and if nymphing it’s hard to cut them off. The rougher they look, the better they seem to work. My favorite this year has been the tailwater sow bug without a bead. Last year, they seemed to like the beaded version better. Who knows why?
The second fly is the parachute Adams. Normally the trout here are able to count the tails and inspect your fly as it passes over there heads. lately though, they have thrown caution into the wind and are mowing down the bugs as they drift overhead. This pattern, which I use regularly on our freestone streams doesn’t see a lot of action up here. But right now, this is all you need. either in a size 14 for the March Browns mayflies or in a 18 for the BWO’s.
When the fish are not feeding on the surface a mayfly nymph under the sow bug has been very popular. A Missouri River staple is the Little Green Machine. You can either fish a size 16 or 14 to represent both the March Browns or the BWO’s. They sell them at all the local fly shops by the fistful and they really work well to represent both these mayflies.
Note: Fly patterns, terms, concepts and fishing tips help develop your knowledge and ultimate success on the river. The information above is unique and provided specifically for Montana Trout Wranglers email subscribers.
The don’t miss days of a Montana summer. We were just about done with a great day on the Yellowstone River. It was just a year or two back. Perhaps end of June/July timeframe. We were sharing stories, laughing and remembering the exciting day we had just experienced. There is something to be said about enjoying the moment, and this shot brings back fond memories of life on the river, sharing it with new found friends and old acquaintances. It is often I will see a similar shot and I am easily right back in the boat with a mend on my mind.