I can’t wait for spring. The snow has been falling, the polar vortex is blanketing the US, football is over, I officially have cabin fever. I have been sitting at the tying bench cranking out flies and letting my mind wander to days in shorts, rowing down the river soaking up the sun, and looking for trout poking there snouts through the surface and delicately slurping in insects.
We are about two months away from the official start to the season. We have a few early season trips but I count on the last week of April through May as the real kick off of the season.
Why do I look so forward to guiding in the spring? We as guides are chomping at the bit to get back on the water, the weather is much nicer and we get to spend our days floating down majestic rivers with great scenery. After a long winter our batteries are re-charged, the patience gas tank is fully topped off. The days keep getting longer and the thoughts of listening to the water slap the side of the boat and soaking up the sun are so much better than shoveling snow, layering on the clothes and trying not to be outside for extended periods of time.
Spring is a great time to fish Montana. The fish have had quite a break from angler pressure. We see great hatches of BWO’s, Caddis and Midges. The trout are un-educated, eating less than perfect drifts and not as picky about the flies. The trade off is that the weather can be a bit unpredictable. You could be fishing in a short sleeve shirt one day and putting on multiple layers the next. The good news is that the fishing is still great regardless of the weather. Water temps dictate the fishing and as they increase the trout get more and more aggressive. Once that water temps hit about 55 degrees, magical things start to happen for us fly fishermen.
One of these magical things is the Mother’s Day caddis hatch. This epic hatch happens in May and is a phenomenal fishing experience. To witness the shear amount of bugs hatching and trout going bonkers is unbelievable. This can be a difficult hatch to hit at the magic moment. When you do, and see fish rising bank to bank for hundreds of yards, this will burn a memory in your mind for a lifetime. Casting dries to rising fish surrounding you for hours is what we live for.
Early season BWO’s (blue winged olives) are much bigger than their counterparts in late September and October. Our un-educated trout will be happy to eat a size 16 or 14 parachute Adams vs the late season sized 18-20 variety. The Yellowstone, Madison and Gallatin are great early season rivers. In the middle of May we switch gears and fish more tailwater such as the Missouri, Ruby, Beaverhead and Big Horn tail waters. With warmer weather, snow starts rolling down the mountains and many of our local waters become unfishable due to swollen, muddy waters. This is where we make our money. Knowing where to fish, what’s happening with water conditions, we are on point on where to fish and where our best options are. Conditions change daily and our network allows us to find the best water to fish with the changing conditions. The name of the game here is to be flexible. We want to give you the best experience possible. If you are flexible, your chances to have a great trip are maximized. This is where years of a guide's experience pays off. If you put your faith in us we will provide you with the best possibilities to have a banner day.
If you are looking to fish world renowned rivers before the summer crowds arrive with reduced lodging prices, be sure to contact us about a putting a fishing package together for you.