First and foremost I hope that wherever you and your family are, you're safe and in good health. Spring is in the air here in SW Montana. The landscape is starting to green up, the days are getting longer and the temperatures are getting really nice. There have been the first signs of caddis out and blue winged olives. The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is still a week or two out, but should be here soon. I have been staying close to home the past few weeks, but ventured out a few times to check on the areas rivers. There have been a few smaller streams that are off color with run off, but the majority of rivers are still in good shape.
The Governor has opened up Montana with a three phase plan. Starting on 4/27 phase one kicks off and small businesses will start to open up, followed by restaurants and bars a week later. We have a 14 day quarantine for residents and non-residents traveling into the state, which at this point has no expiration date at this point.
The fly fishing community has grown together over the past five weeks. I have talked with many fly shop owners and guides in the area/state and we are banding together to try to solve some of the frustrations. What was once many small cliques, we have been reaching out to each other for support. Simms wader company is now making surgical gowns instead of waders. Small distilleries in town are making hand sanitizer instead of liquor. Our organization FOAM (fishing outfitters of MT) has been instrumental in helping their members with as much support as possible, and letting the Governor’s office know our concerns. No one can prepare for a pandemic. But, we can all come together to help one another in a time of need.
We will be utilizing new sanitation protocols for our trucks and boats this summer. We will be taking every precaution to insure the safety of our clients and guides. See the list of protocols here.
Things haven’t been easy for anyone the past few weeks. Rest assured, there will be a day that we will be on the water fishing and laughing together again. We have taken the first step to ease restrictions and I am hopeful that it won’t be long until we are in phase three. Be safe, and we’ll see you soon.