Montana Fly Fishing Guides Brown Trout


Runoff is here and all but the sneakiest water is experiencing elevated flows and extremely poor fly fishing conditions. This is normal for a few weeks in May and the Missouri river becomes home for us until we come back into shape. Snowpack is a bit above the historical average so you would expect the next stretch of fishing that would come in will be Rock Creek Salmonflies in late May or the first few days of June.  After the third Saturday in May our tributaries open and provide some exceptional high drainage fishing that we can only get on at max flows like the Dearborn river.  I look forward to those little water plays each season – they are vacant and quiet. Soon the world will be staring at the bushes for the annual migration of Salmonflies on lower Rock Creek and the Summer season will kick off for the run into late October. We are in a fly fishing holding pattern in Missoula for a bit.

Overall I thought the Spring fishing experienced poor to decent conditions except for late April through the first week of May which was exceptional.  March and Early April was too cold weather and too big of water.  Yes, we caught fish, but we had to work for them and we never really got that run of great dry fly fishing on the Bitterroot River that has been a staple for so many seasons. Seasons come and go and some are better than others. Fly fishing freestone rivers have factors and they are always changing.

What the Clark Fork did right before it went out of shape was nothing short of exceptional on a single big dry fly ramp to ramp on 12lb test. Our fish feel when it is just about to go out and know that they need to stock up on food.  I am an exceptional guide when they do that.

I was guiding an angler that fishes the river Test in England last week. He had asked me a bunch of questions about when to time up hatches in my area. I was evasive and non-committal in a way that Missoula fly fishing guides can get.  We are presented lots of daily factors within seasonal trends and never really come to a conclusion until we are actually on the water that day. I get a lot of eye rolls and frustration when an angler is trying to plan a Missoula fly fishing trip and wants a concrete answer.  The twitching new client who I blogged about from earlier this season who pointed out my flaws of fishing prognistication  reinforced my evasive tone; I’m am going to miss him.  I quickly turned the conversation around with my English friend to inquiries about when I could visit him and fish the river Test, but I prefer dry fly fishing.  His dates range was blurry and would depend on daily conditions. We both laughed and agreed “There is ‘fishing’ in England too, but you have to be there that day to enjoy whatever the river gives you.”  I enjoyed my time on the water with the Brit.

Turkey hunting was as good as the fishing was. My 8 year son and I  drove to Billings Montana for quick hunt.  In two days we hiked 20 miles on the GPS. He never whined and was still as stone when the birds came in. Tough kid. A life centered in the outdoors has great value


Montana Hunting and Fishing

Montana Turkey Hunting

Montana Outdoors

Hunting Montana