After a weekend filled with on and off snowfall, we look to shift towards our first 50 degree day of 2023 tomorrow.  A couple inches of snow fell in the Missoula valley this weekend, with more accumulating in the Bitterroot area.   Our daytime temps hovered right around 32 degrees and our low elevation snow quickly disappeared.  As we head out on the water the combination of melting snow at low elevation while the peaks pack it on is the perfect mix.

The arrival of the warm weather is ideally timed with the start of the season tomorrow.  Missoula’s cold night time temperatures have kept much of our shelf ice solid on the riverbanks.  This week’s projected highs in the 50s, and most importantly lows in the 30s, will be sure to get things melting in no time.

The lingering cold has kept the skwala talks on ice, quite literally.  With that said, I would expect the rivers to be a popular getaway tomorrow with all of the pale trout bums emerging from hibernation to enjoy the sunshine and get out on the water; and someone will certainly drop the S bomb before we know it.

We have been out on the Bitterroot primarily, doing a bit of scouting for the season.  We did manage some dry fly eats from fish that exposed themselves while sipping on midges, however it’s still early in the season.  The focus is on the walking speed deeper pools, with the majority of the action being subsurface.  The fluctuating conditions keep spring fishing a fun daily puzzle to solve – are they on the outsides or have they shifted to the insides, are they tucked in tight where only a single dry can be placed, or are they still in their winter haunts?  There’s only one way to find out and we are looking forward to doing just that!


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