If you haven’t been on the water in Missoula lately, your excuse had better be good.
After a brief heat wave, we have settled back into a wet, seasonable window that has the fish going gangbusters. Our boats in the past four days have seen blanket hatches of mayflies on the Clark Fork and strong big bug action on the Blackfoot and upper Bitterroot. It says something about our fishery — no, it says a lot — that you could throw a size 6 dry on the Blackfoot, a large golden on the Root, and a size 16 on the Clark Fork all day long and stay bent.
This week, look for more of the same: flows on the hard drop, water clearing and fish looking up. It’s a great time to pick a stretch of water you’ve never seen and trust the bugs to lead you to fish. They were rising in even the mediocre spots today.
Here’s some river-by-river tips in ten words or less:
Trust the dry, trust the dry, trust your guide.
This river’s hatches are back in full; trust your guide.
Clarity through the system; he who risks the most…….
Not quite wadeable; so please trust, and tip, your guide.
Upper Clark Fork
Lower Clark Fork