Someone once told me: “Normal is nothing more than a setting on your washing machine.”
So far, to put it simply, it’s been a strange spring in western Montana. Summer was upon us, with caddis hatches thickening by the day, and then it retreated–so much so that yesterday on the Missouri felt like early March again, a day almost too cold for Baetis.
This cool weather pattern — which looks to be with us for a week at least — will help stall the snowmelt and keep some snow in the hills. But let’s be frank about snowpack: the “new normal” is “there’s no such thing as normal.”
To be even more frank: “Will fishing be good next week?” you ask. “Yes,” we answer assuredly, though we can’t say for sure whether you’ll be fishing Baetis or Salmonflies.
That being said, the Mo remains very dependable, with short-leash nymphing dominating for the creel-fillers, and dry fly fishing keeping the aesthetically-inclined quite happy as well.
The Bitterroot and the Blackfoot have also produced fantastic days of fishing during our latest rise and fall in flows. Could we have predicted these productive windows to the day a month or two ago? Not a chance, but it’s been fun to be in town for them and not completely locked into the Missouri.
Good caddis fishing on the ‘Root is a rarity, and the late May streamer window (2 feet of green vis. on the banks?!) on the Blackfoot can produce some legendary days.
Sometimes it’s good to have a day off!
Upper Clark Fork
Lower Clark Fork