Missoula Fishing Report: Fly Tying Time

By on Mar 2nd, 2015   //   1 minute to read

It’s that time again. He who fills the most boxes wins? Well, not quite, but the skwala hatch is just about a week away, and while the eager beavers are out there drowning eggs and worms with some success, the savvy anglers are designing the next line of fool-proof late winter stonefly imitations.

Over the past decade or so, spring dry fly fishing has become more complicated with increased river traffic. Spring fever is a strong ailment, and it brings a lot of drift boats to the river. Believe it or not, back in the day, a mid-sized Stimulator used to serve well as a skwala imitation. Modern times, not so much.

River levels, pressure, weather, and hatch density all determine what type of pattern best matches this drab olive inch long stonefly. Somedays the angler needs a thin-bodied bug without much wing at all, and somedays fish key on bushier dry flies with wings splayed out. Other days it takes a dropper to pattern big trout.

In late- June, during peak golden stone action, it often doesn’t matter what type of stonefly pattern you throw. Because of multiple variables, spring fishing requires more concentration. You have to be on your game.

We’ll leave it up to you to decide which fly and when–we can’t give away all of our spring fishing secrets, after all.  We employ each of them strategically, and our clients are glad that we do.

Hamilton Fishing Report

Bitterroot River Skwala




2 Comments to "Missoula Fishing Report: Fly Tying Time"

  • Tom
    March 3, 2015 at 8:12 am

    You guys grow the biggest damn bugs! Massive. Florida big.

    1. Dan Mahoney
      March 3, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Big Sky, Big Bugs, Big Trout. Big Feet = Big Socks? Nevermind. Grab Grier and get back up here!