We have made it through February which means that dry fly fishing is about here on the Bitterroot River. Historically about March 15th is when the fish on the Bitterroot really start to key in on the Skwala Stonefly. Given our current conditions I would say we are on pace for an average start meaning that we should have good dry fly fishing within a week or so. We have a little colder weather on tap, which could stall things a bit, but with daytime temps in the fourties its a good idea to have dry flies with you for the afternoon once the water warms up a bit. Keep your eye on the nighttime temps, when they warm up a little this hatch will blow up. We will keep you posted as we float the Bitterroot in the upcoming weeks.
Flies for the Bitterroot River
Olive or tan Double Beaded Stones in size 10 and 12, Girdle bugs, size 14 Prince nymphs and the Worm in the morning. Definitely have Skwala dry flies in your box for the afternoons. I like the Rogue Skwala and Bullethead Skwalas for the beginning of this hatch. These are low profile flies that seem to work well during the early part of the hatch when the water is low and clear. Having some 14 or 16 Nemoura patterns in your box is important too as sometimes you will see these smaller stoneflies buzzing around before you see the big bug. A small olive/black stimulator works well for the Nemoura. Good Luck!
Upper Clark Fork
Lower Clark Fork