If you were simply wetting a dry fly on the Bitterroot or Clark Fork this past week, you more than likely found good fishing. And if you happened to be on the right stretch at the right time, and saw what we saw on a few floats, you might not have better dry fly fishing for the rest of the year. Finding some untouched water during the magical window (roughly 2-5pm) requires some odd combination of dumb luck and veteran savvy. But even if you only have one of these at your disposal, the fishing’s been pretty outstanding.
Here’s a brief sample of what the guys seated at the bar want to know — they don’t usually get these kinds of answers without buying a cocktail or two…
Can you go dry-or-die all day?
Yes, but you’ll most likely hear a lot of “oooh, nice float” in the morning hours — with the occasional big shallow water brown trout mixed in. Worth the energy, if you ask me.
What triggers the dry fly fishing each day?
Obviously, clouds help get the fishing going. But it’s the Blue Wing emergence that’s really getting fish looking up. On sunny days, they can be a bit snooty, wanting a smaller mayfly profile, not the Wordens’ Whoppa sub sandwich of a skwalla, but a Purple Haze will do.
Any BIG fish yet?
We’ve been seeing lots of fabulous rainbows and a solid number of browns in the 18-20″ range. Will next week’s warmer water temps bring the true trophy fish to the surface? You bet your March Browns they will.
Upper Clark Fork
Lower Clark Fork