2018 Fishing Forecast: Why you should fly fish in Missoula in 2018
Snow Pack around the state is looking great right now with averages over 100% in our area. As long as this trend keeps up through the rest of the winter we will be all good for the summer. Now, we would love to say that snow pack levels are everything, but it’s not. Warmth matters too and how our snow pack comes out of the mountains. If we have a cool spring and the snow comes out of the mountains slowly, then our rivers will be full of cold water all summer and fall long. While we would love to be able to predict how it will all shake out, we can’t. Things are looking good right now and we’ll just continue to be positive about how the rest of the winter and spring will go.
The way things are looking for 2018, we should have a great year. So, when should you come? Well, it all depends on how you want to fish and the what kind of weather you are comfortable fishing in. Here’s our breakdown for when you should come out:
If you like fishing for big fish on sz 10-12 Skwala Stoneflies then spring is the time you need to be out here. Imagine throwing dry flies you can actually see in spring to big fish that are just waking up from a long winter of not eating much. This is the time of year that we get some of our biggest dry fly fish. The one risk of fishing in the spring is the weather. It can be in the 50-60’s with bluebird skies one day and snowing and 30’s the next. If it’s int he 60’s for a couple of days we can deal with high water. The reward though is big fish on dries. We’ve had great dry fly fishing even in snowstorms. Believe it or not we caught more big fish last spring in high water than anyone can remember. The rewards far out weigh the risk of weather.
Summer is our bread and butter time here in Missoula, MT. This is what most people think of when fishing Montana. Big skies, big rivers and floating dry flies to eager fish. Summer starts at the end of June with big Salmonflies, Goldenstones and Green Drakes. The rivers are still high, but clearing and you’re throwing dry flies as close to the banks as you can. As we get into July our rivers begin to drop and we start seeing PMD’s, Yellow Sallies, Caddis and attractor dry fly fishing. End of July and into August we start throwing more attractor dries and terrestrials. Some where near the beginning of August we start seeing Spruce Moth’s. These moth’s make the fish go crazy and if you hit it right can be absolutely amazing. The summer ends with Trico’s in the early mornings and Hopper/Dropper fishing in the afternoon. Usually weather is pretty consistent and we are wearing shorts and sandals for most of the summer.
In the fall our rivers are low and clear and we are throwing smaller dries to pods of rising fish. This time of year is when the Mayflies are the king bugs of the rivers. We have hatches of Trico’s, Mahoganies, Hecuba’s and BWO’s. If you like throwing mayflies this is the time of year to be out here. It is some of the most consistent dry fly fishing of the year to rising fish. It’s also a great time of year to have some solitude, especially in October. You can have entire sections of river to yourself. Streamer junkies this is a great time of year to be out here. The fish are aggressive and will chase streamers. If you get a cloudy day you can be throwing streamers in the morning and dry flies in the afternoon! Fall weather can be up and down, but for the most part we are in the 50-70’s until you get into mid October.
As you can see there are so many reasons to come visit Missoula, MT and fish in 2018! We have so many options of fishing whether you like throwing small flies to rising fish or blind fishing big stoneflies all day. We also pride ourselves in having the best guides in Montana that know our rivers intimately and have proved it over the years. Come see us this year!