Spring fly fishing in Missoula, Montana is one of our favorites! I’m sure you’ve heard us say that before, but we can’t say it enough. It’s the time of year that we all look forward to. After a long winter and cabin fever has set it there’s no better cure than getting out on our local rivers. Spring is also the time of year where we catch some of our biggest fish on dry flies. Yes, you heard that right… DRY FLIES! In late March, Skwala stoneflies start to hatch and it causes a feeding frenzy with every fish in the river looking up, including the biggest fish in the river. Once the fish see a few it’s game on and we are out there as much as we can be. Although the fishing can be ridiculous, you still have to have your A-game on, as presentation and flies are key to get into the big fish of your dreams. Here are the top 5 flies for spring fly fishing in Missoula, Montana in no particular order…
- Rogue Skwala
- GH Water Walker
- Purple Haze
- Pat’s Rubberlegs
- San Juan Worm
1. Rogue Skwala
The Rogue Skwala is a bullet head Skwala with a foam, skinny body and rubber legs. It’s one of our top producing skwala when the fish start looking up. A sz 10-12 is in black/gray is what seems to work the best. The thin profile and the fact that it sits low in the water makes it look close enough to the real thing.
2. GH Water Walker
We didn’t come up with the Water Walker (wish we did), but we do have a custom tied Skwala Water Walker that really makes the fish go nuts once the hatch really gets going. The magic is in the low riding, just perfectly situated legs. It also floats for days!
3. Purple Haze
There are other bugs than just Skwala’s in the spring. Neumora’s, March Browns and BWO’s are all on the menu for the fish. A Purple Haze in sz’s 12-18 will imitate all of those bugs and when the fish are picky it will do the trick.
4. Pat’s Rubberlegs
We hate to admit it, but sometimes in the spring subsurface is the only way to go and with stoneflies in abundance under the water a Pat’s Rubberleg Stonefly is hard to beat. Black/Brown, Olive/Brown, Black is a sz 8-12 are what you want to have in your box.
5. San Juan Worm
It’s a necessary evil in our industry, but is there really any better fly than a San Juan worm when it comes to trout fishing? Whether it’s a chenille body or squirmy worm body it doesn’t matter. This fly flat out works. When things are tough put a San Juan on or when you just want to catch fish…
These are our top 5 flies for the spring. Some of you may have some others that you wished we had put on here like a Pheasant Tail, Perdigon or your secret Skwala that you tie, but this is our list. Put together a box with these flies in it and we know you’ll have a good spring fly fishing around Missoula! In fact, we have a Spring Box that comes with a half dozen of each of the flies, plus a great box for a great deal! See the link below to get yours…