Missoula, Montana fly fishing report 2/1/20

   

Ok Pilgirms, let’s all be clear right off of the bat; Skwalapalooza just sounds ridiculous. Hipster-anglers are just as silly  in the same way that I hope there are manicured dudes in rainbow suspenders, rollerblading around the strip-mall this weekend, looking to trade flyrods for My Little Pony  temporary tattoos.  Oh, skinny jeans and shorn beards don’t help either. Just sayin’… What makes it worse is that there isn’t a chance in Hell that someone can, or will, launch a drift boat in western Montana anytime soon. Whatever- let’s just get some folks through the door and maybe we’ll sell a Pat’s and a Chubby. Fair enough. Best of luck. And…gay doesn’t have to be mean, or spiteful and full of fear. Who doesn’t love Matthew McConaughey?  But, let’s all calm down on the “Fests”. If I have a “fest”, I’m headed to Walgreens for some sort of insecticide. That could suck!
   Missoula, Montana suffered through a fair bit of snow this week-HAHAHA!!! What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on around here? My flaky snowplow guy got stuck in the driveway; I kinda thought these cats like snow. Whatever the case, the February snow Gods have thought us unworthy and they are punishing us. I talked to one guy in the bitterroot valley today and he said that he had at least 40″ of snow in his yard. FORTY. Other places have vastly different amounts. That right there is true local knowledge. Whatever- there’s a bunch of snow and if you think you’re fishing anywhere besides the Missouri, best of luck. I think we’re at least 3 weeks out, and that is naively hopeful. But, if you want to help shovel a parking lot, totally show up for the SkwalaPalooza thingy. They’ll have hot cider and SJW tying demos.
Missoula fly fishing was brimming with flat-brims attending the film fly fishing tour deal-i-o. It would be a dis-service to capitalize that. I have to give huge thanks to Taylor at the Missoulian Angler  (not a bad place to buy a few flies) for putting together a nice night at his shop. Man, he had it all! Food, beer and plenty of experts. But seriously,  it was good to connect with a few folks this winter; we get pretty locked into the gray skies and ice-fishing .But, the tales of chasing worms and turds seemed to be non-stop. Oh, the poor Bitterroot…Who would’ve imagined that we could crowd the parking lot at Bell Crossing? Give ’em a break, eh? Take a gymnastics lesson!
   There were a few folks that didn’t make it to the Angler, which is good because I had an earful for  the “guides” that were there. Dang.

So, you want the sweet report?  Here it is, pilgrims:
-Clark Fork River
The water is cold as hell; it’s winter. The zebra midge isn’t bad. The worm will work, too. This week brings lower temps and not many adult midges. Go find a good inside, and nymph the living hell out of it. Instagram the pic of the fatigued fish struggling to survive. If you go the da crick, try the worm and maybe a smaller prince.  Then, go home and wonder why you even bothered. Six weeks and you can go “rip lips”. Settle down- you are awesome.

-Missouri River
It’s so sweet! Someone tonight said that the “ripped” them at the dam. That could be a good place to start. I would suggest that the water from the dam to stickney would be solid, at least in the slower stuff. Try a Z.M and a amex. The czech in smaller sizes could be good, too. If you want to pull a streamer maybe go small and dark. And slow. You can try to find a pod of midgers, so give that a shot. For heck’s sake, its winter. Go dry out your moldy life jackets and learn a reach cast!

Where else do you want to fish?

-Blackfoot River
Bring an auger and a good supply of SJ worms. I know you all have them. God, help fly fishing. Please, oh, please. Look man, it’s winter. If you can’t figure out where to put the bobber on your leader, neither can I. I’m sure it’ll work out.
For Pete’s sake, don’t be such a clown- Buy a book, find some natural instinct. Ok, try a prince or a worm or a schnugget. All in 14, 16.
Please post photos of your latest conquests. That’s what keeps us all going during these gray winter months.