The Spring season starts at the beginning of March. During these first cool days we are fishing mainly with nymphs and streamers, and the days the wind is not blowing, fishing some midge patterns for rising trout. Usually, there are not too many other anglers, and the fishing can be quite good, but, it can be quite cool out , so proper warm and waterproof clothing is a must. In April we start to see Blue Winged Olives, and the Dry Fly fishing really starts to improve, there are still quite a few midges, plus the weather is starting to become somewhat warmer. This is the start of fishing with Skwalla Stoneflies in the middle and lower river, the action is generally fair.
In May, the fishing can be excellent with the arrival of the Caddis, this is know as the Mothers Day hatch, some years it can be some of the best fishing of the entire season. Also this month we start to see March Browns, again, some years in huge numbers, depending on weather and water levels, the Midge and Blue winged Olive fishing is still going strong, a great month over all.
June is the start of summer in Montana, during this month we can have Caddis, Pale Morning Duns, Tricos, Midges, March Browns and Brown Drakes, plus Yellow Sallies. This again depending on the two big factors water levels and weather. When it is good, it can be a bucket list must! Other years it can be the big run-off, and high a muddy water, fishing is still can be excellent even in the high water, but it is mainly nymph fishing. Over all, usually June is one of the best months for all types of Fly Fishing.
July is when the weather turns warm, and the fishing is generally hot. In July we are seeing Caddis, Pale Morning Duns, Trico’s, Yellow Sallies, and the start of Hopper fishing. This is such a treat to be able to fish in the early mornings to rising trout until around 1:00-2:00 pm , and then be able to throw Hoppers the rest of the day.
August is the Hopper month, again in the mornings there are pods of fish feeding on spent Tricos, but , with the heat and wind, it can last only until 11:00 or so, then we turn our attention to Hoppers, Ants and Beetles.
September usually starts out quite warm, and the fishing can be slower until the first cold snap arrives. The fishing is fun using large dry flies, “Chubby’s”, hoppers, ants, and the Caddis usually start again, along with the very small Psuedo’s. The nymphs can be very good, but over all it is slower than after the first big winter storm. October is the month where the fishing generally is about as good as it gets. Most years the first big winter type storm hits in the first week, and this changes the complexion of the entire river. Fish really sense the winter coming on, and feed accordingly, feeding aggressively on Midges and Blue Winged Olives during the day and Caddis during the late afternoons and evenings. There are days that the river is literally covered in dead and emerging bugs.