The Stillwater, Rock Creek and the Clark’s Fork have all come down and cleared up. The cold nights have slowed snow melt for the time being. We are supposed to remain cold for the foreseeable future. The monkey wrench here is that we are supposed to get substantial snow and rain as well. So, as usual, spring fishing in southern Montana is a mixed bag. Rain means dirty water, which means black streamers and big nymphs. Stoneflies and worms will be the best bet.
Area lakes are fishing well. This will be the most consistent option through June. Look for sporadic mayfly hatches, but streamers and suspended midge larvae will be the most consistent producers. As the weather warms up, look for damsels and dragonfly nymphs to become more active. Try an Adams for your mayfly pattern, bead head blood worms or zebra midges in larger sizes (16 – 12). Most any bead head nymph, especially a red copper John will work on all but the most selective fish. Your midge larvae and nymphs should be suspended under an indicator. When the damsels and dragons become active, small olive or brown wooly buggers stripped in short bursts should produce.
Put on your rain gear and get fishing!
Montana Trout Scout