Spring Time Fishing

April 14, 2012

Spring Time Fishing

What is it about Spring that seems to get fishermen all around the area so excited? I mean, it's not like we can't fish all Winter long in Montana on Spring Creeks and Tailwaters and some of the bigger rivers... You've got some of the most prolific \"fish catching\" of the year during the Winter when all of the fish are stacked and concentrated in the deep pools and runs and your fly selection consists of worms, eggs, midges, and some more worms, and maybe another egg, or another midge. We're spoiled in Montana. Fish still eat in the dead of winter, even on days where you're picking ice out of the guides you can still catch plenty of fish.

Then why is it that people seem to feverishly look forward to Springtime in Montana every year? Maybe it's because you don't have to wear four layers of clothing underneath your waders, maybe it's because that giant orb that burns through the clouds seems to come out for more than two hours every day. But more likely it's that for the first time since maybe November that you aren't having to stare at a bright fluorescent indicator all day. Midges break up the monotony during the winter months some, but really the good dry fly fishing starts in March when you start to get some early season Baetis that are bigger than a size 20. Couple that with early season March Browns, Skwalas, and a little later on Green and Grey Drakes and Caddis and you have what really makes the Spring fishing that much more appealing to the fisherman - bug activity.

The April Double Bunny hatch that kicks off when the water temps start breaking into the 40's is also something worth getting excited about. It's typically the first time of the year that you can begin actively stripping streamer patterns instead of just drifting them like nymphs under an indicator. Spring also means that there a ton of little brown trout and whitefish fry in the water, and other forage fish get active in the warmer water as well, when this happens fish begin to get happy and start chasing stuff... 

The only downside to springtime fishing is the unpredictability of the weather - within 24 hours you can experience a sunburn, a snowstorm that measures in feet not inches, rain that will fill a bathtub, and temperatures cold enough to give you frostbite... If it weren't for that and winds that approach ridiculous then Spring might be everybody's favorite time of the year to fish in Montana, fortunately for the diehards it's not everyone's favorite...

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