You can still find some muddy water in Montana, and maybe we’re still a week out on the Clark Fork, but some of the smaller waters are falling nicely, running mostly clear and if not wadable all the way across, at least manageable from the near bank.
So last night I was wondering if I should hit the town, Missoula, for Five on Black and then a drink or two. But at the last minute I asked, Why? So I loaded up the gear and made a drive to some of my favorite grounds. Found a stream in perfect shape and bugs occasionally popping off. Not enough to say a full-fledge hatch, but enough to gather the trout’s attention and get them looking up. Was nicely surprised to catch three fish right off the bat on an olive Stimi, and when I broke that off I found the fish equally interested in a size 14 gray Sparkle Dun. I had a ball for a while, sticking a few, missing more, working my way upstream. Beautiful evening with thunderheads in the distance and raindrops hitting me from far away rain squalls, all being blown miles to my location. Heard some grouse drumming from the woods, saw a few deer milling about, and paused a couple times to applaud a decision to fish, if only for a few hours, instead of doing the routine.
The takeaway, get out there now. It’s good. No time to spare. The rivers may drop quickly and heat up early this summer. It’s now time. I’ll be back out there again this afternoon and evening, rain and clouds or not, looking to get my early summer fishing in while I can. Hope to see you out there soon. Here are pics from last night. Thought you might enjoy.