As you may have gathered from the last couple of weeks on the blog, spring can mean excellent fishing. The weather is warming up, the fish are waking up, and the flies are hatching like crazy. But, the runoff from the mountains can also mean high, fast, muddy water that is no fun to fish at all. According to the Montana Angler, the key to great fishing this time of year is to know where the water is coming from. The clearest water is going to be in spring-fed streams and rivers with reservoirs that trap the sediment.
This means that it is the ideal time to fish Montana’s many spring-fed creeks, where the rainbow trout are flourish. The Madison is also a great choice right now, especially the Upper Madison, where things are expected to stay good all season long. The portion of the Missouri that flows through Southwest Montana is a good option, especially around Wolf Creek. Another excellent choice is the Ruby River, which has been running high lately, but the Ruby Reservoir ensures that the water stays clear. And, of course, like we mentioned last week, this is a perfect time to fish the region’s many lakes, especially since they turn into popular swimming holes once the summer starts heating up.
According to the Montana Angler, if you want to fish the muddier rivers, the best thing to do is to pay attention to the weather. A few days of cooler weather can slow down the runoff enough to clear up the water. If the hydrography charts show the water flow dropping and not picking up again during the day, there is a good chance the water might be perfect for some fishing. And really, one of the best things about fishing in Southwest Montana is the sheer range of options, we have so many different types of water, in so many different types of geography that even if you strike out in one waterway, there are still plenty to choose from, and your fishing trip to Southwest Montana is still sure to be a success.