This Bitterroot River fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current Bitterroot fishing and river conditions. It will be updated frequently or if conditions change. We are currently on the Bitterroot River and running trips so give a call if you want to schedule a guide trip or need information on anything Montana fly fishing related.
Flows at Bell Crossing: 2,200cfs
Water Clarity: clear
Best time of day: 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Water Temperature: approximately 40 degrees
Hatches: skwala stoneflies, March brown mayfly, baetis
Patterns: rubber legged stone fly nymph, bh prince, San Juan worm, bh hare’s ear, bh pheasant tail, parachute Adams, purple haze, March brown emerger, pheasant tail soft hackle, Rogue skwala, rasta skwala, bullet head skwala
The Bitterroot River is still a bit swollen but actually fishing pretty well. Flows have been hanging around 2000-2500cfs for the last week and it looks like they’ll likely stay in that range. No hot weather or heavy rain is expected through next week.
Skwalas are active and fish are eating them. Dry fly action has been getting better but does depend on weather conditions. With partly sunny skies and a bit of warmth skwala nymphs are more likely to be active and hatching and adults are more likely to be moving as well. March Browns are also starting to show up but water temps will have to bump up in order for hatches to really pop. Most days blue winged olives are hatching around 2:00 pm and fish have been responding and rising in specific water types where bugs are concentrated.
For now Nymphing remains best bet in the morning if you’re just looking to get into a few fish, and who isn’t? Think dry/dropper in the afternoon. Water temps have ooched up the last couple days and dry fly action has been good in the afternoon and early evening. By about 6:00 pm insect activity has tapered off.
Expect a mix of spring weather through next week. The weekend will see cooler daytime temps and possible snow or rain showers. Early next week cloud cover will prevail with bursts of partly sunny conditions and daytime temps in the high 50s. The Bitterroot will remain very fish-able for the foreseeable future especially since nights are staying cool and runoff has been slow and steady.