With the warmer weather we’ve been experiencing, a lot of people are calling and itching to get out on the river. People are starting to float river-wide, and the majority of the shelf ice is gone. Fishing has still been a little slower, but the sunshine does feel nice. The weekend forecast is calling for a mix of rain and snow on Saturday, and maybe some sun on Sunday.
The river is still low (~1,300cfs) and floats are taking longer than most people are used to. If you do try and float, pick a shorter one, and don’t bite off more than you can chew this time of year.
Some shuttle companies have been working on the weekends (weather permitting). If you are going to float – be sure to call your shuttle company one day ahead of time to make sure they can do it. Plan on doing your own shuttle during the week. Starting mid-April all local shuttle services should be up and running.
Pretty much all of the boat ramps are open and clear of ice. The one exception is Mallards Rest. It still has about 6-10 feet of shelf ice blocking the ramp.
Midges are still the main food source as the water temps are still colder. Nymphing slower riffles and runs remain the best way to get fish to the net, but there are rising fish to be had in the less windy spots. Streamer fishing has been hit or miss. A few dedicated streamer anglers went out last week with little to show for it, but a few savvy anglers have been rewarded for their hard work.
Give the shop a call 406-222-7130 for the latest wind, clarity, fishing report or to book one of your favorite guides.