Great weekend to be in Central Mon-freakin-tana! Loads of fun things going down this weekend in the greater Missouri River watershed, beers, bugs and plenty of ways to get into trouble as we herald in the greatest part of the year, that’s right folks Small Stream Opener ! Not to mention Caddis Fest today in Craig. Beer, bugs & debauchery what more could you want? Decent weather would be a plus, but I’m not holding my breath. With all the fun going on it makes sense the weather gods plan on unleashing a typical spring torrent on us. Wind, rain, and all the other typical crap weather we have to deal with this time of year. Looking at some of the gauges I can’t complain too much, we need the water, every drop helps. My first piece of advice for this weekend is simple: Gore-Tex. Don’t be discouraged though, it’s a good weekend to, buck up, huck some junk. Let’s go through the spring creek / beer fest survival guide.
Lets talk fishing first. Good reports all over the MO over the past few days. Still waiting for the big hatches of Caddis to hit the water but we’re starting to see them in good numbers lower down in the canyon from Prewett to Cascade. Seems like they’re holding off for the warmer evenings before they make their appearance. It’s only a matter of time before buffs are required to avoid a steady diet of sucking in bugs. Blue Wings are still dominating the hatch scene these days from Holter Dam downstream. moderately sized Parachute Adams seem to be fooling a lot of fish, keep a good variety of colors to match the hatch. Still seeing some March Browns in the canyon and fish are keying in on them. Evening streamer bit is still in full effect too. Big and bright doing the trick getting fish to net. Swinging through the flats, and stripping off the banks both getting positive results. Humble fly suggestions below for you Caddis festers this weekend….
Dries: Parachute Adams, CDC Slickwater Caddis, Tapewing Caddis, Purple Para-Wulff, D&D Cripple, Buzzballs, Guards Low Rider Caddis & BWO Hackle Stackers.
Nymphs: Unwired Caddis, Master Baetis, Military Mayflies, Green Machines, Sparkle Caddis, Tung Darts, Superflash PTs, & Caddis Czechs.
Streamers: Yellow Flash Fry, Skiddish Smolt, MO River Minnows, Urchin Buggers, Olive Buggers, Polar Minnows & Beldar Rubber Legs.
For all you small water junkies out there, its only a matter of hours before thousands of miles of pristine, free-flowing, small water fisheries all over the state open for your pleasure. It’s almost like Christmas, but better. Big bugs, bear spray and big guns, that’s what I think of opening day. Lots of different challenges fishing small water, same awesome rewards. The options for small stream fishing is unfathomable, more water than you could fish in two life times. Luckily, we’ve got a huge new stack of MT Road and Recreation atlases to help make up your mind. Though the weather isn’t looking too great for opening day, like I said before, don’t de discouraged. Remember that these fish have had zero human fishing pressure since the first of November and it’s the time of year when they’re on the prowl for their next meal; which brings me to my next point. Streamer fishing now is usually a solid bet. Off color water, hungry fish and an abundance to sub-surface morsels to feast upon, no reason not to tie on a big, buggy, bait-fishy streamer and get after it.
On a sad note, the world has lost an incredibly talented musician and a personal favorite of mine. If you’ve never listened to B.B King, your doing your ears a great disservice. I know what’ll be blaring out of the car this weekend in search of small water.