Sunday, May 1, 2011

Get it while you can.

Since "spring" has largely skipped over the western United States altogether this year, it seems only fitting that it's still snowing...and the rivers are still in really, really good shape. Like well-below-average flows, great-clarity, continued-good-hatches kind of shape. The fishing has been good--even outstanding at times--and we've been out there to see a whole bunch of it lately. And since the snowpack in the mountains is still growing, as opposed to shrinking, all indications point to a GIANT run-off when it finally breaks loose. So you better get it while there's some gettin' to be got, cause it's gonna be a beeeg one.

With my spring work wrapped up successfully (meaning everybody caught trout and no one drowned) by the middle of April, Dad came out and spent the better part of two weeks fishing around Missoula. I had he and one of his good buddies in the boat for four days of what is now being described as pretty standard "Spring 2011" fishing: snow and sun, calm and wind, terrible fishing and excellent fishing...usually within the same hour or so. The hatches were off, except for when they were on, and then the fish would turn on, and then they'd turn off. Then it would snow some more.

But that's why they make Gore-Tex, and over the course of ten days we managed to catch 'em on the Root, Clark Fork, Rock Creek and the Big Hole. Overall I'd say fishing was pretty damn good given the conditions and the season we're having, with the skwala fishing on the lower Big Hole our last two days of Dad's trip taking the cake--hands down--in terms of quality of fishing. Brown trout. Holy effing brown trout.

Yesterday one of my buddies convinced me, once again, to do just what I didn't want to do once more this spring: sit in the sideways snow, pushing the boat downstream, not catching very many trout. Awesome, thanks Brett. You know what they say, "A bad day of fishing beats a..." errp, sorry, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

But now it's May 1st, the sun is actually poking through a bit in Missoula and with a few days off in town under my belt, most of my worldly responsibilities are taken care of (it's amazing how easily I hemorrhage money after a working/fishing trip). At times like this, I find myself bored and twitchy as hell if I don't go fishing, so it only seems fitting that it's time to head back in to the hills to find some trout that might rise before Noah and his furry crewmates come boatin' through downtown.

When it comes to cheesy, irrelevant sangs from the Farmer's Almanac that you may have heard your grandparents offhandedly mutter in years past, my money's on "April showers bring May flowers." And 100-year flooding? I'll believe it when I see it.

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