I spent a couple of days this past week pretending to be a fisherman from out of the area trying to get some information regarding the Bitterroot River.

My objective was to see if anyone could give me some good information about fishing this coming week and where might some good places to fish.

Since I hadn’t been in the area before I naturally turned first to fly shops to find out what information they could give me. A good choice, right. Who would know best what the conditions are on the river and what might be hatching during the next week.

My first choice was to use the Internet and find out how many fly shops there were along the river and if they had current information available with their fishing reports.

I first discovered that there were no less than five shops listed. Upon searching each site I found that there are only four shops that had locations and others that were listed but had no shop. A couple were guides and a couple were people who I didn’t recognize and there were two fly shops listed in Missoula.

I began looking at the fishing reports on websites of the shops and came up with a variety of information.

One shop recommended that I not come at all because the river was blown out. Two of the sites had old information and any information about future fishing didn’t exist. One of the shops had some good information, was up to date and encouraged me to come if I could handle nymph fishing until the river went down a little and the dry flies would return.

Guess which shop I would come to if I decided to fish and to get some flies and other things. Guess which one I would use in the future and depend on to give me the straight story. I wish that I could list the shop here but I would probably anger the other owners and perhaps ruin some friendships.

Any good fisherman who uses a computer can look online and view river conditions for himself. I use the stream flow reports almost daily so I can see for myself what the river conditions are and when it might be best for fishing.

If you looked today you would see that the river came up during the rainstorms we had this past week but the water is receding and fishing will be very good again. It has been good even during the rising water but most fishermen won’t brave a little rain to catch a few fish.

The recommended patterns by the fly shop I viewed are #6-10 black/coffee or tan/coffee rubberlegs, #10 red or pink San Juan worms, #12-16 pheasant tail nymphs and a couple of others. I am recommending the #6-10 prince nymph and black-bodied nymphs with white rubber legs.

The best spring fishing is still yet to come. The real run-off isn’t coming for another three weeks so go fishing and look for skwala’s

Good Fishing,

Bill Bean.