I’ll bet that I have seen the movie “A River Runs Through It” at least 25 times and read Norman Maclean’s story at least the same amount of times but I have never appreciated the work of Norman until I heard Dr. O. Alan Weltzein speak about him this past week at the Fly Fishers of the Bitterroot monthly meeting.
Dr. Weltzein is an English professor at The University of Montana Western and a self-proclaimed expert on Norman Maclean and his writing. It seems that Maclean did not write many books or novellas but what he did write became powerful works if you had an understanding of why he wrote what he did and when he was able to write about his life. I am fascinated about Dr. Weltzein’s explanation of Maclean's writing and it has intrigued me to find the rest of his writings and read them.
Fishing reports have all been very good this past week.
There have been a lot of fishermen catching fish using a variety of techniques. Some have success of dry flies but most of the larger fish have been taken on nymphs and streamers. The lower river has produced some very large fish recently and the upper river, including the West Fork, has fished very well despite the rain and colder weather.
Water volumes have been increasing each day during the past week and it appears that we are beginning the spring runoff.
Painted Rocks dam water levels are increasing and DNRC is releasing water into the West Fork on a regular basis. It’s a guess as to what the high water will be this year but I predict that we will have a more normal runoff with slowly increasing rises in water levels and slower decline as the spring goes into the summer.
I think that the first or second week in July will be when the water recedes to a more summer like flow. The weather patterns are lining up like the Bitterroot Valley used to have about 10 years ago, which included cooler springs and cooler summers.
Skip Morris is coming to Hamilton again in June to provide us some lessons on fly fishing on lakes for trout. Skip has been here in the past and provides a day of fun while learning how to fish lakes such as Georgetown and Browns Lake.
Skip is coming Saturday June 23, and will have two sessions, morning and afternoon. The morning session will be about how to fish lakes including hatches and fishing techniques and the afternoon will include fly tying some of the best patterns for taking trout on these lakes.
If you missed his last classes be sure to sign up for this years sessions. Information about the workshops are available from any Fly Fishers of the Bitterroot member or on the website for FFB.
This weekend might be the last days that we can get on the main Bitterroot. Tributaries don’t open for fishing for another month so find some side channels and begin to learn how to fish them for the next six to eight weeks.