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Sometimes being considered an expert in something requires the expert to learn some jargon to show that he has a great deal of understanding in that area of expertise.

Fly fishing is an example where one needs to learn and speak some useful technology to communicate with other fly fishermen.

The term fishing rod is something quite different than a fishing pole. Some other important terms that you might learn is riprap, holding area, reading the water and undercut. There are many other terms that can be learned and used but the most common mistake by a newbie is calling a fly rod a fly pole.

If you are in a fly shop and make this mistake there will be at least three other fishermen and the owner quickly tell the newcomer that we never call a fishing rod a pole.

The first week in March can be a toss up as far as fishing dry flies on the Bitterroot.

In years past early March can be the beginning of the dry fly fishing season but don’t count on it this year. We are still in the winter season and when we say that March comes in like a lion is the correct quotation for this year.

So far the water remains extremely cold and if I were a Capnia, Neumora or Skwala I would think twice about coming ashore and becoming frozen in the ice and snow along the river banks. In years past we are breaking out the fly rods and heading to the river to try our newly tied patterns of the Skwala and see how they float.

Once it a while a foolish fish will rise to the dry but mostly after we tried the new pattern we tie on the Skwala nymph or something close and begin nymph fishing for some serious fishing.

When breathable waders came out years ago, I threw away my Neoprene waders vowing to never put a pair on again. Sometimes I wish that I had kept one pair to use during the spring season because to layer up with breathables makes it difficult to wade in the cold water. Layering my body, above the waders, is also a chore and I have found it to be somewhat labor intensive when casting.

Water temperatures are hovering around 39 degrees Fahrenheit and with the winter weather persisting, it doesn’t look too positive for an early Skwala hatch this year. I have seen a few Capnia scurrying along on the snow but the Neumora have not appeared as they do before the Skwala hatch.

My usual spring prediction this year is that it will be later in March before the Skwala will make an appearance on the Bitterroot. While we wait for the hatch the best way to catch elusive trout is to use size 10 dark nymphs or throw some streamers that mimic smaller fish.

Be sure to pick up that new fishing license before heading to the water this weekend.