Knocking The Dust Off - Spring Fly Fishing In Montana
As the sun begins to shine a bit longer after a long, frigid winter, the angler is reborn. The insatiable itch to throw on the waders builds. The ice jam has mostly receded and the water is cold and clear. The fish are on their spring bulk diet and arguably less astute than the season prior - for now.
There are two types of anglers come spring time. The folks that tied flies all winter, reorganized their boxes and fixed the hole in their waders. Then, there are some that have not even looked at their fishing gear since October. Those poor individuals still have rods in need of repair and half-full fly boxes. The common theme, however, is the sudden need to go catch a fish.
The first outing of the year is almost religious. Whether you are twitching streamers off the bank or nymphing the deeper buckets, it simply feels good to be back on the water. So make a plan, meet your fishing buddies at the boat ramp and knock the dust off your five weight.
This time of year, the fish are gradually moving out of their "winter water". Some will still be in the deeper, slower buckets and some will be surprisingly close to those fast-moving shelves. Their feeding zones are day to day in the spring, but the fish are hungry and healthy. Anything can happen on the Upper Madison right now. Pack your worms, girdle bugs, BWO nymphs & dries, midges and plenty of streamers in various sizes!
Stop by Madison River Fishing Company to restock your box and get a fresh roll of tippet. It is not uncommon to leave a few crucial items behind on the first angling adventure of the year, so here's our checklist of the Spring angling necessities.
-Waders & warm socks
-Layers (it's winter one second, summer the next!)
-Streamers, worms, stoneflies, assorted nymphs
-Pack/ Boat bag
Writing and Photos by Jackson Bland. Jackson is a fishing guide based in Ennis, Montana with his wife, Emily, & labrador named Peach. They can usually be found on the drift boat, duck blind, chair lift or a singletrack. He will be a featured writer and photographer for MRFC. https://www.troutcowboycreative.com/
Leave a comment