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Old 03-11-2010, 12:12 AM
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Default where to fish in april?

I am headed 2 montana the third week of april and was looking for some pointers on where to head. I have fished the madison, gallitin, yellowstone, mill creek, beaverhead, and YNP, but only during september. Was wondering what to expect for fishing and weather during the end of April? I was thinking that I would try some new water this trip. I onlu have a week this trip do I want to keep it to no more then three rivers. I plan on definetlu hotting the missouri and maybe the clark fork? Maybe some of you guys have some advice? I know the snowpack is low this year so that should help. I am flexible in case some waters are high. I have never fished any of the spring creeks and thought this might be a good oppurtunity. My goal is to catch fish stripping big streamers, baetis, and hit the skwala hatch somewhere. I have never fished the skwala hatch before so I am really looking forward to that. Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: where to fish in april?

Late April can either be like hitting the game winning home run or it can be like giving up 3 back to back homers and losing by one. Weather is the variable that determines success and you should expect anything. We see 70 degrees and sunshine one day and wake up to 10 inches of wet miserable snow the next. Depending on what the weather does prior to your trip will determine where you want to fish. The Missouri and the Spring Creeks will be the two options you mentioned in your post that will throw you the least number of curb balls. Water clarity, flow and fishing will be good no matter what the weather does. The Missouri should have some midge and baetis hatches with the possibility of some caddis if the flows are low and the weather is warm enough to get the water temps up. I wouldn't count on the caddis, just feel lucky if they do happen while you are here. The Spring creeks will see the same hatches but have a bit more of a chance to see some caddis as well.

The freestone streams will be up in the air and my best advice to you on them is to be flexible and willing to travel once you get here. To warm weather and the annual spring runoff could kick into gear raising water levels and turning things into chocolate milk. It could then cool down and snow and bring things back into shape for a couple of more days before sending the rivers back into a dirty mess. If your timing is right however and the planets align you could run into anything from Skwalla's, March Browns, Baetis, Midges and if you have been living right you could hit the Mother's Day Caddis Hatch. As for Skwalla's they are a sporadic hatch on most of the rivers throughout the state except for the Bitteroot. The Bitteroot is the one river that has an extended period of time that the fish really look to the surface for the bug. The Clarks Fork, Blackfoot and Bighole also see some activity but it is not as consistent or predictable as the Bitteroot. Your timing may be a bit late for Skwalla's, especially since it's been warm in the Western Part of the state and they are having reports of the Skwalla's crawling and flying around already.

If you want you can contact me just before you head for Montana and I can give you an idea of where you best bets for fishing will be with the low level snow that remains, weather and other variables that can determine where you want to be. Just send me an IM and I would be happy to help steer you in the right direction. I can't over emphasis how important being flexible for an April trip is and if you are willing to fly by the seat of your pants you can experience some of the best fishing we have in Montana each year. I love April, but it's a bit of a gamble for someone who doesn't live here. Good luck and enjoy your trip.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: where to fish in april?

Thanks, BIGGIE
I will send u a IM b4 I head out and any advice would be much appreciated. I definetly plan on being flexible. That was the ticket to my previous trips to MT. With a little luck the weather cooperate and we hit some home runs! I am really looking forward to throwing some huge sculpin patterns in search of some hogs, something that we don't get to do as much here in maine. My past trips to MT have been longer, sounds like just a week trip in april will be fine and I will save the longer trips for later in the season. I'm lookong forward to fishing new water as my previous trip have been around the bozeman, PV, and YNP areas.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: where to fish in april?

Third week in April might be some of the best fishing in Montana. Midges, baetis, and the Mother's Day Caddis. Check out the caddis hatch on the Yellowstone R., the number of bugs are incredible. This is one of the most impressive hatches found anywhere. The Paradise Valley spring creeks also fish well that time of year...the baetis have already started. The Upper Madison around Ennis fishes well with small nymphs in late April, plus you can get some good Baetis fishing on those overcast days.
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