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Old 04-06-2013, 04:42 AM
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Default Update on fishing the Bitterroot River.

"
Bitterroot fishing report: With skwala hatch in full swing, etiquette is important
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11 hours ago • Bill Bean
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The Bitterroot River has been fishing very well for the past two weeks. Many a fish have been caught and fishermen are happy to be back on the river.

The river is crowded, but the fishing is the best we have seen in some years. The skwala flies dominate the scene and will continue to do so for the next three weeks and the March Brown fly that usually shows up in April is beginning to hatch this week.

If you can go fishing do so, because it is there for the novice and the expert to catch some good-sized fish while the water is still cool and the fish are very active.

The Bitterroot often gets too crowded for some fishermen. When you look up and down the river and see more than one or two boats and/or fishermen, then it is crowded because the winding river does a good job of covering up the signs of crowding pretty well.

What do we do when this situation arises? Some fishermen head for home only to return another day or time, hoping that the crowding will be over. Most of the time it is.

Some fishermen travel to other rivers that usually don’t have the crowds early in the season but still provide some good fishing.

From Hamilton, fishermen travel either to Rock Creek or the Big Hole to satisfy their drive to fish. Either fishery is great and will provide some good fishing with less crowding. Both are relatively close and can be accessed readily.

They are both quite different so if you have not been to either river some learning may be in order. Rock Creek is a short drainage and can only be fished by raft or boat until July 1. Then you can use a boat to access fishing areas, but you cannot fish from a floating device the rest of the year. The river is quite fast because of the drop in elevation from the headwaters to the Missouri River.

The Big Hole is more of a meandering river like the Bitterroot. Its regulations regarding floating the river are a little more relaxed, and it has some regulations on it for guides and outfitters to make sure there are days that are available for recreational fishermen only. These days have the least pressure and will provide some fund angling and floating on this river.

Wherever you fish this weekend it will provide some good opportunities for you. There are plenty of stoneflies and mayflies to enable you to have some fun and catch some fish. Even though the weather is getting good, put some sunscreen on because most of us are not ready for the summer weather, as we have been covered up all winter.

It’s too early to have mosquitoes, but while adding some sunscreen to your vest or pack add the repellent to make sure you have it when the need arises.

Have a great weekend on the Bitterroot and remember to watch out for the other person.

Bill Bean writes a weekly fishing column for the Ravalli Republic’s Saturday Outdoors section."
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Update on fishing the Bitterroot River.

That was when the river was lower before this last warm spell.... Now it higher and muddy.... There are still some risers for skwalla patterns but most is on nymph. Head up stream to the east or west fork for clearer water......

I was out last two days just banging around but mostly dinks on top.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Update on fishing the Bitterroot River.

I've actually seen a few mosquitos out and about so make sure to have repellant with you! I know its early but they are there!
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: Update on fishing the Bitterroot River.

It's really a difficult time of the year. Some of the area veterans I know won't even consider fishing the Bitterroot right now.

prism: that stretch from Hannon up to the forks is one of my favorite pieces of water.

mtfisher: I refuse to put on bug spray in April. I don't care! Way too early...I reckon last night killed off any of the little devils hatched early the last week.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Update on fishing the Bitterroot River.

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mtfisher: I refuse to put on bug spray in April. I don't care! Way too early...I reckon last night killed off any of the little devils hatched early the last week.
Funny.. I think I saw 1 here or there off and on all winter.. .I don't understand how they could live thorugh winter, let alone where they could hatch out from
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Update on fishing the Bitterroot River.

Think I found 'odd' about the BR's 'bitie-bugs' is that in some locations (forks as an example) they were thick as they could be. Drive 10 miles down river and zip-nada. Another 5 and HOLY SHIP!
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Update on fishing the Bitterroot River.

wade fished the west fork last weekend, we had good luck with with streamers and small nymphs, no action on top in that area.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Update on fishing the Bitterroot River.

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wade fished the west fork last weekend, we had good luck with with streamers and small nymphs, no action on top in that area.
Thanks for the update and welcome to the forum!

I have the day off tomorrow and weighing my options.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Update on fishing the Bitterroot River.

it was a good change of pace, caught fish fri, sat, sun. all around 15" cutthroats. I haven't had much luck this spring in the bozeman area
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: Update on fishing the Bitterroot River.

Just wish this river wasn't an 18 hour drive ... one way. Sandy, my Yellow Lab, is beyond that.
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