This Past Week
It’s hard to believe that the Super Bowl was only one week ago. A lot has changed on the river in the past week.
We received significant snow fall during the middle of last week that added to the already substantial amount of snow laying around Craig. If you had been in Craig last week, you would have witnessed one of the only times that the Headhunters parking lot needed a snowplow. The snow temporarily made the boat ramps off-limits. John summarized the freshie situation here.
Last week’s storm caused a significant increase in the Snotel numbers for most of western Montana. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for good water this upcoming year.
The snow didn’t last very long. Beginning Thursday, we experienced a warming trend featuring some of the warmest weather we have had this winter. By Saturday, almost all the boat ramps were clear of snow and ice. Shelf ice had all but disappeared from most of the upper river, and anglers were out in good numbers. Several anglers floated from the Dam to Wolf Creek and a couple boats floated from Craig to Mid-Canon. A lot of anglers were taking advantage of the warmer weather to get out and wade through their favorite winter swinging or nymphing run.
On the swing, dark leech patterns and smaller baitfish patterns have been working well. If you’re planning on swinging the Mo anytime soon, you should check out John’s recent post that explains what we mean when we say we are “fishing broadside.” It contains a great video featuring Mike McCune that explains the varying retrieve styles we use for trout-spey angling.
For those nymphing, scuds and worms are working best as lead flies trailed by something pink or with a firebead. A few anglers have been having success with midge patterns too. Water temps are holding around 34 degrees and many of the fish are in energy save mode so you’ll need to fish deep and slow and set anytime the bobber twitches.
This Upcoming Week
With daily highs reaching the upper 30s or 40s for the next 10 days, we expect to see quite a few anglers on the river. We will be out there ourselves enjoying this break in the weather, but hoping for more winter moisture as well. If you are planning on getting out there, stop by the shop to warm up with some coffee or to discuss tactics with Ben, Sara, Dewey, Shane, and Braden.
Hosted Steelhead Trip – Clearwater River
This is a reminder that Headhunters is hosting a Steelhead trip on the Clearwater River this fall. If you’d like to reserve a spot, call us soon, because spots are filling up fast. It was a great time last year and we’re sure it’ll be another great trip this year.