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Spring fishing is history, the rivers are high, fishing (at least locally) is on hold. After a long, perfect spring for trout fishermen, we were hit with several days of warm temperatures that really started the high eleveation snows melting. The rivers all jumped and turned off color but we may have already seen their peak flows, at least on the west side of the state. With six weeks of good fishing under our belts we can take a little breather and get prepared for the “meat” of the season.

In Montana “fishing season” starts the 3rd Saturday in May. Growing up here The Opener was always a huge deal for my family. Flies tied, boxes loaded, plans A, B, C, and D were all discussed over the dinner table for weeks ahead of time…..where to spend that first precious day of the year? Now, with an extended “catch and release” season on almost all the major rivers, the Montana Trout Fishing opener really applies to the smaller streams, all the ones you have to float by the mouth of during spring fishing. The only casualty of the more generous seasons is that the First Day has lost a bit of its luster.

Anticipation, however, still runs high. I am fortunate to live within a few double-hauls casts of a beautiful stream, one that opens and closes with Montana’s fishing season. Usually whatever is hatching in the creek eventually flutters out over the yard. The roar I hear in bed and the presence of trout food keeps my head in the game, and lets me keep abreast of fishing potential. The roar has dwindled just a bit the last few days, and I expect to see the first of the big stoneflies in the not too distant future….anticipation. I know it is a little early, but salmonflies are on the way! Time to sort my boxes and fill the empty slots.

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