Painted Rocks Dam (on the West Fork of the Bitterroot), pictured above, was spilling over the spillway on April 30th and is currently flowing at a rate of 2230cfs.
The third Saturday in May is the “official” start to the Montana Fishing season. For most fly anglers this date is less important, since most of our rivers have catch and release regulations in effect year around. This date also signifies the opening of most of our mountain streams and lakes. For specific regulations about a certain water body you can visit Montana’s FWP website here.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the past 6 months you’ve heard about or experienced the large amounts snowpack most of Montana has accumulated over this past winter. That snow is now turning into river water and has swollen our local rivers and even produced some local flooding in some areas of Western Montana. The creeks are running high and the rivers are off color and fast. Your best option is to perfect your double hull and practice your reach cast on the lawn and wait for the river to drop. We are optimistic that we will back on the upper Bitterroot by the first week or two of June.
In the mean time I’m headed to the southern most point of the US in search of Tarpon. I suggest you do the same. The trout will be here and be hungry when you get back. See y’all in a couple weeks.