We are about half way through the winter months here in the Big Sky state, and it's time we emerge from hibernation to report on the ups and downs of life in the off season of a fishing guide.
We got the cold, but we need more snow! Near sub-zero temperatures hung around most of Montana for the last 6 weeks, and we had a couple big snowstorms roll through, but due to a weak start we are running behind on snowpack. Our friends to the south and west (Wyoming, Colorado, Oregon and California among others), keep stealing all our snow! California really needs it, so we'll give them a break, but the rest of you are just being greedy ski bums.
So most of the state is about 80% of normal snowpack right now, with ample low elevation snow and no early melt off to speak of. We are fine for now as long as the snow starts flying again, and it should. We don't need a big snow year, average will suffice, but we would like a few more powder ski days. Let's go snow!!
The brutally cold weather has kept most anglers off the water as of late, but the good news is we'll be back on the river again soon. Our annual Spring Special kicks off in 5 weeks, and there's no better way to start your fishing season than with a seriously discounted guide trip of $400/day! If you time the weather right, March and April fishing can be just awesome and we are excited to get back in the saddle.
Our first guide school session of the season starts in less than 8 weeks, there's still room if you want to join us, it's going to be a blast. And we'll learn a lot about rowing boats and finding fish.
The discovery of invasive, non-native mussels in reservoirs of the Missouri and Marias River watersheds was some bad news this fall, but the state seems to be responding well and we're waiting to see just how serious a problem this will be come spring and summer. I think we can expect more boat checks and education outreach of what to look for and why these mussels are potentially such a problem.
I sent in my waders in to have a blown seam repaired, my oars in for a fresh coat of varnish, and my shoulders in for a rotator cuff massage, so I should be ready to roll when the trout get happy again. We hope you will be too.