Yesterday, Garrett and I attended the annual meeting of the Upper Missouri Water Advisory Group. It’s essentially a gathering of all the bean counters that work in the watershed of the upper Mo, everyone from fishery biologists to the Bureau of Reclamation and Northwestern Energy attends. As guides and outfitters there is a lot of information in an afternoon long meeting that is irrelevant to our fishing season. However, the two most important topics we want to share with our anglers are predicted streamflows for the Mo and the latest fish counts. Here is the short version.
You’re intently studying the river and feeding a few sipping trout in a foamy seam along the bank of The Missouri River. Your focus is sharp, the excitement level is high, and the beauty of your surroundings overwhelms the senses; everything unimportant to the moment fades into the background. Suddenly, a golden eagle flies overhead casting a shadow over the lazily rising brown trout you’re attentively examining. For its own safety, the trout instinctually stops rising. The eagle put it down, at least for the moment.
The push and pull of spring and winter weather patterns makes for a fun start to March in the Northern Rockies, one day its powder and skis and then the next its sink tips and streamers. Before the recent dumping of snow I was able to get out for a few days of streamer fishing on two of our favorite waters in the area.
It’s undeniably the time of year that everyone gets excited when the thermometer reaches 38 degrees. We aren’t necessarily dealing with prime fishing weather just yet; but after a long bout with winter, any temperature above freezing must be cherished with outdoor activities.