The Advent of Stoneflies and 84-Years-Young

by BRYCE MCLEAN and MATT DEVLIN

Well Fish it Missoula devotees, fishing season is in full swing.  It is warm out there, hot some days, and the tomato plants that I lovingly placed in the dirt a few weeks back are growing with an utmost urgency.  I should also mention that Golden Stones have started inearnest.

Life is good.  As I hooked the third or fourth fish of the day yesterday, my friend exclaimed “Can you believe we live here?”  The truth is some days I can’t.  Bryce and I have been out on the water just about every day over the last couple weeks and believe me you…we cherish every moment.  Every big fish that is foolish or kind enough to rise to a dry fly is a re-affirmation of our lives as fishermen and guides.

This week on one of my favorite pieces of water on the Bitterroot, our friend Sam Amses pulled a nice specimen from a difficult lie, beneath a willow branch.  I will remember that fish.  And a few days later on the same piece of water I had the fortune to guide a client in his mid-eighties.  This man, from a generation worlds tougher, stronger, and nicer than ours, has nine great grandchildren and fished with vigor all day.  We even managed to catch some beautifulfish.

Fish are still eating nymphs in the mornings but by about two, stoneflies and drakes fill out their menu.  Those fat unmolested trout I had told you about when the fishing prospects were still gloomy are out there, waiting for your flies.  The ‘Root is fishing just about top to bottom, or bottom to top…I think that river flows the wrong way or something.  The Blackfoot is showing serious flashes of brilliance, and the Clark Fork is days away.  Be cautious out there whether on foot or in a boat — water is a wonderful but powerfulthing.

Enjoy this blog? Please leave comments in the Facebook commenting box below and be sure to click the +1 button.   Be sure to visit our Make it Missoula fishing page.  And Check out Matt and Bryce’s other blogs: Missouri River Fishing–Trout Mecca of Montana and  Fly Fishing Season is When?

If you enjoy western Montana lakes and rivers, you might also enjoy our page on Missoula kayaking and rafting.

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Photos of Missoula Fly Fishing Experts Matt Devlin and Bryce McLeanBryce McLean:  (Right) I was born and raised in Montana, and have been fly fishing here for almost 20 years.  I first learned to fish on the Missouri River, but when I was 10 my family moved to the Bitterroot Valley. I have been fishing the Bitterroot River ever since.  This will be my second season guiding the Missoula area rivers, which I consider to be some of the best trout fisheries on planet earth. Matt Devlin:  (Left) Matt is originally from Annapolis, Maryland and learned to fool trout on the technical waters of the Gunpowder River.  He has fished in Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Main,e, Michigan, Indiana, North and South Carolina, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, Idaho and Montana.  He thinks about flies and fishing a whole lot.