Spring Runoff: Big Wheels Keep on Turnin’


Welcome to runoff.

So far the Spring has been pretty ruthless to your boy P.M. Devlin. Like MTV’s Bully Beatdown ruthless. Like bringing a spork to a gunfight…

The rivers decided to let it all go pretty early, and the weather decided to be wet. I’ve fallen from favor with the pretty girl I lived with, and paying bills at this point is sort of like scraping the metaphorical Wells Fargo bank account bowl for resin hits if you will, but alas the show must go on!

I will probably talk more about my dog Riley in this post than epic eats by big trout. That said, I took the pooch out for a walk today. Dry mouth, world hazy from last night’s trinity of scotch, beer, and Jagermeister.

We were making fair progress until the entire trail ahead was closed, mostly because the Blackfoot River now runs through Greenough Park.

Not really, of course, but Rattlesnake Creek is huge and you may or may not be able to tell from the state-of-the-art camera on my flip phone how impressive the amount of water rollin’ through there for this time of year really is. I’ve spent some time on the spartina flats of Charleston, South Carolina and when we would talk about “fish getting up in the grass,” it had a much nicer ring to it.

As far as a fishing report…I wonder how much flights from Missoula to Charleston are. Like hocking an A3 or an S4 on Ebay, I wonder. You would actually have to leave the state to catch Redfish of course, but certainly not trout. GO TO THE MO’. Tell them that Bryce and Matt sent you.

You know, those guys over in Craig pretend to hate us coming over but I think they secretly love that the pressure doubles during May and June. And in all seriousness, if they give you any shit just say, “I like trout fishing and how many skwalla floats did you do on the Bitterroot?”

PMD out!!


Fishing for more tales from the river? Check out Matt and Bryce’s other posts: Skwalla Season on the Bitterroot RiverZen and the Art of Not Fishing At All, and How to Escape the Boat Hatch, or visit the Fish It archive.

Be sure to visit the Make it Missoula fishing page.


Photos of Missoula Fly Fishing Experts Matt Devlin and Bryce McLean

Matt Devlin (left) 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, Maine, Michigan, Indiana, North and South Carolina, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. He thinks about flies and fishing a whole lot.

Bryce McLean (right) was born and raised in Montana, and has been fly fishing here for almost 20 years. He first learned to fish on the Missouri River, but when he was ten, his family moved to the Bitterroot Valley. He’s been fishing the Bitterroot River ever since. This has been his second season guiding the Missoula area rivers, which he consider to be some of the best trout fisheries on planet Earth.