April Stream Review

Sean Visintainer - 04/22/18

Releasing Trout back in to the river.

Those in the know go...

Spring has sprung and so have the hatches. The mix bag of bugs like we posted on the blog recently is so true. On the cutthroat rivers there has been all sorts of hatches. Midges to salmon flies, literally. Mainly it's been a skwala or March brown game, but usual spring suspects like grey drakes, western quills, and now even some caddis have been popping. With the mix of bugs each day has been a little different.

More importantly now though is the turning point in spring fishing... runoff. A dirty word in the fly shop world. 6 letters of doom. When is it? How big will it be? For how long? And will there be windows to fish the rivers during runoff? All good questions! Let me consult the crystal ball... spring runoff will start to ramp up later this week. Warm temps will bump the flows for sure. There will be windows to fish, but they will be limited. Those in the know will go. Be the angler in the know. Watch the flows, learn the flows, chat with us, visit the shop. We will show you the way!

Right now the St. Joe is the best game in town for a few more days. As good as it gets really. If you haven't experienced spring fishing here, YOU ARE MISSING OUT. The window is closing though. The NF Coeur d'Alene River is right behind it. Not as good of shape, but fishable. Improving daily, but not for long. You have a handful more days of opportunity on these before the spring shift. IF we get cold night time temps that will help keep these rivers in check from not getting too crazy.

The Clark Fork is toast for the spring in my opinion. It's on the rise and I don't believe it will come back for awhile. We fished it on Thursday. It sucked. But you never know until you go. Which is too bad cuz the grey drakes were hatching pretty well. Some skwalas were just going too. Fished the Kootenai last week. It may have a few more days left that are good, but it's days are numbered as well.

Other river thoughts? It's gunna get tricky from here on out. One could look towards more controlled rivers like the tailwaters in Montana, or spring creeks. Snowpack was huge though across many places so do some research before you head out. Ever tried lake fishing? Might be a good time to start learning!

For now enjoy some moving water while the opportunity is there! There will be windows to fish the rivers though so don't give up hope!

Snow Water Equivalent Date Comparison - April 22

Basin Snow Water Equivalent
Snow Water Equivalent
NF Coeur d'Alene 149 % 98 %
St. Joe 137 % 108 %
Spokane 145 % 103 %
Clearwater 142 % 103 %
Lower Clark Fork 151 % 117 %