First Float of 2020

Sean Visintainer - 03/02/20

Kenyon Pitts enjoying a beautiful winter float and a native Spokane River Redband.

The season is here

Seasonably warm temps finally got us motivated to dust off the raft and hit the Spokane River last Friday.

I will admit prior to Friday the motivation to get out in a boat for a cold float did not sound like a great time to me. Maybe I'm becoming a fair weather angler in my old age, or maybe I had too many other commitments this winter, or a combination of both, I don't know. All I know is that Friday felt like spring and there was no other place I would have rather been than floating my favorite river.

While this was the first truly warm day, the water temps said otherwise. Being the first actual nice day meant the water temperatures haven't bumped up too much so fish were still in classic "winter water". Slow, deep pools, eddies, soft runs and anywhere fish didn't have to expend much energy to grab a meal and some oxygen.

Both streamer and nymph tactics worked. Streamer fishing was the slower of the two tactics, we did land some fish on flashy style patterns but the takes were not super aggressive and a few times we witnessed fish not committing to the streamer.

Nymphing with hot beads proved to be the most productive method. Whether we used euro rods or bobber lobbers, both worked well. The bobber rods proved to be a little better when some afternoon wind picked up, but I believe the euro ultimately caught a few more fish.

There were some midges and bwo's hatching, but not enough to get any fish up. Hopefully if the warm temps continue that will get a few fish up from the depths looking for a surface meal.

Other good reports from Silver Bow staffers Britten Jay who had a good float on Sunday, noting similar findings that nymphing was the most productive. He did say the bwo hatch was better, but no fish up still.

We ran two guide trips last week, the first of the 2020 season, and both trips boated a number of fish as well. Jake Hood did both guided trips and while the first day was more productive number wise, the second produced bigger fish.

You have until March 15th to fish the Spokane River before it closes for spawning season. After that you still have the NF Coeur d'Alene, St. Joe River, and a number of lakes that just opened under the March 1st opener this past weekend.

Good luck and get after it!

Silver Bow guide Kenyon Pitts selecting the right hot bead nymph for the afternoon.

A healthy Spokane River Redband Trout.