Mix Bag of Bugs

Sean Visintainer - 03/26/18

Nemoura stones

Spring hatches are like a box of chocolates...

Who knew Forrest Gump would understand spring hatches in the west so well?! Seriously though, this is the time of the year when there can be a multitude of hatches in a week, or even a day for that matter. Midges, BWO's, nemoura stones, capnia stones, skwalas, March browns, grey drakes... hell all of them! You just never know what you are gunna get.

While some days the fish may not be super particular on whether they eat a small parachute or a small midge there are those days (or times in the day) they are. For example, Thursday's float on the Clark Fork started out with midge dries right out of the gate. The bwo or purple haze para (small size) would get some eats, but not as many as a small midge emerger or midge cluster. A noticeable difference in eats that is. Both anglers having very proficient skills in presentation, but the difference was the fly. As the day worn on rain showers and changing temps brought on the bwo's. As the hatch took place, the midges still got some eats, but the bwo's action ramped up.

Along the banks were hundreds of nemoura stones and even a few skwala stones. Perhaps if the temps were 5-10 degrees warmer the stones would have been more active and laying eggs on the water, etc and fish would have been on them as well. In between rain showers and changing conditions, nymph rigs that consisted of stones and beadhead pt's and other similar midge or bwo nymphs would find fish. Being prepared to go subsurface at a moments notice when the hatches were shifting added more fish to the bag throughout the day.

The moral of the story here is... springtime brings on a variety of whether and water conditions which brings on a variety of insect hatches. Each day is slightly different and being prepared with the variety can turn an "okay" day into a "GREAT" day of fishing!

Nemoura Stones
Nemoura Stones - Clark Fork River, Montana - Photo by Michael Visintainer

Midges - Missouri River, Montana - Photo by Michael Visintainer

BWO (Blue Wing Olive)
BWO (Blue Wing Olive) - Coeur d'Alene River, Idaho - Photo by Michael Visintainer

Skwala Nymph
Skwala Nymph - Clark Fork River, Montana - Photo by Michael Visintainer

Clark Fork Trout
Fish don't eat vegetables! - Clark Fork River, Montana - Photo by Michael Visintainer