Enjoy This Anticipated Event in Western Montana
It’s time for the most anticipated event in the Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana… the Skwala Hatch!
This is when spring arrives and the Skwala come out near the Bitterroot River. And when the Skwala come out, so do the trout… in record numbers.
Basically, Skwala are stonefly bugs that hatch around March and April, and trout love them. These bugs provide a big meal that the trout haven’t had since winter began so they come out in droves to feast. The good news is that the fish haven’t been duped by fake “bug” lures for several months, and have completely forgotten about them. This means you might have a better chance of catching some big trout this time of year.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you are just visiting the Bitterroot Valley and the Skwala Hatch for the first time.
- Check with a seasoned pro.
While the news may make it sounds like catching trout during Skwala season is easy peasy, you have to be in just the right place at just the right time. Before you head out, talk to a local who has extensive experience catching fish during this time of year. They can give you tips on where to go, what to do and when, and more.
- Go against the crowd.
The Skwala Hatch is a big deal in Western Montana and the population of fishing enthusiasts expands overnight. With this in mind, you can avoid the crowds and have better luck if you go to the “unpopular” locations. Talk to your local expert and find a place that is “off the beaten path.” Not only will you avoid the competition, your fishing spot will probably provide more peace and relaxation so you can actually enjoy your time on the river!
- Listen, Watch and Learn.
Pay attention to others who plan to fish in the area. Many newbies will go before the sun rises because that’s when they usually fish in their hometown. However, the trout tend to like the warmer water that comes later in the day. If you wait to go out in the afternoon, you might have a better chance of catching more fish. Also, if you hear a lot of tourist chitchat about when and where they are going to fish, you’ll know it’s a good idea to avoid what they’re going to do!
As a local, these are some of the tips I’ve heard from the resident, fishing pros. For more information on the Skwala Hatch, you can read more here.