What's all the commotion about regarding the the big Skwala Hatch? If you don't know or have to ask, you may need to do your homework. Beginning in February the nymphs of the olive stonefly begin their migration from the rocks along the river bottom to the banks where they hatch. February and March are the two best nymphing months we have no matter what the weather. My buddy Martin -and soon to be tour guide on some great Montana water in a few months, has been hitting it hard and getting into some nice fish lately.
And as the water warms in the March sun, the famous skwala hatch will pick up. At 42 degrees they start getting pretty active and it's time. "Then when it hits 45 (degrees) they start coming out really good." During the early hatch, Bean said to watch for the warm, sunny days.
"They won't break out of the shucks unless they know they can actually dry their wings."
The Bitterroot River flows through some wonderful scenery. The Sapphire mountains rise to the east while the Bitterroot mountains are found to the west. The Bitterroot Valley itself is lush by Montana standards, and is also located in a sort of banana belt. While it can get cold during the winter in the Bitterroot Valley, real cold days, like eastern and central Montana experiences, are the exception and not the rule.
I'm not able to make it up that way this Spring but in a few months I'll be spending quite a bit of time on some great Montana waters, I can hardly wait!
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