It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and it’s not Christmas! The Skwala hatch on the Bitterroot River is the most exciting time of the year for anglers across the country. During the Skwala hatch, everyone wants to be out casting dry flies into pockets of frigid water surrounded by fat trout rising to eat. Although this fishing period is phenomenal, it is not an easy fish. It is incredibly hard to time, and it can be difficult to find the right area, but in the little time I have been fishing I know it is well worth the struggle!
When is the Skwala Hatch?
The Skwala begin to hatch anywhere from late March to April, and is incredibly hard to time! Once word gets out that the hatch has begun it’s all boats to the river. Many anglers are fishing as early as February hoping to get a head start on the hatch before anyone else finds out. Whether you’re late to the game, or months too early its never predictable, and no one can blame you for not knowing when to go out. The biggest thing is to just get out and fish anytime and all the time!
Where to Fish The Skwala Hatch?
Like most fishermen, I keep my best fishing holes to myself, but I will let you know that the Bitterroot River is a great spot to find the Skwala. The river winds through the Bitterroot Valley and continues up into Missoula and other cute towns of Montana. If you float the river by boat you will end up seeing Montana from the most stunning angels.
For River Conditions visit: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/mt/nwis/uv?site_no=12344000
My Fishing Story:
I just recently got into fishing, and am HOOKED! I never understood why people would spend the cold spring days wading in frigid water until I emersed myself in the culture. It is a lifestyle of its own, to say the least.
For me, fishing is extremely meditative. The constant flowing motion of casting and watching the water float away with your fly, this state only to be broken by the pull of a fish on your line.
I am sure if the Bitterroot River could talk it would tell quite the tale. There would be stories of kids first fish, of men laughing with friends, of families coming together, and of people falling more and more in love with this beautiful and wild state, Montana.