Fly Fishing Montana in March
March is the start of our spring fishing season. We see the first hatches of the year and the first nice days of spring.
The Nuances of March Fly Fishing in Montana
March in Montana provides some of the best fishing with no one around to enjoy it. If we aren't guiding in March we are out fishing for ourselves! March is when we see the first bump in water temperatures from the doldrums of winter. Fish begin to actively feed mid day, through the afternoon, and into the evening. There are a number of fishing option we can pursue in March; often times, we look for the best weather and that is where we head for the day. For our guests that want to wade fish March fishing requires us to work the productive runs and buckets out of the boat. That said, there are ample opportunities to boat fish in March. Tributary
March Fishing Options:
Smaller freestones like the Boulder and Stillwater provide some of the best action. With our custom made low-water rafts we are able to get to water that others cannot access. Because they are tributaries of the Yellowstone River these medium sized freestones see a large influx of rainbow trout looking to bolster their population. Before the spawn they feed with a fervor sure to satiate any angler. Moreover, these fish haven't seen flies since the previous fall!
The Paradise Valley Spring Creeks see a similar movement of fish and the beginning of the hatch cycle. On calm mornings and evenings anglers can prowl the soft water looking sippers and the emergence of midges. On warmer, overcast days baetis begin their annual emergence and the fish take notice.
The Madison River comes alive in March and sees a large push of fish from Ennis Lake that hold in the slower, deeper holes. These lake run fish aren't the most discerning trout and a good drift is sure to be rewarded with a trout on the line. Dry fly anglers may find fish eating on the edges of the river up by Three Dollar Bridge. Should there be a lack of surface activity, subsurface activity more than makes up for that.
For boat anglers, the Missouri River provides consistent nymph fishing especially above Craig. If trout spey is your prerogative fish are more than willing to chase down a swung leech. Casting a spey rod is a great way to break up a day of fishing out of the boat.
Anglers looking to catch the fish of a lifetime may consider a day pitching streamers on the Yellowstone River. Winter is much harder on the bigger fish than their smaller counterparts. Because of this the value of a well presented crawfish or sculpin is highest in the spring.
In March the average high is 42, with a mean temperature of 31. On average we see 0.9 inches of precipitation in March. It is important to note that late March sees April weather while early March is more inline with the values listed above.