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Winter blast and trout meetings

Most of Montana received some much needed moisture over the past 5-6 days; Pony, Montana received 36 + inches! We are all sighing a small breath of relief, and are really hoping Mother Nature keeps hitting us with rain and snow in the coming weeks. The hills sure are dry, and while it sucks to discuss and prepare for, we are all (anglers, paddlers, farmers and ranchers) bracing for another dry summer. So, long story short, keep up those ‘wet spring’ vibes!

We did have a few great days to get out and get some fishing in before the snow came. The trout look quite healthy, post winter. The rainbows are definitely in spawn mode, we saw many fish cleaning up gravel to make redds, so if you are wading or floating in the next couple weeks, try to recognize the redds and avoid them.

Fishing will likely be a little slow in the coming 4-6 days, as there is quite a bit of slush ice coming down from the upper river (above East Bank), and the water temperatures got quite cold. Right now it is showing 32 degrees at Maiden Rock. We are hoping a little jump in water temperatures will get the skwalas moving again; we had been seeing them up to and around Melrose.

There are are couple important meetings on the schedule this month, hosted by our local Trout Unlimited Chapters, in coordination with MT Fish Wildlife & Parks biologists. The local fisheries biologists, Jim Olsen (Big Hole) and Matt Jaeger (Beaverhead) would like to discuss current fish populations and the development of fisheries management plans for both the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers. They are hoping to hear feedback from local anglers, guides/outfitters and other river users to develop a good plan moving forward. You can attend meetings in either Dillon or Butte. Dillon is scheduled for April 27, 6 PM at the Search and Rescue building. Butte Is scheduled for April 20, 5:30 PM at Butte Brewing.

Current shop hours are Tuesday through Sundays, 9 am to 3 PM. Closed on Mondays.

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