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Doug's Rants

Rant 1

Rant 2

Rant 3

Rant 4

Rant 5

Rant 6

Rant 4

     Ever since we opened almost 15 years ago, one of the questions I'm asked most frequently is "When is the best fishing around here?" My answer invariably is late  March and early April. And I'm serious when I say that. Late March is magic around here even if the weather is cold and snowy, like it is this year. Sometime in early March, the larger fish wake up and smell the coffee. They come out of winter mode and take an interest in feeding. Until the hatches start and we get some dry fly fishing, they hang on the bottom and suck up nymphs. 

     But, closer to the end of March, we start to get insect hatches. First, there is the March Brown. This mayfly starts emerging in late March and can continue until almost the end of April. It is a good sized mayfly. We tie our imitations on size 14 hooks. The hatch usually occurs in the afternoon and fishing can be truly spectacular. In my opinion, March Browns are the best hatch we get all year. The fish are ready to take dries and will really smack your parachute or emerger pattern. And, because the water is still cold, the smaller fish are not yet active. On a decent day, an average angler can catch six to ten fish and the average size of these fish will be about 15 inches. 

     Soon after the March Brown, we start seeing Skwala stoneflies. Our hatch is not as prolific or as famous as the Skwala hatch on the Bitteroot, but it has gotten better and better over the past few years, until it is now a major hatch on the creek. Put it together with the March Browns and you have what I consider the best fishing of the entire year.

     And year after year, these hatches come and go with almost nobody taking advantage of them. There are, of course, a few people who have seen the light and make this time one of their most important fishing trips of the season. But, the vast majority of the people I talk to continue to come in July and August even after they have asked me several times what's the best time to fish the creek and I've told them several times to come in late March and early April.

     I've never been able to figure out why people listen to me tell them about early season fishing year after year, nod sagely when I recommend they come in early spring, tell me they'll see me next March or April then appear the following August. I'm not kidding people, right now until the end of April is the best fishing we'll have all year and nobody, except a few local fishermen, is taking advantage of it. Even the vast majority of our local anglers are floating the Bitteroot, looking for Skwalas. Read Rant 1 and you'll get my views on floating. In any case almost all of you are passing up the very best fishing Rock Creek has to offer. I'd really like to know why those of you who actually read these rants can't be talked into coming out for the best fishing Rock Creek has to offer.


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