With Mark Wilbert and his fly fishing professional guide son - David - we had the adventure of a lifetime. On Tuesday and Wednesday, April 2-3, we put in David's raft at Wally Crawford just above the town of Hamilton, MT. Which is an hour's drive outside of Missoula. Both days we drifted downstream for about 9-11 miles. Both days Mark and I each tied on to more than 10 beautiful trout each - total 20 each day. Our trout varied in siz from 11" to 18" all awesome in their color. We used Mayfly Droppers under a Stone Fly Dry aka Chernobyl Bugger. The trout responded mostly to the Dropper but a few times they took the Dry. Our best success was in the ripples and foam at the joining streams and along the deep banks and slow water. Our expectations were far exceeded and thanks to David's expert guiding we were put on to many more trout than the other rafts we saw both days.
The Monday before, April 1st - Mark and I enjoyed Rock Creek where we each caught a 17" cut throat trout. The Creek, a tributary of the Clark Fork is 15 miles East of Missoula. We caught these beauties on Olive Brown rubber leg Stone Fly imitation. We walked about 1.5 miles up stream having to trudge through 2 feet deep snow drifts of reach the Creek. A beautiful river but not as productive for us as the Bitterroot would turn out to be.
On Thursday, April 4th - Mark, David and I waded the Bitterroot for about 4 hours putting in at Victor Bridge main channel. We used the same Stone Fly Dry with Pheasant Tail Dropper we had such good luck with earlier in the week. We caught 6 trout total - rainbows and cut throats. Another great day and a fitting day to end a terrific Montana trip.
I am sure that each and every WIFFC member would enjoy drifting the Bitterroot with David Wilbert - one of the finest if not the BEST guide I have ever had the pleasure of fly fishing with. David said that late September and early October brings out great dry fly fishing.