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  • Writer's pictureBMO

Skwalas, Dogs, and a New Fishing Partner

Updated: Jun 28, 2022

My new fishing partner!

I was in Missoula this past weekend to visit my new grandson/ fishing partner. He is too little to take fishing yet, but it won’t be long till I will have him out on the river! I checked the fishing reports before heading over, and there were some rumors that a few fish were being caught on Skwala flies on the Bitterroot so I brought my fly rod with me just in case we had some time so sneak out to the river.

Huckleberry Donut from Veera Donuts in Missoula!

On Saturday morning we picked up some Donuts at a place called Veera Donuts in Missoula and took them over to my daughters house. Veera makes Donuts that are absolutely amazing AND they are gluten free, dairy free and vegan - but you would never know.

After donuts, coffee and a few hours of playing with the new baby, he was ready for a nap. When he headed for his crib, Michael and I made a quick trip to the Bitterroot to see if any Skwala were on on move.

Skwala Flies

We loaded the dogs, and headed down the Bitterroot Valley to a fishing access spot not far from Lolo. We put on our waders and walked down to the river with our two black labs, Mack and River. It was windy and partly cloudy with intermittent snow and rain. This was not ideal conditions to get the bugs moving, but we were glad to be on the river. Michael gave me a Skwala dry with a Skwala nymph dropper, and he tied on a Skwala dry with a Perdigon dropper to see what would happen.

While the dogs played their hearts out, Michael and I fished down down a good looking stretch of the river bank. It did not take long and Michael hooked a rainbow on his nymph!

Michael with the first Trout of the day!

We continued to work down the bank, but it was pretty slow. Towards the end of the slot Michael hooked and lost one, then caught another one a couple of casts later. Both were on the nymph.

We walked back to where we started, and I hooked one on my first drift, but it came off. On the next cast I hooked another one, and this time it stayed on. it was a beautiful rainbow that jumped completely out of the water three times before I got him into the net. Again it was on the nymph.

Caught mine on the Skawala Nymph

We had a few more bites and Michael landed a huge whitefish, but no more trout. It was time to head back to Missoula, so we rounded up the dogs and went back to the truck.

The Pups were Pooped!

On the way back, we stopped into Lolo Peak Brewing for a quick beer. Neither one of us had ever been there and it was a really cool place to stop. We only had time for one beer, but I will definitely go back. The atmosphere and beer were both great and the food looked amazing. I would highly recommend a stop here next time you are fishing the Bitterroot River.

We got back to Missoula and had a great time with the family and my new grandson - I cant wait to take him on his first fishing trip!

Thanks for reading,



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