The recent on-again, off-again rain showers have made it a little more pleasant in Western Montana. When you can get mid-day temperatures in the mid 70’s in July, you have to feel pretty good, especially after last year when the thermometer hit 100 or close to it for most of the month of July.
The cold fronts that move in and out of the area, however, tend to raise a little havoc on fishing. Lake fish seem to hate cold fronts. River fish get doses of muddy water which makes them difficult to fish.
The short-term forecast does look like we might be settling in on a high-pressure system at least for the weekend with the temperatures to climb into the 80’s. That means the fishing will again become more consistent.
David Baker, from Grizzly Hackle, suggested I offer you up some information on their fishing report from their web site at www.grizzlyhackle.com which is updated daily this time of the year.
The Clark Fork has been fishing well and should continue to fish well from Missoula on down. If cloudy, use a golden stone or medium sized hopper with a dropper off the back. If clouds remain in the later in the day, try PMD’s. On Sunny days, look for sallies and in the evening caddis should be your choice.
The Blackfoot River has finally cleared. Use streamers with yellow big princes and worms dropped off the back of big golden stone dries, and caddis in the soft water in the evenings.
The Bitterroot River has been outstanding. Fishing has been very good during overcast days-using dry flies. Use big dry flies and a dropper if it is sunny. The caddis and spinnerfall fishing towards dark has been nothing short of fantastic.
On Rock Creek, it is simply wade fishing heaven. Golden stones, PMD’s, green drakes, caddis and other general attractor dry flies are working. The pressure in the middle of the week on Rock Creek is light so if can sneak away for a little fishing you might find a spot all to yourself on this famous trout stream in Western Montana.
Neal Cote, from Bob Wards, reports lake fishing as good. Spoon and flies are working well on the northern pike. The lower Flathead River might be your best bet for bigger pike. For numbers, try the Seeley Lake area.
Lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake is good. Jig in 200 to 300 feet of water on the south end. If you like trolling Flatfish, try the north end by the river delta. Try and fish the bar that runs south. It will keep you in about 100 feet of water.
East of the mountains the walleye fishing has been good until a major thunderstorm moves through on the south end of Canyon Ferry Lake. “It seems like last weekend, we had an late afternoon or early evening storm come through and just pour rain and hail”, says Lesa from Silos RV.
The storms are accompanied by wind and it pretty much muddies up the water on the south end where the walleye bite has been fantastic.
Last Saturday, Lesa reported over 400 boats fishing on the south end. She said, “We call it the Walleye War Zone”.