We are still experiencing the dreaded “Dog days of summer” on the larger rivers of central and western Montana. But fish can still be caught. Here are some suggestions for Labor Day Weekend: Try to find smaller creeks that come into average size creeks-with a big shaded canopy.
Look for baby waterfalls and stair stepping type of structure. Have a variety of smaller type attractor patterns like stimulators, simple ant patterns, Royal Wulffs, Humpies, and elk hair caddis. When fishing these creeks, the air temps can be 20 degrees cooler than the air temps on the larger creeks or rivers that they eventually flow into.
Now is a good time to venture off into the high mountain lakes. Western Montana is peppered with high mountain lakes-many of them with healthy populations of cuts and rainbows. Same patterns could be effective.
Sometimes the flies may have to be twitched a bit to entice the trout. Remember that the hoot owl hours are still in effect on most of the Clark Fork and the Bitterroot.
Some very important tributaries on the Blackfoot are now on hoot hours also. Keep praying for rain without lightning and cooler temperatures.
-Mountain Man (www.johnperryflyfishing.com)
(Report by the Mountain Man; Cover photo: riversedgeproperties.com)