This is it! This weekend is the opener for Pheasant and Antelope! Saturday, October 12th marks the start to a great season! Depending on your destination (go North young man) you will find a plethora of birds in the water holes.
The dogs are ready, right? Your shotgun is dialed, right? Your hunting buddy didn’t eat chili last night, right? Ok good. Have a great bird season!
Antelope season might be another down year but this also could be the last time I say that. Expect slightly better numbers but still few and far between. I know I don’t have to tell you that we have the best scopes for those far shots. Not to mention binoculars, range finders, etc… etc. Also, calls, ammo, and new camo. Firearms abound as well, have you tried the new Ruger American? It won an award ya know?
Hunters, know your Wildlife Management Area rules. This year has a few new rules:
1) Food Storage – Bear resistant food storage is required on the following WMAs: Mount Haggin, Bear Creek, Canyon Creek, Wall Creek, Blacktail, Robb-Ledford, Gallatin, Fleecer Mountain, and Dome Mountain.
2) Camping – Stays are limited to 16 days in any 30 day period.
Get the full list at: http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/hunting/nr_2021.html
Youth Deer is coming October 17th & 18th. That’s a week earlier than last year.
Read more here: http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/hunting/nr_2020.html
General Deer and Elk Saturday October 26th
Let’s talk fishing:
UMR- Rubber legs and wooly buggers in olives and black are working well. Also try zonkers and crayfish with a small baetis nymph dropper. Streamers are working very well keep to the darker colors when it is overcast. Switch to lighter colors when the sun is out. Keep an eye out for the baetis hatch.
LMR-Similar to the UMR streamers are hit and miss but have been landing some nice fish. Try using crayfish with a smaller baetis nymph or emerger, or bright colored worms.
Yellowstone- Nymphing is the best route to go using sculpins and wooly buggers with smaller mayfly nymphs trailing a foot or so behind it. Give Blue winged olives (bwo) a try as a dry or emerger in conjunction with a leading fly.
Gallatin- use smaller flies (caddis, mayfly, and attractors), streamers and nymphing with worms and rubber legs.
The tributaries of the Big Hole river have been good fishing this last week for brook trout. The cooler weather has given vicious appetites to these spawners. Size 6 Royal Coachman streamers stripped along the banks and under willows deliver the action to fly fisherman. Mepps Aguila Size 2 lures are good choices for spin cast fisherman.
Bank fishermen are hitting the bays and shorelines of local lakes and reservoirs with Rapala crank baits. Gold and brown, Rainbow or Brown trout patterns in size 5 or 7 are good choices. Nightcrawlers should be fished about a foot off the bottom.
(Report by Ryan Corwin-Bob Ward and Sons; Cover photo: govansk.com; Above photo: visitcrawford.org)