Hunting season is going well for some of the folks who’ve told their tale at our hunting counters. We hope to hear many more stories, but we need some snow first.
The elk and deer numbers are down from last year by 15% across the state, but there are still big elk being taken. Early season scouting reports place a lot of elk in the Highlands this year. Several good size bull elk were taken last weekend near the Bernice/Basin area. If you head down to the southern part of the Bitterroot you might just have some luck, too.
Bird hunters watch out for bear, they seem to be out in full force to get ready for winter. They are still getting a few birds up north, but the best is over in eastern Montana by Great Falls. You will see lots of small birds in second hatch.
Beaver opens on November 1st for trapping districts 1, 2, and 3. November 15th marks the opening of the Bison season.
Certain hunting districts in Northern Montana have closed because of epizootic hemorrhagic disease. This disease has taken a toll on the whitetail population and has led the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to close some districts. The hunting districts are 400, 401, 403, 404 and 406.
Make sure you are checking your hunting area quotas for Mountain Lion and Wolf.
Fishing report is pretty much the same as last week. The warmer afternoon temps have better results than the morning.
UMR- Hone in on the slower and deeper waters for the big fish. Sculpins and stone flies seem to be the ticket, try combining with a dropper combo of eggs or beatis numphs. If you are out with dry flies use beatis patterns.
LMR- Nymphing/sub surface fishing is the name of the game. Smaller sized Woolly buggers, worms and eggs, zug bugs, etc. Try some combinations with crayfish and baetis nymph droppers. Keep your eye out for the BWO hatch going on in the warmer temps of the day.
Yellowstone- Rubber legs are working great! Try different colors and different combos as a dropper to get below the surface. Egg patterns are starting to pick up along with worms. The baetis hatch is still going on so give those a whirl.
Gallatin- Nymphing with rubber legs with a bead headed prince nymph was working really well. Again egg and worm patterns are picking up. Make sure to keep an eye on the beatis hatch and use the baetis emergers and nymphs in combo with other rubber legs or worm patterns.
Bead Head Rainbow Warriors in size 12 and 14 were hot on the Clark Fork this week. Copper Bots copper have also been effective. Rainbow pattern Blue Fox Vibrax lures in sizes 2 and 3 were bringing home Creel limits for spin fishermen.
The Big Hole River has been fair to good fishing in the Maiden Rock Canyon area with good fishing below Brown’s Bridge. Hot Head San Juan worms/power worms have had great success with Hot Head Ray Charles (pink) also catching some fish.
Clark Canyon Reservoir has been good fishing on the eastern bays from the bank. Garlic Marshmallows and Nightcrawlers are the baits of choice floated about 1 foot off bottom. Copper Bob Red and Green Beadhead nymphs have shown promise on the Beaverhead this past week as well as stripped streamers.
Superflash Montana pheasant tail nymphs were great attractors below the Ruby Reservoir spillway. Panther Martin Yellow and Black and Green and Black spinners were good color choices.
Georgetown Lake has been quiet this past week. No Fishing report was given. Generally, bank fishing is fair around Denton’s point. Powerbait, nightcrawlers, or spoons cast from the bank are all effective.
(Report by Ryan Corwin-Bob Ward and Sons; Cover photo: hothdwallpaper.net)