The Flathead River is still on the drop (15,000 CFS) and fishing well! We have seen good numbers, nice fish, and some pretty good bug activity throughout the river system. It appears that our trout have moved into their summer holding water, where they will likely be throughout the remainder of our summer months. Our guides have reported finding trout in inside corners, shallow riffles, foam lines, and soft edges. We have been seeing a variety of bugs on the water with several types of stoneflies moving around and lots of mayfly activity. Keep an eye out for small mayflies popping off in the late morning throughout the afternoon. Early in the hatch, we are targeting trout in shallow riffles and faster water with mayfly nymphs such as pheasant tails, frenchies, micro mayflies and various soft hackles. As the day progresses, dry fly fishing has produced well. Mayfly parachutes in sizes 14-18 in creams, mahogany, yellows, and tans seem to be covering these mayflies well. Other techniques that are getting trout to react are large foam attractors with various dropper nymphs as well swinging soft hackles through the tops of riffles and inside corners.
Creek and small river fishing is only getting better. Waters are subsiding, bugs are popping, and trout are looking up! Some of our small waters have been having some impressive hatches. Drakes, small mayflies, salmon flies, golden stoneflies, and midges can all be found flying around these days. Stealthy fishing is becoming more important as our water drops. Anglers that approach the water with caution and are observant of feeding behaviors will be more likely get opportunities at the bigger trout. Dry, dropper rigs as well a single dry flies have been productive. Target small pockets, foam lines, depressions, and pools and you should have some pretty fun fishing!
Water is warming up and the trout are moving deeper. Our last guide trip on a local stillwater involved bobber rigs with 22 ft leaders as well as stripping T-15 sink tips. I know, that is ridiculously deep water, but those depths are where we found all of the nicer trout. With surface water temperatures reaching into the mid 60’s on smaller bodies of water, most trout don’t want to experience the warm water conditions and are choosing to feed in the deeper water. Leeches and small to medium streamers have been getting trout to react. Slow stripping as well as static drifting has been the most productive methods.
Bass fishing is starting to get damn good! Climbing surface temperatures only make bass more aggressive. According to local Bass Wisperer, Josh Gesler, “They are starting to look up. Small green and orange poppers have been really good. Also, chartreuse and white clousers are a good option to tie on. In the early mornings you can find them shallow but as the sun hits the water they are moving to rocky shelves and shade.”
Fishing is good all around folks! Feel free to call or stop by Lary’s Fly and Supply for the most up to date fishing info and where to find your next fishing adventure. Take care. Mark