Anglers will remember this month in 2009 as maybe the most amazing August in quite some time.
The month is only a little past half-over and the precipitation numbers that Western Montana has received has been nothing short of phenomenal.
As of Monday, Missoula has received over 2.82 inches of precipitation in August to date according to Weather.com. The average for the month of August is 1.23 inches.
It has seemed like May instead of August the last couple of weeks and the month of May is the highest month for precipitation during the year with accumulations of 2.38 inches on average.
August, 2009, has already topped that by about half an inch.
In July, moisture was also up from the normal monthly average and, all in all, it has made for a very light wildfire season so far for the state of Montana, which has averaged 1,800 fires per year for the last 10 years.
Those 1,800 fires have burned on average 411,000 acres per year. The way things are going, 2009 might stack up as the most Wildfire-less year.
With more moisture, lower daytime and nighttime temperatures this August, there also has been very good fishing. Excerpts from the area fly shop web site fishing reports tell it all.
“Theres good fishing to be had right now if you are willing to keep changing your techniques until you find one that works – and you will find one that works,” was the summary on the Rock Creek Mercantile site, rcmerc.com.
On MissoulianAngler.com, “Good Flows and good water temps and strong hatches = outstanding fishing. We are in the middle of one of the best August months in recent memory.”
On KingFisherFlyShop.com on a report for the Bitterroot River, it says,”It’s a far cry from the August fishing we’ve been used to in past years. Welcome to September early.”
On GrizzlyHackle.com, the Clark Fork River fishing report it states, “Cloud cover will produce more bugs and better fishing.”
And FourRivers.com says “You should take advantage of the excellent fishing that the cloud cover brings.”
Look for good fall fishing ahead. It’s only going to get better from here on out through the long, gorgeous autumn that Big Sky Country is famous for.
The year 2009 will go down as the year that we never heard any mention of the “hoot owl” restrictions that have been put on select rivers in past years and no closures, either.
The President of the United States even tried his hand at learning the art of fly fishing this month in Montana. Maybe all this positive news is what the fly fishing industry in Montana needs to stimulate business. Hotels, fly shops, outfitters all could use a shot in the arm this year.
And the best news of all if you enjoy fishing Western Montana Rivers? They flow right through your own backyard. Get out and enjoy them while the fishing is great.