The deer and elk harvest numbers continue to rise as the season progresses. The deer are in the rut and starting to chase the does and the elk are heading to their winter ground. The result being more and more sightings by hunters and more opportunities for a good take.
Upland birds are getting wild, which means they are getting harder to hold for the dogs. Regardless there is nothing better than watching a good dog work the field.
They are as necessary as your favorite shotgun and just as cuddly.
Water fowl are moving down, there are lots of geese and ducks in the valley and there are still lots of snow geese at freeze out lake.
Remember to check your area for restrictions, closures, and alerts. www.fwp.mt.gov
The fishing is still fun! The fish are a little slow to respond so you’ll want to wait till a little later in the day. Concentrate on the deeper holes with nymph combinations. The types of patterns to use are steady. Just have patience and enjoy yourself.
UMR- Streamer fishing is reeling in some nice ones. Nymphing is still the better bet with caddis, midges, and mayfly. The beatis hatch still has produced some successful fishing along with duns and emerger patterns.
LMR- The lower has had lower visibility so focus on using bright colored patterns of eggs and worms. Nymphing is still most productive, especially a crayfish nymph dropper combo like red johns and prince nymphs.
Yellowstone- Nymphing is also working well on the Yellowstone using rubberlegs and dropper combo of baetis, midge, lightning bug, or egg patterns.
Gallatin- Streamer fishing is going well but you will want to slow the speed of your stripping to be most effective. Nymphing with stoneflies and a smaller nymph dropper is proving to be one of the better combos. Definitely give worms and egg patterns a try.
Ice fishing is just around the corner in SW Montana. Nothing is completely frozen just yet. The upper north fork of the Big Hole was flowing ice this week and backing up the water below the north fork road. With cooler temperatures on the way, it is time to stock up on jigs and glo hooks for fishing on Georgetown reservoir, Clark Canyon, and the Ruby reservoir. Soft baits as well as egg sacs and night crawlers or imitation baits are good to have on hand. Swd Bugs, Rat finkee, and Swedish pimples are good choices for Georgetown Reservoir as well as glo hooks tipped with maggots.
(Report by Ryan Corwin-Bob Ward and Sons; Cover image: zazzle.com)