Weekend Warriors: Chilly Mornings Are Back


Thank the river gods for the cold weather and rains that have hit western Montana recently. During the buff sweat-soaking midsummer days in the middle seat it seems like fall will never arrive. But a late August bit of rain is moving the rivers just enough to keep the boat off the bottom and fish are still eating with abandon in the cool mornings that have accompanied the clouds. Keep the rain jacket handy, and the net too. Fish are moving to what you’re serving whether it be dry, dropper, or big meat.  My recommendations for flies this weekend depends on the water you’re hitting, but look for moves to smaller autumn regulars like tricos and PMDs in the slack stuff, run some foam hoppers or chernobly-style flies through the deep pockets and mid-river, and it’s worth giving an october caddis a try anywhere you go. If I were to pick one spot to fish this week I would give the upper Clark Fork a float, where the hopper hatch is still holding on and the hatches of caddis and mayfly are making fish look up. Run a dropper.  I like a pheasant tail off the back this time of year, and especially with some cloud cover or drizzle. In the good rain I go under with a pheasant tail and a zebra midge, or a heavy stonefly and a worm if the color is off. If all else fails, go with a big, dark streamer and toss it at anything that looks at you funny.


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