Just when the fishing seemed to be leveling out after the heatwave we got a couple of days of much-needed rain around the region and finding fish suddenly became a Jenga puzzle. Guides headed up, down, and all around the rivers looking for the spots where the fish are and adjusting to the grind game to figure out what they’ll take and where they’ll take it. We all love it when we know the fly the fish will gulp when we head out the door until we clip it off at the boat ramp, but a bump in the rivers in mid-july took that option off the table for a bit. Rivers are on the drop, fish are looking up and we’ll get after it like we always do. For those anglers that played the tough game over the last few days, the lessons learned from the river will provide big rewards when the fish are greedy again. For my part I was lucky enough to run with a fun group of anglers and a great guide to work with who got it done when the funky stuff hit. As the river dropped, we bounced along the low bottom of the Bitterroot through beautiful scenery and picky trout, finding a few nice fish along the way. Sure, we’ll be happy when the rivers get predictable again, but when you’ve got good people to fish with and a guide willing to put the work in when the standard approach won’t work? I’ll take it. Bitching over the beers at the end of the day is as fun as bragging, when it all comes down to it. We’re still fishing, and don’t that beat all?
|Clear Creek Outfitter’s guide Aron Bonzel hoists Jerry’s beautiful brown trout on the upper Bitterroot.