Weekend Warrior: The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Is Christmas the most wonderful time of the year? No, no my friends. Fall gets my vote. Great fishing, football is back, and the fish in western Montana are getting daily doses of the cold stuff signaling the time to fatten up and get ready for winter. What does that mean for your weekend fishing? Good things. Its mayfly time, and my rule for fall has always been go smaller. If the fish aren’t taking your dries, its time to drop a tippet size, drop a fly size, and get a better drift. This is “A game” time, and a good cast and a great drift will do a lot more than the correct pattern. There are some other moves you should be making this time of year, when it comes to fly patterns. Bland and natural colored patterns are going to move more wary fish than their bright counterparts. Ditch the purple haze and go back to the standard adams. Dull up that bright chubby, and use natural colored streamers and nymphs. You’ll find more fish.

Its time to skate, and don’t push this thing around mongo like some kook. Get a good drift and twitch it like you mean it. October caddis bounce, bop and skitter around on the water, and your flies should too.

What kinds of flies should you be using this weekend? Slim mayflies and caddis, with meaty droppers. Up on the Blackfoot, the fall Blackfoot streamer setup a great option for the mornings: streamers and buggers with worms behind, october caddis nymphs, and the dullest rubberlegs in your box. There are still lots of tricos hanging around, and there are fish in the good spots willing to take one. October caddis aren’t out in force, but I just get the feeling it will be a sneaky play that might get some monster eats on some stretches. Don’t rely on it as your fly all day, but you might give it a shot. Fall dry fly fishing on the Clark Fork is on, and it is the best time of the year to be on that river. Tricos, Hecubas, and soon mahoganies will take center stage. Blue wing olives are back too! Small for Fall should be your mantra, and your mayfly box is about to get a workout. The Bitterroot is also swinging into shape, and this fall is looking good from here. There is supposed to be a warmup here this weekend, but that shouldn’t deter the fishing too much. Get out, find a stretch with some solitude and you’ll find some fish. Streamers? Do it, you know you want to.

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