Weekend Warrior: Close to Perfection

This week has had rain and clouds, and a nice cold blast that is making it a boat ramp choice to go with the waders or not. If you’re wading, you’re in ’em. If you’re in the boat, you might want them. Winds come up quick in the fall, and being underdressed is a surefire way to guarantee it rains and blows on you. There’s nothing the fishing gods like more than to soak a guy wearing cotton to the bone. But the fishing this weekend might be as close to perfection as it gets. The conditions look great and there are crossover hatches of mayflies happening on the Clark Fork and Bitterroot, with the Blackfoot still fishing strong in the buckets. Does this mean the fishing is going to be easy? Now, I didn’t say that. Long leaders and small mayflies make for awesome stealthy approaches and great fights, but these fall fish aren’t stupid. They’ve watched a million bad drifts go over their heads since spring, and it has to be a good one to get them to eat. Nothing like pulling up to a pod of fish and seeing them eat all around your fly like its an obstacle, not an enticement. Get the cast dialed in,break out the cripples and the sneaky flies and get some good fish to eat.
Clouds, cold, and picky fish. I like it.

The fish are starting to get some nice fall colors to match the changing leaves.

Streamer fiends, if you aren’t happy now, you never will be. The big fish are moving, and there are some great spots I’m dying to throw some meat at when I finally get a chance to fish on a day off. Grab the gold and white and hit the river because the fall fish are goofy for the meat.
Where would I fish if I had one place to go? It would have to be the lower Clark Fork, well below town. Big, healthy rainbows are making mistakes and eating bugs on top and you’ve got some hard fighting fish down there. If you’ve got a boat give it a shot. If you’re wading, the Blackfoot is never as wadable as it in the fall, when the low water makes it easier to cross, and finding good buckets can be a great way to spend a fall afternoon. Get after it, bring the layers and find those fish you’ve been waiting all season to see.


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