Fall fishing is Here. The smoke is clearing out and the fishing has been solid on the Clark Fork and Blackfoot. Cooler weather in the forecast will continue to improve fishing and increase the insect activity. Not a whole lot of aquatic bugs last couple weeks but the next couple weeks should start to see some hatches. Crowds continue to thin as kids soccer, school, and hunting seasons pull traffic off the river. The next several weeks are a great time to enjoy the rivers.
Clark Fork – very consistent fishing on this river the last couple weeks. Not lots of aquatic bugs or rising fish but parachute mayflies, hoppers, and attractor foam flies have been getting attention in the afternoons. Hopper dropper rigs in the am, then small parachutes and hoppers in the afternoons. October caddis and mohognaies should become more relevant anyday.
Blackfoot – Crowds have thinned out now that hoot owl has been lifted on the Bitterroot and Clark Fork. Try some foam attractors, tung droppers, and streamers in the mornings. Switch it up to mid-sized parachutes, foam attractors, hoppers, October caddis etc in the afternoon. Colder water temps will fire-up the streamer bite too so giver a go and maybe you’ll get a lucky pull. Still some tricos around so having a few tiny duns or parachutes on hand to trick a nice one is a good idea. Lots of dinks on the spinners but you can often find a good one in the mix to target.
Flathead – Later starts have been better for some afternoon dry fly fishing but not every day. Dropper bite has been off in the am but still getting some fish. The next couple weeks are usually a good window for some afternoon dry fly fishing and also a good time for some nicer fish to start to show up. Warmer days are still good for terrestrial fishing. Small mayfly patterns will also produce if you can get a proper drift. October caddis are worth a try this time of year too.
Dry Flies – Rocky mtn mints, purple haze, october caddis elk hairs, hoppers, ants, hecuba parachutes or large adams variations, chubbies, foam attractors
Nymphs – tung jig prince, hars ears, PT’s, SJWs, Pats, TJ Hookers, perdigons, Soft hackle jigs, tung stones etc
Streamers – small and drab, large and drab, small and flashy, large and flashy. cycle through till you find the one. Small and drab always works…