It’s starting to heat up out there. We’ve had a great summer thus far but the dog days are looming. Water temps are creeping up in all drainages and the afternoon fishing is starting to tank. Early mornings or late evenings are your best bet to beat the heat and traffic. Go easy on the fish and try to keep them in the net. Maybe lay off the afternoon photo sessions. All hands on deck for a rain dance…
Flathead River – It’s starting to feel like August out there. The river is low/clear and the fish are getting smart. Little dries on light tippet with a good presentation will catch some nice fish and keep you entertained. Karate chopping a puff ball foam fly with a dropper 5 ft from the boat ain’t gonna cut it anymore. PMDs are still in play and small rusty spinners, cripples, and parachute mayfly patterns will take fish. Ants and hoppers are also getting some attention. A small attractor/hopper with a tiny mayfly or ant will hunt, especially with a reach mend and a down stream presentation. For the DIY folks, the upper reaches of the forks are very low for early July and wade friendly. Small attractor dries will get you plenty of action. The water is cold up there and fishing well all day. The traffic is however horrendous.
Blackfoot River – Still fishing well but a bit doggy in the afternoon with water temps creeping into the upper 60’s. Sallies, pmds, caddis, & golden stone patterns will all work. Hoppers and ants too. Larger foam flies or a streamer at first light might move a few bigger fish that are still cruising on night patroll. If the dry fly bite slumps in the afternoon, small perdigon variations in the deeper faster troughs are worthy. Or just go for a swim, crack a lite beer, and head for the ramp.
Clark Fork – Has been fishing great. The last several days however the afternoon fishing has been slowing down. The forecast is calling for a week of 90s so the afternoon fishing will continue to die. Dawn patrol is the move right now if your gonna head down. Foam attractors with a TB jig Prince, PT softy, frenchie, haresear, tb turd, SJW, or whatever #14 Tung jig thingy you wanna try. Hoppers are out and pretty big for early July so they should eat’m. Golden/nocturnal stones, pmds, PEDs, caddis, hoppers, ants for the dry flies.