It looks like we are on another streak of mid 90’s weather for a while. That certainly won’t help the fishing much. It might entice a few more innertubers, paddle boarders, jet skiers, swimmers, unicorn floaties, and inflatable gas station crafts to hit the river though. So there’s that…
Despite the heat and traffic, the Flathead River is still fishing OK. We are finding some decent fish willing to eat dry flies out there. All you have to do is get the fly out away from the boat and set the hook properly… not always easy. The guides will tell you the fishing is as good as you are, that’s not far from the truth. It’s always an enjoyable float down the river so if you can’t figure it out, crack a Claw and enjoy the float.
Luckily we have some cold water without any restrictions up here in Glacier Country. Many rivers around the state are seeing warm water temps and fishing restrictions. Although we all complain about “angry August”, we should be thankful that we have some trout that will eat a dry fly in the middle of the afternoon. The lower Clark Fork is still seeing water temps exceeding 73 pretty much daily. No bueno. We are taking a break from it for now.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the Flathead, the Blackfoot temps aren’t too bad(no restrictions) and the fishing is ok down there. With the entire Bitterroot and Clark Fork on hoot owl it has been busy. Go early to avoid the traffic and afternoon sweltering heat.
Terrestrial fishing is still the deal. Ants, hoopers, and little black foamie things will get attention. Tiny little ants that are difficult to see work well but take a skilled angler to fish them. Small hoppers are also getting slashed at here and there. #14 & #16 tung bead p-tail variations are plucking fish here and there as well.
The weather is calling for some low 80’s next week with nights in the 40’s. Fall is around the corner. The foot traffic and vibe around town is already taken a click or two back a notch. Kids are heading back to school in most states and things are starting to feel a bit more relaxed. Bird hunting starts in a couple weeks and the river crowds are going to thin. Enjoy a swim in the river, another sunburn or two and the last bit of that intense summer sun before she gone. Before you know it you’ll be digging for your Muck Boots and puffy coat.