The weather has been really nice. The low angle fall sunshine and cool days are very pleasant. Crowds have thinned and the fishing has been good. You’ll still hear some hoppers clicking along the banks on sunny warm afternoons but the mayfly and October caddis fishing have been the method of choice. Calm sunny afternoons have the ant still in play. When you see those sippers in the glassy tail-outs throw them a little ant on 5x and they usually won’t refuse. Tiny Harrop CDC cripples also fool the most difficult fish so a few of those are good to have in the box. Small #12 tannish-orange foam Caddis, #8 orange elk hair caddis, or a #12 orange stimi are all good lead flies for the ant or small cripple. You can try a hopper too but the fish are a bit tired of them I think. The occasional explosion on the big bug will keep you paying attention. Mornings are cold-ish so it takes a while to get the fish looking up. No rush to get out early unless you just enjoy the solitude and getting off the water for happy hour. An over sized October caddis or mid sized chubby with a perdigon, PT, frenchie, SJW, small pats, prince etc will hunt before things warm up. You can also short leash a tandem rig with the above mentioned nymphs in the am if you’re really desperate. A slow swung streamer in the bugger, shelia, or sparkle minnow variety might get a yank as well – it is fall after all.
Still some good fishing heading our way. October and November have some great options. Afternoons will have some dry fly fishing locally and some lake run cutthroat moving around on the Flathead River. The Clark Fork will see some good afternoon mayfly fishing and the Missouri will start to see some great BWO fishing and white hot nymphing as the weeds clear. The guides have a little more flexibility late October and early Novemeber if you’re looking to work a trip into a nice weather day.