After a long, cold, rainy, windy, high water spring we were all ready for summer to kick in. Or were we? Well, I think we were ready for some warmer weather but not quite ready for 90 degree summer yet. Can’t that wait a while? We’ve had a week or so of pretty solid fishing. Salmon flies on the Blackfoot, PMDs on the Flathead, and the Clark Fork opened up for the first time about a week ago offering up some good dry fly fishing. But the last couple days have felt a bit doggy. Shit loads of 4th of July traffic and 90 degree heat have made it feel a bit like late summer, not early July. Hopefully we’ll snap out of it and return to our summertime and the liven’s easy mode…  Upper 80’s/90 degree temps look to dominate the forecast. Especially south of here on the Blackfoot and Clark Fork. This won’t help fishing much but you’ll be able to get a good bronze if you take your shirt off. Luckily we have a bunch of water in the rivers so water temps should hang in there a while allowing for some decent fishing for the near future.

The PMD event on the Flathead is waining. There are a few whispey spinners around in the am but the main event has past. Not much in the way of drakes, goldens, or sallies either. Little mayfly patterns will still get attention on the inside riffles but it ain’t like it was a few days ago. Fish are still looking for small attractor patterns and the dropper has been plucking a few in the mornings if you can find the right pattern. Bottom line is it’s been kinda tough. It should rebound once we shake our 4th of July hangover…Hopefully.

The Blackfoot has been about the same. Not super awesome. It had a moment for a few days but it’s seems to have slipped into summer mode rather quickly. Although the hatches are pretty awesome the fishing has been in the medium zone. Talking with the local shuttle folks explains a lot. Literally a hundred+ shuttles throughout the corridor almost daily for sometime has certainly taken a toll on the troutskies willingness to eat another salmon fly. The grown up trout are getting tough to find. This will hopefully change as the water has dropped in the Clark Fork and Bitterroot drainages opening lots more water to the Missoula traffic.  There are still salmon flies, goldens, green drakes, and sallies flying around and plenty of little nibblers looking up. The proper trout are there as well but getting scarce. A mid size foam golden variation fished in the perfect spot all day will get you some eats. A chubby and a dropper 4 ft from the bank ain’t do’n so hot.

The Clark Fork has shined for a few days but the heat is gonna beat it down quick if it continues. Luckily we have water so it will fish for a while regardless. But the 50 fish days on foamies isn’t likely gonna happen. If you’re headed that way you might think about hitting it early with the 90 degree temps in the forecast. Bring some light beers, a koozie, and some trunks too.

Jason Lanier
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