Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Montana Fly Fishing and Tubing Report

Fly Fishing in the Missoula, Montana area is still good if you know where to go and when to be there.
BLACKFOOT-The fishing is good early but plan for it to end about 1 p.m. Terrestrials are getting the job done in the heavy water. There is some talk about closures on the river coming up soon. Stressing the fish out, eh? I'll tell you what stresses the fish out: Tubers. Plain and simple. I  just can't understand why FWP doesn't place any resource responsibility on the tubing public. All of the fishermen will be off of the river by 2 p.m., but the tubers will be kicking trout in their heads, dropping beer cans all over the place and spooking trout from one side of the river to the other. And it's o.k. Nonsense. Also, aren't all water craft required to have a pfd/life jacket aboard? Seems like the tubers have forgotten about that. Seems like the wardens have too. Nice.
But wait. There's more... I think all of the tube rental joints in town should have to obtain a commercial use permit from FWP (just like rafting and fishing outfitters) for the Blackfoot, as they are essentially "outfitting" people to use the resource. They make a buck but share none of the       responsibility. The next time you hear someone complain about the impact of commercial use on our river resources, remind them that commercial use makes up a small percentage of use overall. The majority of use is by the public. Take a look at the Clark Fork at Madison Street bridge at 4 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. The assorted stew of tubers, paddle borders, rafters, water-wing wearin' hippies, dogs in life jackets and Cub Scouts on milk carton rafts are not being guided by an outfitter.

Deep down you all know I'm right.

In other fishing news, there are a few other places to fish besides the tuber-infested, warm rivers. Grab you Gazetteteer and hit the high country.  The weather is cooler and the water is cold and there aren't any other people around. The small stream trout will eat just about any dry you want to tie on. And just about any creek you find will hold trout.  Pretty neat, eh? So think outdside of the box and go in search of.

BITTERROOT- Not so much. The trout are all stressed out, what with the bills and overwhelming workload. Plus, wifey is bitchy and the smolts are all hooked on smack.

CLARK FORK- Bring your salad dressing. The upper is low, weedy, warm  and not so good. The lower is warm but there is some fishing early in the day. Soon enough the hoppers will be out and about and we can get back to some consistent fishing.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Montana Fly Fishing Report July 11th

Bob with a nice fish
CLARK FORK- Fly Fishing on the Clark Fork River has been good but plan to have a late lunch at the take-out.  The bite has been purely on dries. If you can't get 'em to eat your favorite foamie try a small-ish parachute. There are some PMDs around and the fish can get on them.
ATTENTION: The fish need to be revived! The H20 is bloody warm and the fish need a little extra love when being released.
BITTERROOT RIVER- The upper river is boaty but the fishing is good. Rogue Golden #10 should do the trick from about 1-3:30.  Before that, a P.T. dropper will bet them in the trenches. After that, go swimming! The water is colder on the 'Root but take care when releasing them thar fish.
   The middle river is fishing well for better fish. Try a #14 para adams or para PMD. It looks like a mayfly. Trout eat mayflies. Do the math.  A big bug will work if you put it in the right places. P.T. dropper in 14 will take fish early in the day. Look to the wood. You can dig them out of the fallen trees when the sun gets high.
BLACKFOOT RIVER- The water is prime. There are a few sallies and goldens left. Hell, I even saw a salmonfly splat on the water yesterday.  Big foam, prince dropper, smaller yellow stimi("Stimis, yeah that's the ticket. Stimis!), PMD spinners if you want to catch minnows. I saw a couple of boats with nymph rigs on. I think you all know how we feel about that. If you are coming to Missoula in July to fly fish with a "fly fishing" guide and he ties a nymph rig on your line, you need to be asking yourself some serious questions.
GEORGETOWN LAKE- Damsels. What more do you need to know. Tie one on the end of your line, cast it into the lake and catch a fish. I'm sure there will be a few boats up there with nymph rigs on.
MISSOURI- O.K. You can safely nymph here. We won't make fun of you. Try 16 and 18 czechs (beadless can be good) dropped off something a little bigger. The flow is LOW so 5x is required. Puple Crush 18 can be a good bet too. The lower river is weedy and the water is warm. It's probably best to stay in the first ten miles. PMDs and caddis offer the best bets for dry fly fishing. Drop a sparkle pupa off the back of any caddis dry. You know, it's the Missouri. "...easy like sunday morning."