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.


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