Beat The Heat
Wow! What a hot week it has been in the Flathead Valley. Temperatures are reaching 90 degrees daily, and the Flathead is feeling it. Not to worry, the fishing has been consistently good with trout rising to dry flies and eating small nymphs.
The flathead river is dropping like a rock. The heat has driven water temperatures up and flows down. Fishing has slowed down in the middle of the day; the bite has moved earlier and later. Try getting on the water in the morning or afternoon to have the best success. It’s too hot in the mid-day sun for the trout to comfortably feed.
Despite the heat, fishing has remained pretty good. We are still seeing plenty of pmd’s and adult stoneflies near the water. Fishing smaller Chubby Chernobyl’s (#8-#10) can still bring a few fish to the surface. Drop a small nymph off the back of these chubbies to effectively target the trout feeding subsurface. A rather large Pmd hatch happens every day, so be prepared for that. Fish small pmd or dun colored patterns for the most part. (size #16-#18) As July winds down, look for the fish to start targeting terrestrials. Ants and Hoppers make for great midday snacks. Terrestrials have a way of convincing those bigger fish in the river to indulge.
If high water temperatures and low flows aren’t your thing, don’t fret. High mountain lakes offer a refreshing alternative to the Flathead River. Glacier National Park is open to a variety of day hikes. This makes access fairly easy to these high elevation lakes. Try fishing small dry flies to cruising cutthroat and enjoy the scenery.
Another, equally beautiful, option for high elevation fishing would be the Jewel Basin. Located east of Kalispell the Jewel Basin offers a smorgasbord of hiking and fishing opportunities. The Basin is studded with 35 miles of hiking trails and littered with 25 lakes. You can catch native cutthroat trout while enjoying the expansive views of the Flathead Valley.
Get out there and get a nice tan this week. The sunshine won’t be here forever. Remember to bring your bear spray with you no matter what.
Happy fishing from Wild Montana Anglers.