Another great week of fly fishing has come and gone here on the Flathead River. For the most part we have caught a majority of our trout on dry flies. Look for this to continue as the temperatures stay hot. We should see a few days reaching 100 degrees in the future. Stay hydrated out there and be sure to use plenty of sunscreen.
Fishing on the main stem has been an eventful process. The Flathead River is still dropping like a rock and water temps are rising. This keeps us on our toes, the river looks and fishes different everyday. This isn’t all bad. Dropping water means more access to the wading fly fisherman. Look for the water to continually drop throughout August.
As stated earlier the river is changing daily, and with it our fishing tactics must evolve. We are still dry fly fishing primarily. Reports of nymph and streamer fishing with good success have been rumored. For the most part we are still fishing small mayflies like a parachute adams or purple haze in the morning. Smaller, darker chubbies (#10-#12) with a small nymph dropped off the back have also produced fish.
Terrestrial season is in full swing here in the Flathead Valley. The last week has been lights out dry fly fishing with ants and hoppers. This activity should continue for the remainder of summer. Dry, hot heat means these large terrestrials will be near the water. Our favorite ant patterns are the black/cinnamon parachute ant, and KG’s ant-acid in purple or red. For hopper patterns anything smaller and tan should produce fish. That, or, work well as an indicator. My favorite rig is the Hopper-Copper-Dropper. That’s a hopper with a copper john dropped off the back of it.
If you plan on fishing the middle or north fork look for excellent fishing to continue for a while. Spruce moths are still fishing well on both forks. Try fishing an elk hair caddis or parachute spruce moth pattern. Spruce moths are starting to wean off but terrestrial action should continue.
Water is dropping, getting skinnier and skinnier, opening up more access, and fishing holes. Look for big buckets created behind boulders or other structure. Fish hold in these soft pockets of water to not over exert themselves during the hot days. Let’s pray for water temperatures to stay down as the week takes hold. There are some hot days in our forecast. As always stay safe out there and happy fishing.