Welcome to September..
As most folks have taken to the mountains in pursuit of filling their freezers, you can’t blame them. September is hunting season. But, for those of us who prefer riffles over ridges, great fly fishing lies just ahead.
As cooler water temperatures begin to set in, fishing has changed from a morning/afternoon activity to a mid-day adventure. Our guides have seen the most activity just after noon. Water temperatures in Columbia Falls are hovering around the 53-58 degrees mark.
Trout continue to feed on dry flies. Dark stuff, brown and black ants have been working the best for us. Terrestrial season includes Grasshoppers, Ants, Beetles, and Crickets. Try this, combined with a standard mayfly imitation and you’re set. Parachute adams variations work great for this. Try fishing darker colors as the month goes on. The smaller the fly the better, trout have been slightly more selective lately. Size 16-18 have produced the most fish.
Massive moth hatches have been reported on the middle fork. Look for this as the week continues. Try throwing a large PMX or Goddard Caddis to accurately represent this moth. Less and less trout are being reported in the upper stretches of the forks. In the Fall our trout move downstream closer to Flathead Lake. They do this out of necessity. In the winter months there is a shortage of aquatic buglife that the trout need for substance. This forces them downstream in search of adequate food.
This is a yearly tradition, in the spring the trout will move upstream, and vice versa in the fall. This presents an excellent opportunity for the angler to locate and target those bigger Cutties as they move downstream towards the lake. Lower water levels can increase your odds of finding these larger fish. As less water flows, trout can be more easily targeted due to the positioning of the water. Get on the Flathead today and take advantage of this while you can. It won’t be this good for long!
Have a great week and happy fishing!