Finally some good news for Montana trout. The cool weather and significant rain we received recently has helped turn the corner on a very hot and dry summer.
Thanks to increased flows and a drop in water temps, FWP has been able to lift restrictions on several rivers including the Bitterroot. Trout seem to be more active and on the feed again.
The fall hatches are beginning to come off which brings excitement for fly fishers.
We‘ve begun to see the fall drakes (Hecuba) emerging most afternoons. If you see one start fishing a Brindle Chute or similar imitation. These are big bugs and while they may not come off in high numbers opportunistic trout will usually come up for a well presented pattern.
In the morning we are seeing good numbers of tricos emerging on the lower river. If you enjoy a challenge, it's fun or frustrating to cast tiny flies to big trout. Long leaders, light tippet and tiny dry flies are the name of the game.
Trout are still looking for and eating hoppers. Hoppers have brought some large trout to the net last week. Hopper dropper rigs continue to be productive. Although restriction have been lifted please keep an eye on water temps and always practice good catch and release tactics. see ya on the river!
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Hatches: Trico #18-22, Hecuba #10-12. Hoppers, Beetles, Ants.
Eddie Olwell of Stevensville's Fishs Eddy O has been fishing the waters of western Montana since 1977 and guiding since 1999. Olwell writes a regular column for the Ravalli Republic called Fish Tales.