As anglers we are perpetual optimists. It is a trait of anyone who fishes to think that it will always get better. More bugs, better temps, more water, less water, and without any doubt… Bigger fish eating dry flies with reckless abandon. So with that said here is an optimistic and very accurate summer fishing forecast. Keep in mind we are fishing guides… “Professional B.S.er’s”
June: High water will peak in the Missoula area in early to mid June and recede to fishable levels soon there after. The Salmonflies and Green Drakes will show up in numbers like “The Good Old Days” (when Ron was guiding). The big push from run off will clean out the rivers and give both the fish and bugs some great habitat for the summer and an ample supply of cold clean water. Late in June, after we have all had our fill of catching as many fish as you can net on size 4 Salmonfly patterns, the orange bugs will taper off and The Goldens will show up like a plague. I’m getting excited typing this out…
July: July 1st I will tie on a big Golden pattern to start the day out and not change bugs until it is just thread on a bare hook from all of the fish eating it. In the afternoon the Green Drakes will still be coming off and I will tie on a Size 8 green drake pattern just to switch it up and watch the fish destroy and different bug. That’s just the first day in July. The PMD’s, Goldens, Sallies, and Caddis will be like clockwork and the fish will be obese from the never-ending buffet they will have every day. The evening caddis fishing will be great too. We will put our boats in after a guide day on the lower Clark Fork around 7 and fish till 11 only stopping because we have to wake up and do it again the next day.
August: It will be hot in August, but with the awesome snowpack the rivers will stay full of water and the fish will stay hungry. August will be fun this year. The Hoppers will hit the water and endure gruesome deaths from big trout waiting for the protein packed terrestrial. Hoppers, ants, and beetles will be the main food source for fat and happy brown trout. We will see hopper fishing that we haven’t seen in years. The days everyone dreams about. The Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Clark fork will all give up some “Fish of the Year” on nasty looking hoppers. The picker fish will snub your hopper but eat the cinnamon ant you have behind it. Either way they are in the net. And you are happy.
September: September will roll around and the days will start getting shorter and the small mayflies will start to wake up. The trout will notice and start to pod up into massive groups to gorge themselves on tiny tricos. After Noon they will move to the grassy banks and wait for hoppers to be served on a silver platter. Most of the traffic will have moved on but the fishing will only get better. If you have a chance to fish Missoula in September, DO IT. Last year was fantastic and this year will be one for the books.
October: This is a month that I can’t wait for. Big Streamers, Small Mayflies, and Huge Trout. That’s all I am going to write. Oh… And no one will be on the water. Show up and see for yourself, or don’t and look at the photos from your buddies. They will tell you how awesome October in Missoula is.
Man, after I read a report like that I am excited for what this year has in store for us. If you haven’t booked a trip to Missoula yet, now is the time to do it. It’s going to be a year that we will talk about for a long time. Don’t forget Friday BBQ’s here at The Missoulian Angler Fly Shop. They are world famous.
… Because You Fish.
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