We’ve got some great fishing weather in the forecast for the next couple of weeks, and Trout Spey anglers will find the fish are pretty receptive to the swung fly. Pressure has been light lately, as most Montanan’s are out in the field chasing Elk and Deer. Yesterday, Bill Hart (above) came down from the Flathead to take advantage of our Fall Spey Special and swing up some Missouri River residents. Mission accomplished. Floating from Wolf Creek to Craig, we saw 3 wade anglers and Zero boats.
In the last week we’ve seen the fish really switch from smaller natural colored soft hackles and buggers to bigger flashier streamers. Great news, as that’s what we all prefer to throw. Flies like the Lil’ Kim, Montana Intruder, Kreelex, Skiddish Smolt, Sparkle Minnow and Stinger Sculpin are quickly displacing the Thin Mints, Leeches and STS Buggers we were using for the last month. Smaller soft hackles are all but useless for me, but if you find a bunch of fish ganged up in super shallow flats (and you will on darker days) you’ll still want some of these subtle patterns in your box.
Not only are the fish chasing more aggressively, they are also backing down the runs a bit. They’re definitely not “tanked up” yet – it will take some significantly colder water for that – but they are a bit more concentrated and in slower water than a few weeks ago. This is all good news, and I’d say were on the front end of “perfect” conditions. Seek out that transition from riffle to run and you should be in business. Don’t forget about the tailout…
I’ve found very few spots that require a deep presentation, And a Scandi/intermediate leader/lightly weighted fly combo is ideal for 90% of the river. I’ve been fiddling around with some 3ips leaders in some spots and found they provide no increase in success. Your results may differ. If you’re a Skagit devotee, make sure you have a lighter tip in your bag. Drifting weeds aren’t much of a problem, but you will be gagging bass on the bottom if you fish 10’ of T8 in that medium speed/medium depth stuff.
As for the fish, we’re seeing more of those obese autumn Rainbows we love, Brown Trout are suddenly everywhere (the spawn must have concluded) and the juveniles have vanished. It’s an excellent time to be a swinger.
As for “where”, the entire river is fishing well, and if you can read water correctly you should have equal success no matter where you go. Days are short, so if you’re going to tackle Pelican to Cascade or some of the longer variations, you should be pouching off the ramp by 8:30 at the latest.
Have a great Holiday weekend and if you get a chance to get outside, do it. We’re around for shuttles, flies, leaders and tips. Call the shop if yhou have any questions or want to inquire about a guided Spey trip.
A new load of Gary Anderson Custom (ACR) rods will be arriving any day if you’ve been waiting for them to show up.