While we are still running a few guide trips, this week is a relatively quiet one on the rivers of Western Montana. Most folks are out chasing bird dogs or setting out decoy spreads or stalking big game — and that’s what makes late October such an awesome time on the water. The trees along the Blackfoot, Clark Fork, and Root are in full color, and the flows are prime for pushing a single mayfly, or banging that 8 weight streamer rig around.
Because water temps are dropping every day, the window for good fishing is shortening by the day as well. Count on, say, 1-4 or 2-5 being prime dry fly hours. Run the dropper if you like, or nymphs in the morning. Something resembling a whitefish egg might turn a head — but by the afternoon look for small dimples from big fish. A #20 Adams parachute is a great fly this time of year, but don’t hesitate to throw a double dry or a soft-hackle BWO trailing.
Clark Fork River:
After a little bump, this river has come back into great shape and has big fish feeding each afternoon in some painfully slow water.
Surprisingly this river is hanging on and offering great opportunities at rising fish each afternoon — just ask the elk hunters walking out from their spots at dusk! Great weekend to hit the ‘Foot, but wear orange?
Fantastic dry fly fishing up here, and some big browns looking to eat one more whitefish-sized fly before hunkering down for the spawn.
Can you say “bent”? Yeah.
Upper Clark Fork
Lower Clark Fork