Summer Fly Fishing

Summer Fly Fishing

Big Blackfoot Cuttbow

Summer fly fishing has been interesting this year to say the least.  We have seen 100 degree days in late June and then rain and highs in the 60’s in July.  The doom and gloom crowd has been a little disappointed that the apocolypse hasn’t happened, but the eternal optimists aren’t satisified either.  The bottom line is that it’s summer in Montana again.  This year is a low water season with Hoot Owl fishing restrictions.  We have seen these conditions before and fished through them just fine.  In the end, it’s just fly fishing.  No matter when you go fly fishing, or where there are risks involved.  The trout are always there and the only question is, will they eat?  If your trip is March-June the risk is cold weather or high water, July through August/Mid-Sept. it’s low water or hot temps, and from Mid-Sept through Oct. it’s cold weather again.  It’s trout fishing with a fly and there are no guarantees.  If you need a sure thing then you should find a new hobby….or go fishing at a hatchery.  I for one love wild trout and the places they live.  Hoot owl fishing restrictions where the rivers close at 2 is just common sense when the air and water temps are higher than normal.  Adjusting your stragedy is just a part of fly fishing, and during a low water summer in Montana that means hitting the river early and getting off early too, restrictions or not.  This time of year our hatch cycle is low so the main driving factor with our fishing is the weather.  Consistent weather usually means consistent fishing, and most days we are catching them just fine.  Changes in weather bring a change in the fishing and I haven’t met an angler yet who can predict for certain what that change will bring.  Often an incoming low pressure system will produce epic fishing, but I have definitely had days where the clouds rolled in, the temp dropped, and as I was bracing for giant trout eating dry flies……nothing happened.  Almost two decades in the trade have given me enough samples to make the right decision most days, but in the end it is still fishing.  You either like to go fishing or you don’t.  Hoot owl restrictions are simply another variable in the equation, and tomorrow I will go fishing again.

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