Montana/Idaho Fall Fly Fishing 2021

firehuntfish

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I was recently able to introduce my nephew to his first Fall flyfishing experience in Idaho and Montana. Although I love the consistency of the summer fly fishing, the early Fall out West is absolutely my favorite time to visit. The Fall colors are popping, the morning air is brisk, and the elk are bugling. If you can get the trout and bugs to cooperate, it can be a magical time to be in the Rockies. Some of the biggest trout can be huddled in large pods sipping the smallest bugs when the hatches are on.

As I mentioned in the report of my late summer trip, the Western States had experienced a low-water year combined with record setting heat. The heat was certainly gone, but the low water had many parts of the rivers unfishable by drift boat. Add in the bluebird skies, and it makes for some tougher than usual conditions. Fall fishing is at its best when you have those early cold front days providing cloud cover and rain spawning some epic bug hatches.

On this trip, most of our days where bright and sunny, and even when we did get some cloud cover and light rain, the bugs didn't seem to notice. We barely saw any hatches during the week. The trout seemed puzzled as well. They were up eating dry flies aggressively when they floated overhead. The problem was that they were not giving up their positions with the typical rise pods they form during these hatches. We were left guessing where they were going to be. Yet, despite the sunshine and lack of bugs, we managed to fool some quality fish each day.

We began the trip with visit to Idaho to fish some small rivers in search of native West-slope Cutthroats. Cutthroats are as colorful as they are cooperative! They were eating any terrestrial pattern we threw at them pretty well.

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Took a bonus Bull trout on a streamer.. Besides the Cutthroat, Bull trout are the only other native trout to the West.
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Our guided days were once again spent fishing with Brooks Jessen of www.troutzoolamontana.com. Brooks is a good friend and one of the best guides I have ever fished with. For anyone visiting Montana interested in an amazing guided fly fishing experience, get in touch with Brooks. Brooks is one of the most patient and skilled fly fisherman that you will ever meet. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or seasoned fly fisherman, Brooks can accommodate you.

On our days with Brooks, we fished the lower Bitterroot and the lower Clark Fork rivers. We caught some really fat, healthy Cutthroats, Cutbows, and Rainbows on dry flies and streamers.

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No trip out West is complete without a "Rocky Mountain bonefish"
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