Water Temp: 47-52°F
Dries: October Caddis, BWOs, Mahogany Duns, Brindle Chutes, Small Terrestrials
Nymphs: Pat's RL, Perdigons, San Juan worms, STREAMERS
After enduring a week of solid smoke blanketing western Montana, we finally received some much-needed rain, and the air is now crystal clear. The precipitation also added to our streamflow and dropped the average water temp into the high 40s:
The downside to the temperature change is that the mornings and early afternoons have been tough fishing, at least for dry flies. If you enjoy fishing streamers, the mornings are an excellent time to come out. We're starting to see some bigger fish chasing buggers, sculpins, and rubber-legged streamers like the JJ Special. Nymphing is also a viable option in the morning; the San Juan worm has reigned supreme the past few days, but large stonefly nymphs with a small beaded dropper behind it have also been working.
If dry flies are your preference, I would recommend postponing your fishing until the mid-afternoon. My wife and I went out the other day and fished from 3:30 to about 6, and saw a number of hatches, including mayflies, tiny dark midges and October caddis (although nymphs were the only thing producing since it had rained earlier that morning). The Brindle Chute works as a great attractor for both Mahogany Duns and October caddis (depending on the size), and a size 18-20 Adams or Trico would work best for the midges.
The next couple weeks are forecast to be in the 60s-70s for daytime highs, and that will likely keep the terrestrials active into October. Try a Fat Albert or a small hopper with either a crippled emerger or a small beaded nymph a couple feet behind it. The fish will often eyeball the hopper and then take whatever is behind it.
We are going to stay open every day through October and then go to our limited winter hours starting in November, so we hope to see you in the Mercantile on your way up or down Rock Creek!