Rock Creek Report - Family Fishing at the Microburst - September 1, 2021
Water Temp: 52-60°F
Dries: Hoppers, Stimulators, Purple Haze, Caddis, Mahogany Dun
Nymphs: Pat's Rubber Leg, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Prince Nymph, Perdigon
Yesterday, my wife, kiddo and I drove 25 miles up Rock Creek to the Microburst and tried our luck with some fishing. We decided to wet wade, and though it's still manageable during these warmer days, the water has become noticeably colder, so it might not be a bad idea to start wadering up as we move into September.
We set up three rods; one dry, one double-nymph rig, and one streamer. Out of the three, the nymph rig was the most consistent. I used the combination of a Pat's Rubber Leg and a Jumpin' Jack Flash and caught a nice rainbow on the first cast, as well as this cutthroat a few minutes later. The fishermen coming into the shop have also had great luck with smaller nymphs like a size 16 Prince Nymph or a Perdigon, so these would be excellent trailers as well.
Meg started out with with a Purple Haze dry and followed it up with a dark stimulator and a black humpy. There were lots of strikes, but it was difficult setting the hook on them, as they were very skittish about picking off high-riding dry flies.
My best piece of advice to remedy this issue is to fish either dries that sit very low in the water or stick a Mahogany Dun or Purple Haze crippled emerger behind a large dry like a grasshopper or stimulator. I noticed several mahoganies and caddis flying in the late afternoon, and there were lots of bug options for the fish to choose from. Mix and match, and see what works best for you.
Little Emmy tried some streamer fishing, but still doesn't have the hand coordination to cast well at six-months-old, so she got skunked. Fortunately, she found a nice sand bar to play in and was very satisfied. For your streamers, try black or olive buggers, and strip them through the deep pools. Though we didn't get anything this time on the buggers, the water is getting colder and bigger fish are moving again, so it should just get better as we progress into the fall months.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
The recent rains have created several nasty potholes on the dirt portion of Rock Creek Road. Though a lot of it is still in decent shape, that are certain sections that will shake your vehicle apart if you hit them wrong, so take it slow when up on the dirt!
Stage II fire restrictions have been lifted in the Lolo National Forest, so if you'd like to stay in one of the campgrounds, you can once again have campfires in the designated fire pits. Keep in mind that we are supposed to have some warm weather and things can dry out again quickly, so stay vigilant if you do choose to have a fire.
I have been getting reports of more black bears recently. They seem to be coming down to forage for berries, choke cherries and whatever other food they can get their paws on. So far, they haven't been a nuisance or had any altercations with people, but it's important to give them their distance if you see them and to keep all your food and garbage locked up and away from them. When in doubt, have some bear spray at the ready.
Our bighorn sheep ewes, whom we refer to as "the Ladies," have a few gentlemen callers currently with them. Driving home from the Microburst yesterday, we saw this large flock of them at about mile marker 9. More often than not they are on the road in this area, so please drive slow when passing the Brewster Creek/Quigley area especially.
More to come as things change. Happy fishing and stay safe out there!