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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall Arrives Today

Zach Scott streamer fishing the lower 'Root.

Salmo trutta on a mayfly.
Yet another typical season change is in store for western Montana:  one day it's summer, the next day it's not.  A big cold front and pressure shift is underway that will bring the first real rain in months and snow to the high country.  This should be the ticket to kickstarting two of my favorite things: prespawn brown trout and prolonged autumn mayfly hatches.

The fishing has been pretty good lately, even with the abnormally hot weather.  October caddis, both the giant ones, and other species have been hatching regularly for a few weeks now and there have been enough mayflies out to keep fish interested on top all day long.  Tricos are still around in the late mornings and afternoons, with a smattering of blue-wings and mahoganies during the midday, and even the occasional pale evening dun still hanging around.  As the cool down rolls in, we should start seeing more Mahoganies and Baetis, and the hatches will be more spread out through the afternoons.

This is also the time of year when brown trout start to get particularly angry, especially towards members of the same species.  Streamer fishing near prime spawning habitat, such as perfect gravel bars, side channels, and springs can spell fun times.  My favorite fall fish imitations all look like small brown trout, with yellow, brown, red, and white.  Also, because the water is low and clear, you can get away with much more sparsely tied patterns, as opposed to the big water-movers you typically throw in the spring.  Retrieves can usually be quicker too.  Stick with the streamer and you usually will be rewarded with a mature Salmo trutta specimen.  Best of luck and enjoy this last month and a half!  Before you know it, we'll be back on the slopes!

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