It seems every year I express my odd but nonetheless true love of the cold and the quiet on our beloved rivers. The gentle falling of an afternoon snow, the silent content of being on a stretch of water that has all but been abandoned by those seeking the warmth and sun elsewhere and the patient sometimes nerve wracking belief of.....fish on the feed while they make their inevitable journey back to deeper waters. Many of you no doubt are thinking about the mountain, Powder and great sessions with great friends. I cannot and will not argue ! But this time of year things....slow down.... for me.
They slow down in thread wraps on spey flies, They slow in the anchor of a cast to a deep pool and the realization of my own solitude on a river that for half the year is all sounds and sunshine........ and is now......quiet. But quiet might not be correct. There is the sound of our river. There is the sound of waders wrapped in the cold glacial blanket of water rushing past. There is the sound of a flock of mergansers hauling ass away from their potential fate. And there is the sound of a 420 grain Skagit head tearing away from the water. And yes there is the sound of....me....and lost fish and ones landed !
The title of this post is not an attempt to lull you into some sort of winter slumber... no no. Or to showcase some new flies. But hopefully to inspire all of you to go out and find your own.......cold weather quiet. The summer is gone. But do not despair, it will return ! And for those willing to embrace the chill, this season is just beginning ! Fish are moving ...and eating. You just have to get out there and find them. Many of our cutthroat are beginning to head back to the warmer depths of Flathead Lake. And some are hanging out. But they all must eat. Our weather change and change in water temperature has no doubt got the gears turning in the brains of our fishy friends. And now is a great time to capitalize on this. Nymphing is king when the weather and water gets cold. No matter how you feel about it, drag free drifts into slow deep pools are the ticket. There are opportunities for dry fly eats yes and I commend those that get them ! But for all you lovers of the swing this is my favorite time to get it done. Do not let the Minutia and intricacies of the two handed world deter you from getting in on this if its your first go around. No two-hander NO PROBLEM. A good 6 wt rod with a sink tip and your in business . I usually run a 3 ft section of 0X -2X flurocarbon leader to my fly.....Done. And flies ? Probably my favorite pattern in the colder months is our beloved polar chenille leech. Easy to tie and super effective. Olive, Brown, Light olive, try a few.
And most of all ....... slow down. Fish every drift with patience and confidence knowing that when the tug does come ( In my Texas accent that comes out all too often) "It aint gonna be small."
If you should ever need further assistance in any matters of the "swing" please don't hesitate to stop in and have a cup of coffee with us and chat. We would love to answer any questions and help however we can. And if that new switch or spey set up has been burning a hole in your mind, we can definitely help there as well ! So in closing on this cold night I hope that all of you are reading this someplace warm, With people that you love and your favorite beverage at your side. I hope that your thoughts as you drift off to sleep linger on a tight line swing that erupt in the exaltation of a solid hook set. And I hope that you wake up the next day and make those thoughts come to life !
So whats your first thought when you see a post about about fishing and............... Theres a picture of a fly ......... "This dude ain't caught no fish !" well you are absolutely correct, fine, fine, fine ....No Have not yet sealed the deal but I cant attest to a 10 pound northern swimming around the depths with a very sore mouth that might rethink her choice of forage the next time she's out! Ahhh fishing, and this time of year has to be right up there when my gears start turning. I have told many people that this fall is going to have to be my pike redemption after a pretty tough spring. And as much as the catching hasn't been red hot just yet ....... theres something pretty amazing about seeing some of the largest pike you've seen all year congregated in the same place. Theres the undeniable adrenaline of a follow from one of these beasts and the heartbreaking feeling of line going slack when you do stick one... But being out there, putting in your time and doing it with great friends on a beautiful fall day.............. Come on. So if you have the toothy addiction... get after it ! There are great fish to be had, But you have to put your time in. These are all post spawn fish and have been for a while. So with love making off the table I supremely believe that water temperature and location is key. One of the best pieces of literature I read on late season pike stressed the importance of LIVING weed beds in the fall, that means green weeds. Pike will congregate around live patches even if they're small. I have seen this with my own eyes and have caught fish all the same. Pike are also one of the most temperature sensitive fish on the spectrum. This proves true in spring for the spawn and into fall when the feed bag is slowly getting fastened. They know the inevitable freeze is coming just like many species, and that feeding instinct is dictated heavily by water temp. So all this my be old news to you hardened pike guys and gals but for all you out there who have no yet had the pleasure, its a great way to stick a big one the board for 2019. The weather can be absolutely gorgeous some days and perfect for an outing. But if its not......stop on in to the shop ! we have some great cold weather gear to keep you toasty and dry. Stay safe out there !
Lakestream Guides have been having some excellent Fall fishing in the Flathead River System .
When the SUN is out our WILD NATIVE CUT THROAT TROUT are hammering big attractor dry flies. Best bugs for me on the dry fly side of things has been size 8 black foam, and October Caddis Patterns.
When the Mahogany, and small Beatis May Flies show up fish your favorite parachute patterns. The size 14 Copper Haze has been good.
When the clouds and funky weather are around the dropper pheasant tail, and October caddis pupae , as well as the PINK worm have been day savers.
Some BIG migratory fish in the lower river right now.
Fly shop open daily for all of your Fall angling needs.
We have some great sales on waders, boots ,and a few sale Winston Rods left on the rack.
Late Fall hours are Monday through Sat 10 to 5.
Happy Late Fall, and good luck to all you rifle hunters. Big game rifle season opens in a week.
We survived our September Cold blast.
The media hype was ....well in our area all hype. Our friends east of the Continental Divide got crushed. Up to 4 FT in certain areas.
The sun is out, and cool clear Fall mornings await you on the Flathead River System.
The Flathead loves the SUN this time of year.
If you go....dont go early. If you do go early do some nymphing . PINK WORM, AND A SIZE 14 PHEASANT TAIL NYMPH WILL PRODUCE !!!!
When the sun gets high in the Fall sky BIG DRIES will bring some big fish to the surface. I like BLACK this time of year. Dont forget about the October caddis as well. Saw some size 14 Mahogany Duns out on Friday as well.
Its a great time of year to be on the water. Beautiful Fall colors. Wildlife abounds in the river bottom this time of year. Eagles, Ducks ,Geese , Elk, Deer, and the occasional Black bear have been seen as of late.
Come see us a Lakestream Fly Shop on your way to the River. We can help you find Fall fishing success. We got the BUGS, and gear you need for Fall fishing all over the State.
Some GREAT FALL DEALS in the shop.
Great time of year to wheel and deal with me on the gear you need . Selct waders and boots up to 30% OFF. Some steals on the Winston B3X as well. Get in here before the goods get picked through.
We love Fall here at Lakestream Fly shop.
Come see us .
Open 9 to 5 , 7 days a week.
Fall is a great time for some screaming deals in the shop.
The Flathead River has been making its Fall turn.
Tips for this week , and BUGS you should be thinking about.....
DONT GO EARLY ....FISH THE HEAT OF THE DAY !!
The Flathead loves the sun, and does not like COLD mornings.
Fish some BIG Terrestrials out in the middle of the river.
Dont be afraid of the WORM dropper on tough weather days.
Get out there.
It will be WInter before we know it.
By now you probably have come to the conclusion that I "jump the gun" on a lot of things weather related..... Ok I can live with that, But it is now officially September ! I see another week of our August temps and then a slow decline into cooler weather. And yes, I am as excited as you think. This is also a great time to be thinking about a new Fall rod or rod and reel set up. And we have them ! Whether your looking for a new streamer cannon or that perfect new dry rod for slinging late season junk, we have great deals right now on all your favorite brands : Winston, Sage, Scott etc..... here are a few in the spotlight looking for a good home:
THE SAGE X : This is an absolute power house of a rod, perfect for the streamer junky looking to throw the largest articulated creations available, but with enough finesse and accuracy to be a serious weapon in the quiver of any devout DOD purist.
I have always referred to the Winston Nimbus as "A boron series rod without the Boron." Its extremely responsive tip and light feel in the hand makes it a very popular rod for dry fly applications and the skinniest of tippet. But do not be fooled by its seemingly gentle and docile feel, There is plenty of "junk in the trunk" This rod beautifully balances power and delicate presentation, perfect for both sides of the spectrum.
And last but not even close to least , The Radian is a tried and true favorite of all that use it. "put the feel back in fast" was its slogan upon release and it does just that. This an absolute howitzer of a rod that throws tractor beams with pinpoint accuracy. A true fast action blank that is as sensitive as it is powerful !
If you are looking for a great deal on a truly kick ass rod look no further ! we have great stock of some great products that will take care of you for years to come. Stop in and let us work with you ! Fall is closing in be prepared !
So our summer rolls on, as steadily as our beloved rivers. And"Rolling" does not seem to adequately describe the rate of speed in which it has come and will all too soon reach an end. And call me crazy but I can smell a little bit of that "End" mixed in with our late summer air every time I go outside. Now, We've all been children and know the feeling of counting down the final days of our cherished summer break. But with the end of one comes New possibilities and new beginnings for another. With that said...... No, we are not done with our "Summer Flow" just yet, So for you lovers of the heat, the sun, and quick jumps into the river off the side of your boat, fear not ! We have plenty of that left. And plenty of long evenings throwing large insects to sipping fish. Ahhhhh finally, so what does all this mean in fishing terms ? It is no secret that to any angler that August is one of our tougher months. Tougher however, does not mean totally unproductive. We are all now casting to a lot of fish that have seen a lot of bugs and a lot of boats. But there still is some great fishing to be had. On my most recent float I found that, Just like in our colder months, That being very selective with your water yielded far better results. ......DEEP...... is the key word, The guts of the runs, right down the middle. don't be enticed by the shallow riffles and a few small noses coming up. Aim for the deep and feed em the junk food. Flies????? The purple ant was a big winner for me and has been in the past. Purple, red, black, whatever your preference you cant go wrong. I usually pair this with a larger terrestrial, or any kind of big foam "profile" type bug. The Swisher"s PMX is one of my fav's, A few fish were taken on this one, But the amount of those that moved from the depths to examine it is even more impressive.........and they were not small. They are out there folks. Pick and choose your water and get after it ! The leaves will change, the air will get crisp and we'll stick em all the way there !
Stop in anytime if we can answer any questions or help outfit your next river excursion. Or if you want to take all the guess work out of it let us take you fishing ! our guides have been on the river all season and would love to show you a great day on the river !
Hoppers, Ants, Beatles......Terrestrials getting it done.
What a great time of year to catch some BIG TROUT on BIG DRY FLIES.
Its like fishing streamers. Throw em a T Bone. Not a tid bit.
Good to great fishing some days.....Not so good on others. It is August . So goes the month.
Fall is knocking, but not to hard yet.
How are we already looking at the back end of August? Seems like it was June just last week. Things have been good here on our local waters with the full moon behind us and September on the horizon. All of our local rivers including the Flathead System, and the Clark Fork have been quite productive in the terrestrial game. We love those cooler temps in August, which we have been fortunate enough to have this year. It keeps things fresh around these parts. NO SMOKE! If you find yourself on the river in the near future, no not hesitate to throw any sort of little beetle, hopper, ant, etc. You will likely not be disappointed. Need to refresh your supply of some of those little sneaker bugs? Chances are we've got them. Just stop by and we'll give you the low down.
Waning July Waxing AUGUST…… Maybe a not so angry August. Excellent cool weather and plenty of rain throughout July has our rivers running cool , and still fishing AOK.
Guides out daily on the Flathead, Clark Fork, and Blackfoot. Good to great reports most days. The main Stem of the Flathead has been a bit tougher on the HOT days.
Terrestrials happening now, this will only intensify throughout the month of August. We love hoppers, beetles , and ants. Trout love em too.
Lakestream‘s bins are full of Terrestrials . The best bugs in the Flathead.
Shop is busy, and open daily from 7:30 till 5, or later.
Come see our SHOP PROs. They will push you in the right direction to catch more fish this August
Come see us for a new FLY ROD For your August quiver. A good soft 6 WT for throwing BIG drys in the wind is the answer. Shop favorites ….Winston Air, Scott Radian, Sage X, Orvis H3, or my personal new favorite … THe NEW SAGE LL.
PRAY FOR RAIN.