Last week FWP lifted the Hoot Owl restrictions on the Bitterroot, Blackfoot and Clark Fork. Shorter days and cooler nights have water temps down to safe levels for trout… Fishing is starting to shift over with the cooler temps as well.. Terrestrials such as hoppers and ants are bringing fish up but we are also beginning to see the start of the early fall hatches. Tricos are emerging in good numbers on the entire Bitterroot and the Fall Drake or Hecubas are coming off as well. Tricos are getting fish in the mornings and by mid day switch over to Hecubacs and hoppers to get it done… See ya on the river…..
Fishing has held up on the Bitterroot even with lower water conditions.. We got a big reprieve from mother nature and the last two weeks of July were cooler and wetter than average.River flows even bumped up a bit.. Cold water releases from Painted Rocks dam continue and have been increased in the last few days. These cold water releases will keep the West Fork and upper Bitterroot ( above Hamilton) in good shape through August and early September. Hoot Owl* restrictions remain in place on the Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Clark Fork and probably will until September. The West Fork has no fishing restrictions. Hatches are a bit limited with a few pmd’s in the morning hours and trico’s are starting to show a bit early.. Terrestrials are the main food source for trout right now with hoppers, ants, and spruce moths being the main ones. Remember to go barbless , play fish quickly and keep the fish in the water while releasing (skip the photos for now), this will reduce stress on the trout and help preserve our resource. See ya on the river….
*Hoot Owl restrictions limit fishing between sunrise and 2pm to reduce stress on fish when waters are warmest.