The dog days of summer are upon us and having an impact on fishing. River levels have dropped significantly and water temps are on the rise. Montana FWP has instituted Hoot Owl restrictions on the Blackfoot, Clark Fork, and lower Bitterroot from Tucker X-ing down stream to the confluence of the Clark Fork. Fishing is only permitted on these rivers from sunrise until 2pm to reduce stress on trout… The good news is there are still options for decent fishing. Water releases have begun from Painted Rocks dam that provide cold water flows on the West Fork… The upper Bitterroot is open all day but is seeing warm temps in the afternoon so I would leave that alone after 2 as well.. Terrestrials are the main attraction to bring trout to the surface, hoppers are working river wide and Spruce moths are out in good numbers on the West Fork… If you do venture up to the West Fork plan on seeing lots of people as its the only cold water around. Tricos are also showing on the main Bitterroot and can provide some great morning dry fly action… Get out, stay cool and do the rain dance….. See ya on the river…….
The Bitterroot is actually on the rise today thanks to a few days of much needed rain. Before the storm river levels were dropping and warming fast. Abundant hatches are beginning to drop off but this should help improve dry fly fishing. There are still good numbers of PMD’s on the water late morning to early afternoon. Bitterroot stones are less abundant but are still bringing up some nice fish. Lots of smaller fish are rising which is typical of this time of year. Running a dropper down about 2 feet is getting some of the bigger trout.. See ya on the river!