Time for your Mid July Fishing Report, brought to you by a guides day off the river and (mostly) ice cold mountain water in the form of Bitterroot IPA. Nom nom nom. Another beautiful week in the sunny, cold-watered Bitterroot valley searching for those elusive wild salmonids. Fishing is getting trickier but the savy are none the less rising to the occasion. There is a little more water flowing down the Fork' this week making all of us anglers very happy. The fish as well. Despite some rumors to the contrary the middle river all the way to Hamilton is still fishing quite well. Hoppers, ants, beetles, and the ubiquitous quigly are the ammo of choice. Avoid the crowds and find yourself some solitude this summer : Go high up into a mountain stream or go low at first light.
This past week some of my favorite Montana visitors were in town, Patrick and John, for a few days floating the river looking for the top water bite. John & Pat have been seasonal Montanas' for longer than I have lived here and this was my eighth year getting to show them some cool fishing spots. We have been to the Big Hole, Missouri, and all over the Bitterroot together these past several seasons. These are the kind of boys that put you at ease immediately and you know you're in for a good string of days. On top of their easy-going demeanor they can really fish too, putting the fly where it needs to be and hook-setting like champs. We saw some excellent fish over this past week thanks to these two skills, making this trip one for the record books. In addition to the fish we saw a bunch of young bucks roaming the shorelines with the waxing moon, raptors of all sorts, and finally a moose this time which is the first season in awhile. As is tradition there were a few oat sodas, lots of sneaky dry flies, "streamer gun", and a hair-raising rowing moment or two. We threw down riverside grilling, checked all the sneaky willow spots on the main river, and finished off the trip with a visit to The Rock to hang some gifts in a tree way up on the West Fork. Some emotional highs and lows for sure with this trip for sure while the river keeps on flowing. All in a seasons pilgrimage to Montana, one which we will me making together same time same place next season.
Until next year gents, thanks for all the good times! Love and Regards from Montana.
" Why do I come to Montana? Because I have a whole week named after me!" John