Fall rolled in with well, Fall like weather, flows, and fishing! The flow out of Palisades Dam dropped to 4,000 cfs this week. With this flow there are a few things to keep in mind.
- If you’re floating plan on a shorter float than you’d typically tackle in the summer. For example, if you’re floating Conant to Cottonwood you’ll really have to keep moving through the day to make it out before dark.
- Fish tend to “pod up” in these flows, especially when the B.W.O’s hatch in the afternoon you may come across pods of dozens of fish feeding and then few fish until you locate the next pod. Focus on riffles with big pools below them as well as foam lines. Those bushy banks you’ve been hammering all summer may not hold fish like they used to.
- This flow opens up GREAT wade fishing opportunities for anglers with or without a boat. If you’ve been avoiding the South Fork all summer because you don’t have a boat and the wading is intimidating now is the time to get out there.
Some crazy weather is headed this way for the weekend, which will mean B.W.O and streamer fishing will be good to excellent but it’s going to be nasty to be an angler. Chris Bruin from the Weather Channel said “Likely “HISTORIC SNOWSTORM” to impact much of Montana and parts of Idaho and Wyoming this weekend. And this ain’t your typical September dusting!” YIKES right?
It appears the storm won’t roll in until Saturday so if you’re on the river tomorrow you’ll have nicer weather but slower fishing.
Let’s talk about weekend strategies. Since the B.W.O’s don’t hatch until the afternoon streamers and nymphs are the go to’s in the morning. As a guide, I always liked to have my angler in the front of the boat fishing two B.W.O nymph imitations (Olive Tungsten thread midge trailed with a soft hackle or B.W.O. emerger) and then the angler in the back fishing a streamer. This a great way to cover the water until the hatches start. Once the hatch starts go hunting for those pods of fish. When you fished out your first pod, keep moving until you find the next one.
Have a great weekend out there! Don’t forget our fly shop and lodge are open daily for your fishing needs or dining reservations. 208.483.2222