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October 1, 2020 Bitterroot River Update

Fishing has been consistant on the Root lately. Some days when the cloud cover is lacking you will need to go with a long dropper under a hopper. Hares ears and pheasant tails are the standby but we like to fish a nymph with a hot spot. It seems to trigger a responnse from fish even if the bug doesn’t necessarily represent a real bug.


Mahoganies and Hecubas are out and so are the Blue Winged Olives. A Brindle Chute is always my first may fly to try then I work my way through the hazes and quiggly cripples until I find the bug the fish want. Sizes 10,12, 14, and 16 will work. I like to start with the bigger flies and work my way down to the smaller sizes. When there are a lot of naturals on the water I try a size above or below the size of the naturals to make it stand out a bit. This might get a reluctant trouts attention.


Nymph Fishing under an indicator will get you buy when the dries don’t show up. Use a heavier nymph on the bottom like a Pat’s Stone Fly nymph and 18 inches above that tie a blood knot and leave one of the tags long say 6-8 inches and tie on a small may fly nymph. Make sure you have a drag free drift and watch for the indicator to do something un-natural and set the hook. Its probably a fish. Don’t be afraid to go through a run several times adjusting your depth under the indicator. You need to find the zone that the fish are in.


The Clark Fork was producing for us last week very well. Look for the noses and get a pattern figured out as to where they are consitantly rising. This week found rainbows feeding on BWO’s and Mahogonies. Tie on a reatively long leader say 12’ of 4x-5x and feed it to them in a down stream drift. We also found that these rainbows were suckers for swung soft hackles in sizes #12,14,16. October Caddis’s were seen fluttering around and so it’s a good idea to have some of these on hand as well.


Come see us at Total Outfitters and we can set you up for some fantastic Fall fishing in Western Montana!

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