Fall Fly Fishing Montana

by | Aug 30, 2013 | Fishing Reports, Tips | 0 comments

Bead head Zebra Midge trout nymph

A Fall Fly Fishing Montana and why it’s the time to be here!

For some fishermen, fair weather is a must and they plan their trips based on temperature and the ability to wet wade and wear sandals.

And although I do like wet wading rather than wearing waders, I think most serious anglers agree and most Montanans prefer the Fall to fulfill their piscatorial pursuits.

What to expect and why ‘Fall’ is the time to be here!

  • Less pressure- The fair weather fishers and tourists head for warmer climates making for fewer anglers on the river.
  • Big Fish – Aggressive pre-spawn browns stage in preparation for their annual Fall spawning time. If you’re into chasing some big ones with streamers, this is the time to do it!
  • Scenery – The same cool temperatures that trigger the brown trout to get ready to spawn, bring beautiful colors from the alders, willows and many cottonwoods along the rivers.

As this summer’s low water conditions have forced closures on some of our local rivers, we look forward to cooler water temperatures on the Jefferson and Madison allowing MT FWP to reopen the closed sections on the Big Hole and  Rivers.

In the meantime, the Madison remains the best option for float fishing and since it’s fishing great, I expect to be spending quite a bit of time there this fall.

  • Fall Fly Fishing Montana for me spells streamer time and the streamer game is really on, we’re catching fish on natural or olive rabbit sculpin or baitfish patterns in sizes #6-4 and larger if your arm can throw it. Dead drift, tight line or grip and strip.
  • Nymphing a two fly rig with a sizes #8-10 stonefly pattern in black or olive along with a small beadhead Pheasant tail or Prince tied off a 15″ dropper will consistently catch fish.
  • Dry flies – Last hatches of the season still some caddis late am and Beatis in the afternoons look for risers along foam lines and in riffles. The best option is a hopper if the day is warm enough. I like a size #10-12 tan or yellow foam body.

Plan for the worst of weather but hope for the best. A Most of the time early Fall / later Summer fishing weather conditions are mild but the possibility of foul weather is moderate to high, so bring your woolies and some rain gear as well as waders.

I also recommend a 6 weight rod or a stout 5 weight for late Summer / early Fall fishing in Montana.

Weather can change quickly and wind is always a possibility.

For more information on our Fall Montana Fly Fishing specials with Ruby Valley Lodge, please visit our Montana Fly Fishing Packages Page.


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