Fall generally starts sometime in September here in southwest Montana, some years as early as August or as late as Thanksgiving! 2011 has been a very different year for us in that the season started so late as a result of heavy spring rains and a protracted spring melt. As a result, we’ve seen some of the best late season water conditions in almost 20 years and expect these conditions to continue well past the first snows of the year.
Brown trout start to change their patterns and habits in early October as they “pair up” and move into their spawning areas. One of the highlights during this period of transition is their aggressiveness towards other fish, which translates into some ferocious streamer bites when the conditions all come together. It’s a unique experience and one that we get to see both wading and floating on just about all the waters we fish throughout the year.
In addition to the classic fall streamer fishing, October can provide great fishing on both dries and nymphs as aquatic insects regain their prominence in the diets of trout in the region. As the terrestrial insects such as hoppers, ants, and beetles become less available to feeding trout, we see a shift in trout patterns that are more centered on the various hatches that take place with the cooler water temperatures and shorter days.
Along with the great fishing during the fall, it is the lack of crowds and changing landscape around the rivers that really makes for a special time of year. Bugling elk can often be heard in the distance on a crisp October morning and the air just seems to be alive as everything starts to get ready for the long winter ahead. Active fish, uncrowded waters, and the amazing landscape surrounding it all…who could ask for more!
October really is a great time of year to be on the water in Montana, and we hope that you can make it out here in 2011 as we’re not likely to see conditions like this again for awhile.
Book 3 or more days with Fins & Feathers for October 2011 and get a reduced guide rate of $375. Purchase any of our various packages and save $225 (double occupancy) off the published rate. Make your reservations by calling the shop at 1-877-790-5303 or send us an e-mail, please mention the “October Guide Trip Special” when making your booking.