Yesterday I fished hoppers on a MT trout river close to my home. I hadn't expected to have the opportunity to fish the big terrestrials, considering that it was October 7th. In fact I was pretty much resigned to nymphing deep on this bright, sunny fall day. A funny thing happened as I walked the path to the river, dozens of hoppers scattered in the grasses ahead of my feet! At the river's edge I tied on a big, yellow, Morrish hopper - a pattern that had produced nicely for me throughout August and September.
The ensuing action wasn't off the charts, and in fact most fish took the beadhead pheasant tail that was suspended below the hopper. Yet there was a window of time, perhaps two hours in length during mid-afternoon when the fish were taking the dry fly. Several small rainbows, along with a couple of nice browns, seemed to know - as I did - that hopper season was waning. They took the hopper with reckless abandon, reveling in their good fortune of an Indian Summer.
Looking out the window this morning, it is cloudy and gloomy...a baetis day, but certainly not a hopper day. Looking at the extended forecast, it appears that a frost isn't in the cards tonight and that Saturday and Sunday will again be warm and sunny. This weekend will, more likely than not, be the last opportunity to effectively fish hoppers for a while in Montana. In fact, by my count we're looking at nine, long, hopperless months...you can probably guess what will be on the end of my line this weekend.