Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Switch

It may have been a nearly perfect spring.  There was plenty of moisture to help fill reservoirs and streams and create lush habitat for wildlife.  There was localized flooding, but overall, there wasn't damaging hail or cold, damp weather to hurt nesting birds.  And the spring fishing, well, it hasn't disappointed.
While there has been a little fly fishing done on select tailwaters and spring creeks by this writer, mostly it has been warmwater adventures on some of the largest bodies of water in the state.

For those that aren't aware, Montana isn't home to just magnificent streams and chunky trout. It is also home to world-class walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass.  Reservoirs such as Canyon Ferry, Tiber, Nelson and Fort Peck have all produced numbers of quality fish of late.  Unlike lakes of the Midwest, there aren't long lines at the boat ramps or cabins ringing every inch of shoreline.  Fishing trips are more adventurous, but the reward is often solitude and fresh fish for dinner.
Now, as we pass the summer solstice, things are heating up in the trout world too. Literally and figuratively.  Mountain snow pack has mostly melted, rivers have cleared and there have been reports of phenomenal hatches on the Yellowstone, Madison and Big Hole.  The Missouri and Bighorn have both been fish factories for the past three months. The only concern I have heading into midsummer is whether or not I will have enough time to wet a line in those same legendary rivers. All I can do is try.