Change is coming
If you are like most folks this past month (or two!) then the hot dry summer, hoot-owls, smoke, and fires have got you feeling the dog day blues.
With cooling trends and fall on the horizon there is some positive news ahead for anglers looking to get out after a summer of despair.
Montana - Recent cooler weather and substantial amounts of rain across Montana however have changed the tune on almost every fishery in Big Sky Country. Hoot-owl restrictions have been lifted on most trout rivers with just a few fisheries left under restrictions.
For Spokane and Coeur d'Alene area residents that means the nearby Clark Fork, St. Regis, Missoula area, and Missourri Rivers are back to being an option for weekend getaways. With low steelhead numbers this year a multi-day Montana Road trip is in order!
Spokane - While the Spokane River is at it's summer low levels, the river has been cold and fishing well for August. It appears the cooler weather is here to stay already and as we move into September we should have a great fall season.
Our guides have said all summer that the river has been consistent for them. As long as the smoke doesn't become an issue it is a great local option.
Idaho - The North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River Road is back open and the fire is approximately 50% contained. No reports on the fishing, and in all honesty I would not put this high on my list with active fires in the area. The river did see a little bump in flows from rain but it's still the least favorite of our options.
St. Joe River - the lower St. Joe is fishing pretty well with usual late summer fair... ants, small hoppers and chernobyls, droppers under foam bugs and small parachutes. You still can't fish above Avery due to fires that are 45% contained, but there is enough water below to keep folks entertained. Smoke has been day-to-day and angling traffic light.
North Fork Clearwater / Kelly Creek - Always a popular summer option and while there is a slide in the lower Black Canyon you have the entire river above there to fish, or drive over 255 via Moose Creek to Kelly Creek and work your way down Kelly. Consistent fishing here, but don't expect to be alone.
Make the most of the next couple months, fall comes and goes quickly!