In the Madison Valley, weather patterns are reciprocal by nature. And such was the case for this particular stretch of September. In typical fall fashion, we started the weekend off with cold, windy and wet weather. The streamer bite was on for most boaters throwing Sheilas, Mini-loops and Zonkers with a 16 or 18 dropper. Calmer afternoons yielded some better midge hatches and emergers and nymphs did well. As always, the worm fished well for those willing to use it. The dry fly bite was marginal at best by most accounts. Saturday the 5th we had heavy winds and hail in town. Dan was demonstrating how to tie and fish his Delektable Chubbyness patterns at the Ennis Fly Fishing Festival. Despite the unseasonal weather, the turnout was great. We still don’t know who won the boat though! I feel like it was me, and perhaps they dialed the wrong number?
Any who. Sunday into Monday was the turnaround in terms of weather. As the week progressed, the weather got warmer. It was sort of chilly each morning, but spectacular by the afternoon. The 12th was downright hot. It was the kind of weather that reminds you why you vacation or live in Montana during the summer. The fishing stayed good, but the fish backed off the sculpin patterns a bit. Small nymphs were the ticket with soft hackles, Princes, Bird’s Nests, Delektable PT Spankers, Worms, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Zebra Midges, small Zonkers, Bloody Mary’s and anything else that was small and red. A few guides were successful with various hoppers, flying ants, crippled Royal Wulffs, and Chubbies.
But, looking outside as I write this, things are changing again. Barometric pressure is dropping, there are a few clouds and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get too warm today. The point of all my weather talk is that we seem to be fully into fall weather variations, and as fly fishermen, you have to be willing to adapt. With cool, wet weather expected this week I recommend dusting off your fall fishing gear. Waders, jackets, gloves, streamers and Glo-Bugs are all fair game. If you look outside this week and the weather looks bad, grab your rod and hit the river. This is the time to catch the fish of a lifetime. See you out there!