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Dog Days of Summer Bitterroot Fishing Report

It's been a long time since the last report. Too busy on the water to do much writing, not a bad problem to have. It's no secret that the fishing is getting a little tougher, it's August after-all. Never fear however, the fish are still eating the dry fly daily on the 'Root. No need for bobbers just yet, however that parachute mayfly that you threw all July may not get it done this time of year. The fish are getting more wary and perfect drifts with the "right" fly matter more than ever. Don't hesitate to chance up your attractors and terrestrials until you find what they want. Time to lengthen those leaders and size down that tippet a notch. Getting the fly to the fish first is a plus and first casts matter. Here's the skinny as to what to expect riverwide.


These fish have been hammered all summer. Consider giving them a break for awhile, but if you must, fish a single barbless dry. That's it. The Wfork fish need a fighting chance anyway. This is just my opinion of course, but catch a few and you'll see firsthand how banged up most of these cutts are this time of year. That being said it's fishing well. The spuce moths are all but done but the fish still remember them and will eat a well placed spruce pattern. Ants, beetles and small hoppers are playing well in the afternoon. Don't be afraid to mix it up until you find the flavor of the day. They will eat the dry!

Upper Main

Same story as the fork minus the moths. In the mornings you could also find trico sipping fish in the right runs. A few errant PMD's and PED's are out also. Spinners and cripples in the morning are always a good play. Terrestrials in the PM. Try a streamer to, you just might like it!

Mid-Lower Main

Again, same story but with more Tricos. It's hoot owl below Tucker which is fine because after 2pm it can get a little slow anyway. Tricos have been thick on certain days down here and the fish are on them. If you put in the work to earn these difficult fish it can be incredibly rewarding. There's something special about landing a 20" inch fish on a size 20 fly. It can be done and now's the time. It's not easy mind you... Bring your "A" game and the 5.5-6x tippet.

Get out there folks. The cooler temps and rain have helped out the fishing substantially and dropped the water temps accordingly. This will help give us a potentially solid August of fishing. Hecuba's and mahoganies will be here soon. Can't wait. Fall's only a month away!

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