The chill mornings and early sunsets of
September signal the beginning of fall. Because of the cooler
conditions in the high country at this time of year, much
of the insect activity is focused during the middle of the
day. Small mayflies and some caddis can hatch on the Firehole,
Madiso, Henry's Fork and many of our smaller streams. In most
cases, these hatches will be short, lasting for an hour or
two. Mayfly and caddis imitations work best in small sizes.
Little Black Caddis and Blue Wing Olive, sizes 16 and 18 and even
20, are the primary flies for dry fly fishing in the fall. Using
large dry flies such as the Royal Wulff, Goofus Bug, and
Jacklin Hopper will produce exciting action when fished over
the fast, shallow riffles on most of our waters at this time
of year. Trout of all sizes will hold and feed in these fast,
oxygenated portions of the streams. Look for fast, shallow
riffles and fish upstream with your large dry flies, covering
as much water as you can.
The "Gulper" fishing on Hebgen Lake is still
productive. Hatches of small Trico Mayflies occur during the
morning hours when the sun warms the water. Late morning and
into mid-day can see a good hatch of Callibates mayflies on
Hebgen. Our new Callibates "Para Spin", sizes 14 and 16, will
bring these big rainbows and browns to the surface.
The Upper Yellowstone River may still yield some
Black Spotted Cutthroats. Using small Blue Wing Olives, sizes 16,
18, and 20, will tempt this now cagey trout. This time of year
a hatch of large may flies could occur, if so, you're in for a
treat. Have some Adams and Gray Wulff patters, size 14, just
in case. These trout will feed heavily and accept your offering
About the middle of September the brown trout
in Hebgen Lake will have started their annual spawning run.
Fishermen from all over the country long for an opportunity to
fish for these migrating spawners. The average size spawner
is from two to three pounds with an occasional 4 - to 5 - pound
fish. I prefer to fish with a Cortland Intermediate line.
I cast downstream and across, with a medium to fast retrieve.
The Platte River, Light Spruce, and the Mickey Finn streamers
are my favorites, sizes 4 and 6. My little South Branch Chub
streamer, size 8, or the Soft Hackle flies, sizes 12 and 14,
will also work well in the early fall.~ Bob Jacklin