The days of subtle dry fly sips have been replaced with crashing attacks and cartwheeling fish; hopper season is here. The summer heat is rolling through Missoula and we are getting out on the water early to take advantage of the coolest parts of the day and low light conditions. A wet spring and high water June has afforded us tall grassy banks, and our sunshine has heated up the terrestrial fishing. A well drifted hopper along an undercut bank, with the occasional well timed twitch, has been the name of the game. The dry fly eats have been tough to beat, with mature browns darting from their shady lairs to capitalize on the large meal. Fish rising on rhythm, and the minimalist style eats are soon to return, but for now we’re enjoying the no hesitation, aggressive nature of hopper eats.
We appear to be on the cusp of the arrival of the tricos as well, which will bring back the subtle eats for the early hours in the morning as the fish feed before the bright sun reaches its peak. Once tricos appear we’ll be faced with a tough choice; brown trout on streamers and hoppers on the upper Clark Fork, or mature rainbows rising on rhythm in the lower river. It’s the type of decisions we like to be faced with.
This weekend looks to be our warmest of the year, and then predictions show us hovering in the 80s with lows in the 50s. The cooler nightly low temperatures in the forecast will help cool the rivers, and we are optimistic that after this we’ll be on the other side of the summer heat!
Join us for Hopper Season
We have availability at the lodge in the heart of hopper season. Join us the week of August 15th or later in the month, August 27th – September 1st.
If you’re interested in a hotel or day trip package please reach out and we are happy to check on specific dates for you!
For rates and more information please give us a call or send us an email: 406-880-0542 info@classicjourneyoutfitters.