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Spawning Montana Trout in the Fall

Spawning Montana Trout

Spawning Montana Trout

It is getting to be that time of year in Montana. The elk are bugling. All kinds of trucks with ATVs driving by you with coolers but my most favorite time of the year is the last couple of weeks in October and the first week in November. It means spawning Montana trout and specifically large Brown trout coming out of lakes and reservoirs and coming up into rivers, streams and creeks to spawn. It also means that the Rainbow trout are following them and feeding on the Brown Trout eggs.

There is not another time of the year that catching numerous big trout in a short timeframe can be done. They have their minds on other things and they can be very concentrated in certain holes. The fly selection always starts with an egg pattern and they are not near as picky as other times of the year. It is not uncommon on a good day to catch 40 trout that exceed 18 inches and a few can hit 24 inches. They are wild, colorful and make spectacular runs that can go a couple of hundred yards. Key is to find a place where they are coming out of a lake or reservoir. There are several public places where that happens and a bunch on private places. You have to get access to the private places and that can be challenging to impossible. It helps to have contacts with real estate agents for introductions. You want someone that sells Montana land for sale that has creeks, streams or river frontage.

These trout will come out of lakes or reservoirs or large rivers  and come into streams or creeks to lay their eggs. I have seen 20 inch trout in creeks no wider than 3-4 feet across. You catch one fish and then have to go find the next pool with trout congregating. Site fishing is some of the funnest fly fishing you will have when you get to see the trout take the fly. You set the hook and hold on.

There are two times of year that spawning happens for trout. In the fall it is the Browns with the Rainbows following to eat eggs and in the spring it does a 180 and the Rainbow spawn and the brown trout follow to eat eggs. Spawning Montana trout give you one of the last few chances in the lower 48 to catch a number of big trout in a few days. Beauty is once you figure out a place you don’t need a guide since the fishing is not very technical and you can come back every year around the same time to do it again because it is a repeatable event.

I won’t tell you the absolute places to go for spawning Montana trout but I would suggest looking at some of the bigger reservoirs that have rivers or creeks above the lake that spawning Montana trout can swim up to lay eggs. You can also read the Field Guide from MT.Gov. Fly shops can also help you in giving you general areas for spawning Montana trout. They won’t tell you exact places unless they are taking you there but many times you can fish once with them and then do your own thing. Just be respectful and don’t go in the exact same holes. Remember the spawning Montana trout are helping many of these guys make a living and they are near the end of their season.

Also, keep in mind that certain public areas will close at the end of October or first week in November so from a timing issue and regulations issue you need to keep that in mind. This time of the year is unpredictable but can also be the most beautiful time of the year. The trout colors aren’t so bad either.

If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy our article on different flies in fly fishing.

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The Different Types of Flies for Fly Fishing

The Different Types of Flies for Fly Fishing

If you head into any store that sells bait and tackle there will be a ton of different flies meant for fly fishing.  It can be a little intimidating for a beginner to figure out which flies are which and where you should be using them.  In fly fishing the right fly can make all the difference in whether you bring home dinner or just spend an afternoon casting out.  To help you reel in the big one, let’s have a look at the different types of flies and where you should be using them.

Wet Fishing Flies

Flies are essentially meant to look like insects in their natural environment.  Fish like bass or trout will bite at your flies thinking that they are aquatic insects, larvae, drowned surface insects or larvae that is swimming to the surface in order to hatch.  Wet flies are use not just to resemble the insects but to have the same type of motion as an insect in the water.  As you become more experienced in fly fishing your technique for emulating an insect will improve.  That is why most beginners start out with dry flies.  Here is some help improving your wet fly fishing technique.

Dry Fly Fishing

Unlike wet fly fishing these flies aren’t meant to go underwater.  Rather they are meant to float along the surface of the water and resemble insects.  That doesn’t mean that all flies resemble insects some are meant to look like mice, frogs or snakes.  In order for the flies to stay on the water you may need to use an oil like Gink or something very similar.  Smaller flies will rely on the surface tension of the water in order to look like they are floating.

Nymph Flies

A nymph fly is a wet fly and it is meant to resemble an insect living under the water. It is meant to look like insect larvae and if you are planning on trying out nymphs then you may have to add some weight to your line so that it stays underwater.

Streamer Flies

This type of fly doesn’t look anything like an insect at all but instead they look like an injured fish making them good prey for bigger fish.

Choosing the right type of fly will vary greatly on when and where you go fishing.  If you are new to fly fishing then a guide can help you with the right flies for the area, you may want a tackle box full of all of them…just in case.

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The Basics of Fly Fishing

The Basics of Fly Fishing

Before you head to the nearest sporting goods store to load up on fly fishing gear, you should have a firm grasp on the basics.  Even the most experienced fishermen in the world have had trouble going from spin casting to fishing with flies.  Fly fishing offers up a great fishing experience but it comes with a whole new set of challenges.  Forget what you know about spin casting and learn a whole new method of reeling in the big one.  Here are the basics of fly fishing.

Getting Started

If you have never fished before then there are some advantages to being a beginner, you have no bad habits to unlearn.  But before buying gear there are some basics you should know that will affect what you buy.  No matter how much or how little fishing experience you have fly fishing is different, it has a completely different technique.  You cast the line instead of the lure and this makes for a whole different fishing technique.

The Gear

If you already have a spinning rod then the first thing that you’re going to notice is how rods for fly fishing are a bit longer and more flexible.  The rods do come in different lengths and as a beginner you probably want to start with a medium weight rod along with the same weight line and fly reel.  If you go to a store that has a specialized section for fishing they probably have a package put together just for beginners that will get you started.  If not, then the bare minimum that you’re going to want to get is a rod, reel, leader and line.

The Flies

When it comes to fly fishing you have two basic types of flies, wet and dry flies.  The dry flies float on the surface of the water and they lure the fish to the surface to eat the fly.  Wet flies differ in that they are meant to attract fish that hang around the bottom of the lake or stream looking for food.  When you are first trying fly fishing you should start with dry flies.  Dry flies give you the chance to see when the fish is biting and reel them in.

Trying in Out

If you are not sure if you will like or get the hang of fly fishing then why not test it out first.  If you can find a friend or even local guide who can give you a lesson and that will provide the gear for you to try it out.  You can get the hang of learning how to cast and finding the right flies for what you are trying to catch.  Bear in mind that fly fishing is as much art as it is science and you may not reel in the big one your first time out.  The fact that it can be challenging is why most anglers love it.

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