Just when you think you can’t take another day of the heat, smoke and low water – Montana and mother nature deliver. We are expecting a winter storm this afternoon, which should deliver some snow to the high country, some water to the rivers and a much needed reprieve from the heat. Such is life in the Rocky Mountains, and more so life as an outfitter.

This should mix up the fishing accordingly. The Trico’s will be gone, only the toughest hoppers will survive and the fall streamer game will start to ramp up. I would expect we are still a few days from the Lower Big Hole opening – but you never know. The Jefferson has remained open throughout the season and fished remarkably well. The Madison & Ennis Lake complex has been steady fishing throughout the season and should only get better as the diets of the bigger fish switch from microscopic insects to Sculpins.

With any luck at all – the final couple months of this season will be as great as the first 5.  We have had visitors from South Africa, all over the Continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and London. One of my favorite things about this industry is the eclectic group of folks we get to spend time on the water with, drink cocktails and share campfires with. Sure, the fishing is what brings us all together – but more often than not it’s the gettin’ there that folks remember. I know I do.

Every now and then you get to spend time on the water with someone that seems to really deserve what Montana can truly deliver. I had one of those days recently with one of those people that fought cancer, and won. You talk about someone that can appreciate a good hopper take.


That sort of thing is good for the soul. And that’s what flyfishing is about. It’s all the other things besides the fish actually eating the fly. Start paying attention to all of those – because good things will come to those that do.

Thanks for reading –

Dan “Rooster” Leavens