We’re now in the midst of summer and it’s a great time to be outside for most of the country.  Here in Montana its been a great summer so far.  Even though it’s not technically summer we think of June as summer anyways.  That’s when we start getting back out on the water in full force.  It’s a time for salmonflies, early mornings, brown trout, big dries, streamer eats, laughs, roadtrips, sunscreen and lots of great scenery.  This year we got to explore some new water in Southwest Montana and it didn’t fail to impress.  Did we mention summer fishing is tight!?

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June is all about stoneflies!

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Maddie with an early morning brown trout caught on a salmonfly.

The salmonfly hatch is one that is no secret here in Montana.  It happens in most of the Western half of the state but at different times.  Trying to chase the hatch and learn what makes the bugs hatch and what makes the fish eat is something that you could spend a lifetime learning.  Whether you know what your doing or not it’s damn fun to watch a fish rise to a bug the size of your pinky!

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The days menu.

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Early morning on the Madison. Sometimes it pays to be out early and other times it doesn’t.

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Travis striking gold on one of the first few days where the fish were looking up.

Once you’ve started throwing the salmonfly around it’s sure hard to put anything else on the end of your line.  Jumping from river to river though means you might be ahead or behind the hatch.  Sometimes you’re early or the fish are just too full to look up that day and things slow down considerably.  When you’ve had enough you tie on a streamer and see what happens, it usually works out to your advantage.

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Who says you can’t fish streamers mid-day under the sun?

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Back to running banks with the salmonfly

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Don’t expect to have the rivers to yourself this time of year. Still plenty of fish and fun times to be had!

With summer comes our love for the smaller water tucked away in the backcountry of Montana.  It’s where we first developed our love for fly fishing and it seems we always carve out a little time to get back and throw dries to hungry trout.  The scenery isn’t bad either.

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A little work is necessary to navigate some of these waters.

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Enjoying the appetite of these native fish and the great places they live!

Even though we had a pretty solid winter, it seems our snowpack has burned off quickly.  Rivers are getting low and Hoot Owl is out on quite a few rivers now.  We generally shift our mindset over to hunting and scouting this time of year, but if you do get to spend some time on the rivers be sure to remember the fish are already worn down with the warming water and low flows.  Be looking for a new film to be dropping here next week!! Also, thanks to all who read and support our content. As a small thank you we will be offering free USA shipping to you through the remainder of July. Just use coupon code: FREESUMMER at checkout!

-Written by Zack Boughton