It’s mid-August. The sun is high, the days are long, and the land-dwelling insects are at the peak of their short-lived summer lives.
Hoppers, Ants, Beetles, and Crickets. They’re all an essential part of Mr. Trout’s diet.
Fly fishing during August can be difficult at times. In that bright sun, fish can be tough to come by at times. There are periods during the day however, when the fish are actively feeding, and a well presented Ant pattern fits nicely on their lunch menu.
The Upper Madison River is a top notch fishery for Terrestrials. As with the Yellowstone, Gallatin, and many other local rivers and streams.
Flying Ants are starting to show up more and more each day on the Upper Madison River, meaning the trout are starting to look for them. When headed up to the upper stretches of the river, $3 Bridge area, don’t leave home without a nice selection of both black and cinnamon colored ant patterns. We have quite a few, which you can see above, so swing by and stock up. An ant pattern is often the ticket when trying to fool a picky trout. Another great combo is to fish a Hopper with an Ant Pattern trailing off the back. You can also fish a sunken ant (ant pattern with no float treatment) off the back of your hopper.
Beetles are a standard Summer pattern. Another fly that you should always keep a few of in your dry fly box. There aren’t many trout that can pass up a well presented beetle fly. These crunchy treats are simply irresistible for many fish in our area, and a favorite among the Upper Madison River Rainbow population.
Hopper fishing is really picking up in the area. Most of the fields have been cut down now, so the action is getting hotter and hotter. Concentrate your efforts on Gallatin River, Yellowstone River, and Upper Madison River near Ennis. Other local rivers such as the Stillwater, Boulder, and Ruby offer excellent Hopper fishing.
Here are a couple tips for Terrestrial fishing in August:
WORK THE BANKS:
This is key when terrestrial fishing. Not to say you can’t pick up fish in the middle, because you certainly can, however most of your action will be concentrated towards the banks of the river. When you think about it, the naturals are almost always falling off the rocks and sticks and trees guarding the edges of the river. The fish know it’s happening, so they move in a little closer to the banks, ready to pick off anything that drops in.
TWITCH, BUT TWITCH CORRECTLY:
There is a right way to twitch and add action to a dry fly. There is also a wrong way. We see the wrong way a lot. Think “struggle.” The bug is not just playing and swimming around in the water. It is trying to escape. Fluttering, skittering, popping, flailing. Those are what get the trout’s attention. A couple quick twitches, to simulate a struggling bug, then a complete dead drift is my favorite way to fish Hoppers.
DON’T FORGET THE ATTRACTORS:
When in doubt, bust out the attractors. Humpies, Trudes, Wulffs, PMXs. A “Royal” fly makes for a great Ant pattern, Humpies are beetle-ish, and the mighty PMX is an excellent Hopper pattern.
Terrestrial fishing can be one of the funnest fishing opportunities of the season! Aggressive takes, big fish, and a lot of visual satisfaction. It’s a limited season, so be sure to take advantage of it while you can!
We’ve got a lot of great patterns to cover all the Terrestrial fishing! We’ve got hoppers, ants, beetles, crickets, and many other patterns that are crossovers. If you’re looking for up-to-date fishing reports from local rivers such as the Yellowstone, Madison, and Gallatin, check out our Online Fishing Reports.
Stop by either shop and say hi! We’re on Summer Hours still, 7:30-ish AM – 6:00 PM, Monday-Sunday. We’ve got you taken care of for all your fly, gear, and advice needs. If you’re an online shopper, check out our Online Fly Shop. We have all the best gear from Simms, Winston Fly Rods, Sage Fly Rods, and Fishpond. FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS OVER $50.00.
August is a great time to escape the heat of your Hometown and plan a Montana Vacation! We have Guide Trip openings for the rest of the month and beyond, so give us a call and we’ll get you well on your way to catching some wild Montana trout.