Big Sky Country Lakes Report - July 27, 2023

Big Sky Country Lakes Report - July 27, 2023
The chance of finding some super interesting (I didn't say easy) angling on the area lakes remains extremely high this week!  Depending on the water body, time of day, and weather conditions, you might very well encounter hatch activity or trout looking for Chironomids, Callibaetis mayflies, multiple caddis species including the large travelling variety, damsel and dragonflies, and of course, leeches.  Terrestrials are starting to happen as well, with the green fields drying out rapidly in the summer heat.  
I want to repeat a couple of things straight out of last weeks report, as our fishing this past week merely solidified these points.    First, don't be afraid to fish your favorite stillwater or a brand new stillwater right now.  Virtually everything is fishing, from the mid elevations all the way into the high alpine.  Second, show up with a plan of attack, but DO NOT marry yourself to that plan if things don't seem to be working out how you expected.  If you aren't seeing insect activity, fish activity, or both, you may be in the right place at the wrong time OR the wrong place at the right time.  Don't be afraid to MOVE until you find the bugs and the fish.  You may want to look either SHALLOWER or DEEPER than you've been fishing in the recent past.  Fourth, don't be afraid to wait out some slow periods.  The fish seem to be taking some siestas these days, but don't worry, their alarm clocks are set to coincide with the insect activity.   And lastly, be prepared to fish a variety of hatches and hatch stages as well as impressionistic and attractor patterns.  Count your successes not in the number if fish you fool, but in the puzzles you have solved and the unique mays you have fooled your quarry!
One last thing to consider if you are out on the water and not finding what you are looking for.  In the presence of summer breezes and currents that are often found in larger lakes and reservoirs, you may actually want to fish very shallow, but over very deep water.  Why?  Because when wind lanes and scum lanes form at this time of year, they are often filled with food and fish.  Keep those eyes peeled for swirls or surface oddities while you are motoring from spot to spot.  We hit the jackpot the other day when we discovered a group of ravenous rainbows mopping up the dregs right out in the middle of the lake under a thick scumline that included plenty of bugs as well as a few tumbleweeds!.

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Stillwater opportunities in our area are considered by many to be as exciting and diverse as the moving water angling!

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