Lakes Report - July 11, 2024

Lakes Report - July 11, 2024
The cooler weather trend broke last weekend and this patch of warm/hot, stable weather is kicking the lakes into summertime high gear.  This should put the final nail in the coffin of the relatively "simple" stillwater angling that is defined primarily by the trout focusing on chironomids and leeches.  
If there is a stillwater food source, you can pretty much bet that it will be available to the trout right now.  Chironomids persist in a range of sizes.  Callibaetis are poppin, requiring nymph, emerger, dun, and spinner patterns.  Caddis in all sizes and shapes are on the move.  Trico spinners were molting on my truck the other day as we took in the sunset over Hebgen.  The glorious Odonates, the damsels and dragons, are swimming, hatching, and buzzing all around and often finding themselves in the path of hungry trout.  Leeches remain relevant and creepy as always.  Even tadpoles are on the menu!
With all the food, you might think that this would be an easy game, but that's not the case.  I believe that the trout know that the next hatch or easy meal is right around the corner, making them lazy and happy to wait around for the easy picking.  When it happens, they respond and feed hard.  Sad is the angler who is not quick to react and prepared with the right flies and presentation tactics.  Add in the high sun and heat of midday, which often sends the trout deep, and you will see that the summer lake game is one of both patience and skill.  It's fantastic.
Go early. Stay late. Pack a cooler and hang out when things are dead.  And especially keep moving if you feel like conditions are prime but the bugs and fish aren't showing.  The weed bed in that next cove might be the one that makes your day or week.

Big Sky Country

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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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