Chasing Trout on the Fly Late in the Season.
Fly fishing late in the season finds the rivers empty of other fishermen, the trout hungry and the waters running cold again after a hot dry summer. I reached out to a few of my now friends on Adventures Domain and organized a late fall fly fishing trip over to the Kootenai River Valley and the area’s tributaries. This late in the year the temperatures are comfortable fall temperatures one day and the next water is freezing in beads on your fly line as you cast. John, Rick and I decided on meeting in Troy Montana at a nice little local coffee shop called Main Street Perk where the coffee, in my opinion, was better than Starbucks and food was too. We all contemplated camping in the nearby national forests where you could camp for free and enjoy the nightly campfires, fire season was weeks in the past and the forests had seen more than enough rainfall to remove the risk. That all being said the three of us considered five nights in woods with night temperatures starting to drop into the
The little bed and breakfast didn’t have a fireplace but what it missed in a cozy place to put your feet up after a day of fishing it made up with incredible views of the Kootenai River and incredible food for breakfast. The rooms are pretty nice too if you can reserve the one with the balcony I highly recommend it, the views as the sun is coming up are stunning.
The next morning, the frost was on the trees and you could see your breath in the air, but the sky was fairly clear and the rivers should be running fairly clear at this point. After an early breakfast, we headed west on US-2 until we took a right on to 508 and followed it up the Yaak River Valley for about 20 miles enjoying the beautiful scenery and views of this pristine river. One thing you should consider when accessing the river is that there is a lot of private property and owners in Montana who can be fairly friendly if you ask to cross their property to reach the river before doing it. I really advise asking first, they take their property rights seriously out there and when the local bars have signs at the doors requesting you check your gun at the bar, well you get the drift. That being said there are National Forest Parks and land all along both the Yaak and Kootenai Rivers so as you look for access and it shouldn’t be hard to find an easy place to park and fish. By this time of the year, the locals are more interested in hunting and the tourists are gone for the season, so the fishing pressure has dropped off and
Driving back into Troy to look for a meal we found a local joint called The Silver Spur, unfortunately, there aren’t too many places in Troy to grab dinner and the food was ok, nothing I’d write home about or for that matter recommend. Turns out if you want a better meal you are better off driving another 20 plus miles East along US-2 to Libby and finding a place
The next few days were close repeats of the first day on the river, but as the sun dropped behind the mountains and the last day came to the end, we all headed South on 508 to take a right on US-2, two of us to Spokane and another to Seattle, heading back to our families and work on that following Monday morning. Northwestern Montana this time of year has the changing of the leaves, hungry trout and a zen-like peace while fishing it’s rivers and streams, on a side note pay attention to the hunting seasons if you decide to head that way, you may need to include some hunters orange in your fishing, camping or hiking wardrobe, nobody wants to be mistaken for a deer this time of year.