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What’s in my fly box: August

August 12, 2013

flies for fishing August in Montana

What’s in my flybox for the Month of August?  Hoppers, ants, spruce moths, tricos and beetles.  Normally, my fly boxes are full of mainly hoppers for August fishing in Montana.  This summer, with the low clear water conditions, fish are keying in on smaller insects like tricos and other small mayflies that are prolific during the early morning hours.  I’ve seen numerous 20″ fish sipping on size 22 spinners on local freestone rivers the last couple of weeks.  Fishing micro-patterns is a common occurrence for our tailwater fisheries, but not necessarily the norm for freestone streams unless you’re willing to seek out those large sipping fish in slow, lazy shady water.  Chucking a plump hopper next to a sipping fish can sometimes draw a strike, but it’s usually better to present a small parachute fly, like a parachute adams or purple haze instead.

Ants and beetles are great searching flies for the month of August any time of day.  If nothing else is happening, try fishing one of these smaller terrestrials.  I’ve seen feeding fish, sipping on spinners, move a couple of feet to eat a black foam ant or beetle.  If in doubt, whip a black fly out.

The bulk of my August fly boxes are still filled with hoppers of every size and color.  Usually, size 10-12 hoppers are the go-to hopper size, but it pays to have a couple of huge size 2-4 hoppers to fish in deeper water, or out in the middle of the river when the fish aren’t taking hoppers along the rivers edge.  Each year, and even day-to day, the fish seem to prefer one color of hopper over another.  Currently, this year, goldenrod and tan hoppers have been the most productive colors.  Last year, pink bellied hoppers were the clear favorite.

Keep me posted on what’s in your fly box.  It’s always interesting to hear what’s working on your local streams.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Dave permalink
    August 12, 2013 9:34 am

    That will do it. Get out and fish them!. Good luck….

  2. Jon Goeke permalink
    October 21, 2013 11:32 pm

    Hey nice sight. Can’t figure out why I haven’t found it before other then I usually don’t do to much internet. I am down for the season due to finally getting my worst knee replaced and in recovery. So a lot of time on the net looking for something to keep my mind buisy. Already tieing the flies here with great anticipation of the up comming seaso in New Mexico and north.
    Thanks for your time here
    Jon

    • Dave permalink
      October 22, 2013 9:59 am

      Jon, you and I are in the same boat. I have been in and out of he hospital a lot this year. I can’t get out all that much so I have been doing a lot of tying.. Hopefully I can get out next year. Lately I have been tying muddlers and haven’t done any hoppers in years. I do like these hoppers on the this site, I may it the foam drawer soon and get some done…

  3. Jon Goeke permalink
    October 22, 2013 4:46 pm

    What is your prognosis. Why are you in and out of the hospital?? Hopefully it’s not to bad.
    I have been waiting for 35 years with at first one blown knee then that took it’s toll on the rest of my body. I am now retired so looking forward to the retired life but trying to get through all the problems.
    As with you, I am tying flies thinking about the comming season. With all the time I have on hand, I should have a pretty good arsenal by spring.
    Thinking that you are in Montana, do you ever get down to New Mexico?? Or maybe Colorado?? I am looking at taking an extended trip north as far as we go before getting bored or have to be back for some problem. But hoping to get all the way through Yelowstone and into Montana.
    Really apreciate the sight and looking forward to future posts.
    Thanks
    Jon

  4. Jon Goeke permalink
    October 22, 2013 4:52 pm

    PS
    Are you going to talk or show your muddler madness. Sounds like fun and could be some good reading and discussing.
    Jon

    • Dave permalink
      October 22, 2013 5:10 pm

      Jon, I live in Michigan. I am 73 years old but can’t get around much. My prognosis is fine for now. Last November I had a hematoma in my right leg and spent 9 weeks in therapy. While in CCU I was teaching the therapist how to tie flies. In July I was back in the hospital for about a week. I am a life member of TU and FFF. and a founding member of The Anglers of the AuSable here in Michigan.
      About the muddler madness, I haven’t tied them in awhile, You know the first is always the worst. I try to spend about an hour or so each day at the bench.

  5. Jon Goeke permalink
    October 22, 2013 8:54 pm

    Dave
    Hoping that it all gets better for you. Looking forward to future posts.
    Maybe someday we will meet at the river somewhere.
    Jon

    • Dave permalink
      October 23, 2013 8:44 am

      Jon, I am not sure just how this site works, guess I will have to learn it. I don’t think we will meet on a river nay time soon, maybe at a FFF show this spring. Stay in Touch….

      • Jon Goeke permalink
        October 23, 2013 9:28 am

        Yea, Michigan is a long way from New Mexico. But we never know, I got a friend in North Dakota, and that is kinda close. I have read about the Ausable, but you were talking about fishing in Montana, so thought you went there often.
        So do you have anyone in New Mexico trying/testing your flies?? Suggestions?? I am just looking at the different patterns and making some wild guesses.

      • Dave permalink
        October 23, 2013 9:51 am

        Jon, I just joined the Hopper web site this morning. I started my fly tying out in Maine. My in-laws lived on a salmon river, You could sit at the kitchen table and watch the salon go up stream. The only thing that grows in Maine are rocks and trees, I was always busting my hooks on the rocks then I started tying back in about 1964 I have tying friends all over the East coast and some in the West. Fly tying and fly fishing has been a fantastic hobby all these years. I have never been out West to fish, I wish I had back in the day.

  6. October 23, 2013 10:21 pm

    thanks heaps i enjoyed my look around your site very cool cheers

  7. Jon Goeke permalink
    October 24, 2013 10:41 am

    Dave
    I was thinking you were the moderator of the board. So the reason why the questions. But it is cool talking to some one who fishes the legendary AuSable. I remember reading a lot about the eastern rivers when I was younger, but now I limit myself to the west. Reading all the stuff on the sight says it is being done from Montana, so I thought a coment would get to the moderator.
    Hope you get better, and get to get out soon. Nothing helps the healing process more than Mother Nature itself.
    keep in touch
    Jon

  8. October 30, 2013 2:50 pm

    Great article, can’t wait to do some fishing myself!

  9. Dave permalink
    October 31, 2013 6:23 am

    Jon, How are you doing?. Therapy is like boot camp but it’s worth it. I was in therapy from January thru February then again in July this year. I tied my first hopper in 8 years yesterday and needless to say it was a bust. I did send in a order ot the Hopper store last Tuesday for some thread. The thread I use cuts thru the foam from time to time. Take care and stay in touch… Dave

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