Jefferson River Fishing Report

Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Jefferson River Montana

Current Conditions:

The Jeff is still lower than normal but the flow has bumped since  the irrigation season is over.  Water temps are coming down and fishing has been solid. Bigger fish are still coming in on big streamers or dead drifted crayfish, zonkers and sculpins.  If you have cloud cover stripping streamers can be productive but it is tough on a sunny day.  There are also baetis that are producing sipping fish in slow seams and eddies.  The Jefferson has lower fish counts than other rivers so it is not the place to go for numbers.

The Month Ahead:

As days grow shorter the big browns in the Jeff are growing dark and frisky.  The Jefferson is never a big fish numbers location but it does hold some quality trout and doesn’t see a lot of pressure.  You definitely need to pay your dues and learn how to fish this sleeper.  The baetis hatch in the afternoon brings up some trout and also can help you see where fish are holding.  The deeper runs below fast water are always a good place to start.  The river is very low but came up a bit once irrigators turned off head gates.  Stripping streamers may only produce a handful of trout but you are in the game for some large browns.  Dead drifting streamers trailed by baetis nymphs can be more productive.

Long Term Fishing Forecast:
Large ice shelves make the river treacherous to float in the winter.  There are better locations to wet a line in the cold months.