By August, fly anglers are in peak condition. The rust of the winter months is completely gone, waters are officially clear and the next two months are going to provide some of the best fishing opportunities of the entire year.
As the temperatures warm, the hatches are more prolific in the mornings and the evenings. Put the waders away, bring out your wading shoes and prepare for some beautiful days on the water. The hot sun doesn’t always make fishing easy, but if you time things right, you’ll land plenty of trophies.
Here is a list of seven places you should fish in August and September.
1. Flathead River, Montana – Northern Fly Fishing at it’s BEST
The Flathead River is located right outside of Glacier National Park in Northern Montana. While Glacier is often overrun by tourists, the Flathead National Forest is wide open for folks to explore. Located right outside of Kalispell, there are ample opportunities for seclusion and some impressive fish.
You’ll find yourself with true chance to test your angling abilities. The water levels are a bit lower so the riffles, pockets and seams are crystal clear with fish waiting to be caught. If you’ve been diligent in spending time on the water throughout July, you’ll be just fine on the Flathead in August.
If you could name the home state for fly fishing – most folks would say Montana. Find other amazing places to fly fish in this article: 21 Best Places to Fly Fish in Montana.
This river offers anglers the chance to both wade and float. You can spend a day hiking a few miles out and working your way back to your vehicle. You’ll find both Cutthroat, Bull and Rainbow Trout in the waters. It’s an extremely unique fishery that does not receive nearly as much of the pressure as many Montana Rivers.
Being in the midst of beautiful mountains and hungry fish is a recipe to make any angler pleased.
Where to Fly Fish on the Flathead River
The Flathead River is often broken into two sections by anglers. The upper half of it above Flathead Lake is both floatable and wadable during August and September. The snow melt is down and the water levels begin to drop.
Stay above the Kerr Dam unless you’re wanting to target some Pike. The section below the Kerr Dam is filled with Northern Pike which are a blast to catch on the fly.
If you’re looking to float the river, one of the more productive areas to float is between Columbia Falls and the Old Steel Bridge in Kalispell. You won’t find too many people on this portion of the river and there are dozens of locations that hold fish.
You can access Columbia Falls here:
This river is a perfect place to float and then stop near the islands to fish the eddies and riffles. You’ll find yourself all alone and likely pulling some sizable Bull as well as Cutthroat Trout.
Recommended Flies to use on the Flathead River
By August, it’s too tempting for anglers to not throw dry flies. The first sign of insect life on the surface is enough for anglers to tie on dries. The most successful dry fly on the Flathead is always going to be some sort of caddis pattern. A size 16 Elk Hair Caddis will work well.
You can also start to throw some terrestrial patterns by August and September. Hoppers and beetles are going to be some of your best bets. Also, if the fish seem to be lower in the water column, a Prince or Pheasant Tail Nymph will work well.
Fly Shops on the Flathead River
Bigfork Anglers Fly Shop– Bigfork Anglers Fly Shop is a wonderful option for anyone looking to tackle the Flathead. There are guided trips available as well as necessary equipment for a successful day on the water.
Lakestream Fly Shop- Located in Whitefish, Lakestream Fly Shop offers access to fishing all over Montana. Since they’re located so close to the Flathead, they’re knowledgeable of the waters.
What to Pack August and September in Montana
August and September in Montana are going to be two of the warmer months in the state. Since the Flathead is mostly runoff, you’ll likely want waders because the temperatures are cold. However, a breathable shirt, sunglasses and hat will be plenty for the warm days.
Bring your 5 or 6-weight to the Flathead. It’ll give you enough power as well as the opportunity to finesse your way around the water. Bring 3 or 4x leader with 5x tippet for the dry flies. Floating and weight forward line will work.
2. Green River, Utah – An Experience of a Lifetime
The Green River is one of those bodies of water than every angler needs to experience in their lifetime. It’s the epitome of what makes fly fishing addicting. Beautiful views, cold clear water and massive fish are always available.
The river is broken into three sections with each offering their own unique angling opportunities. You’ll find brown, rainbow, cutthroat as well as brook trout in the Green River. You’ll never regret visiting the Green River. It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit, but August and September are especially fun.
Where to Fish on the Green River
Section A. That’s all that needs to be said. The seven miles below the Flaming Gorge Dam is some of the best tailwater fishing in the world. There are between 8,000 and 14,000 fish per mile in these waters.
Do you want even more places to fly fish in Utah? Read this article – 26 Best Places to Fly Fish in UTAH: Maps Included
There is a well-marked trail along section A of the Green River that provides anglers with plenty of access points. If you want to avoid the crowds, be sure you’re on the water early! It will fill up, but it’s if you’re ready right after sunrise, you’ll have your pick of the honey holes.
Access Section A here:
Flies to Use on the Green River
Terrestrials are wonderful to use in August and September. The Fat Albert, Bionic Ant Black as well as the Morrish Hopper are great options. You can also have plenty of success with Clouser Minnows and midge nymphs.
Fly Shops Near Section A:
Trout Creek Flies: Trout Creek Flies is a perfect spot to learn all about the Green River. The local knowledge is impressive as well as is the fly choice. You can book guided trips with the several guides on hand and learn what it takes to land some of the trophy fish on the Green River.
Trout Bum 2 Fly Shop: Trout Bum 2 is a highly recommended Fly Shop right on the Green River. It’s a smaller run outfit with guides who have well over 30 years of experience on the Green River. Plus, they’ll equip you with whatever you need to be successful on the water.
What to Bring to Fly Fish the Green River in August and September
The temperatures in northern Utah in August and September can still be fairly warm. You’ll find yourself in 75-85 degree weather so be equipped with a performance fishing shirt, sunglasses, buff and a hat.
For gear, you’ll want your 6-weight. There are some large fish in this river that will test you. Since there is a nice amount of cover in the river, the fish will dive towards when hooked. You need to have the power to keep their heads raised.
3. Frying Pan River, Colorado – Rocky Mountain Fly Fishing
The Frying Pan is one of the best fisheries in all of the Rocky Mountains. The difficult winters and heavy spring runoff make August and September a perfect time to try your hand at fishing this river.
Where to Fish on the Frying Pan:
The Toilet Bowl section of this river is what makes it famous. The massive amount of fish in this portion of the river make it well worth your time. However, there is a large bend in the river right below the Toilet Bowl that doesn’t receive nearly as much pressure.
You can access that portion of the river here:
Flies to Use on the Frying Pan River
When fishing the Frying Pan, presentation is extremely important. This river is pressured so the trout do expect excellency. Part of that excellency comes from matching the hatches. In August and September, you’ll have success on the Frying Pan with the Umpqua Secret Midge, Mysis Shrimp Patterns as well as Elk Hair Caddis Flies will work.
If possible, tie your own flies for the Frying Pan. These fish see quite a few flies, so the more unique and unruly, the better!
Fly Shops Near the Frying Pan River
Taylor Creek Fly Shop– Taylor Creek Fly Shop has everything necessary for a successful day on the Frying Pan as well as the other surrounding rivers. Gear, guided trips and a variety of other resources make Taylor Creek a great place to visit.
Frying Pan Anglers– Frying Pan Anglers is a one stop shop for everything Frying Pan River related. They offer advice on flies, places to fish and also offer guided trips.
What to Pack for August and September Fishing on the Frying Pan
August and September in the Rocky Mountains is beautiful. The temperatures are warm, the weather is fairly consistent and the fishing is solid. Be sure you have sunscreen, sunglasses and a buff. The sun at the high elevation can cause some serious burns.
For equipment, you’ll want your 5 or 6-weight, long 3 or 4x leader and light 5x tippet. These fish are plentiful, but spooky. Be light with your casts and be prepared to lengthen that leader to stay more hidden.
4. Pere Marquette, Michigan – Birth of Brown Trout in the USA
The Pere Marquette is one of the most famous rivers in all of Michigan. There are thousands of miles of water to explore in Michigan, but be sure to include the Pere Marquette on your list. By August and September, you’ll find large brown trout as well as catch the beginning of the King Salmon Run.
If you’re looking for massive fish and quite a bit of fun, the Pere Marquette is a wonderful option.
Read exactly what equipment, flies and techniques are need to catch these river trophies in this article – How to Fly Fish for Salmon
Where to Fish on the Pere Marquette
The Pere Marquette receives its salmon and Steelhead from Lake Michigan so the closer you are to the lake early in the fall, the more of a chance you have at catching a King Salmon. If it’s trout you’re after, you’ll find them in all sections of the river.
Walhalla is a solid access point:
Flies to Use on the Pere Marquette
If you’re targeting trout, go ahead and throw a BWO, Sulpher Parachute or a Rubber Bugger. Egg Sucking Leeches and Glow Bugs will work well when the salmon beginning running in September.
Also, Hex flies are going to work extremely well on the Pere Marquette.
Fly Shops on the Pere Marquette
Pere Marquette River Lodge– The Pere Marquette River Lodge is a great place to go if you’ve never tried fishing on the Pere Marquette. Located in Baldwin, you’ll have access to lodging, guided tours as well as a fly shop with all necessary equipment.
Baldwin Bait and Tackle– Baldwin Bait and Tackle is a fully equipped fly shop with quite a bit of local knowledge on the Pere Marquette. Give it a visit on your next trip to Michigan. They also offer in-depth fishing reports.
What to Pack for August and September Fishing in Michigan
August and September in Michigan are beautiful. You’ll run into some hot and humid days, but the mornings and evenings are beautiful. Be sure to be equipped with a rain jacket as well.
Bring anywhere between a 6-8 weight for the Pere Marquette. Depending on what fish you’re targeting, you may need some heavier equipment. Also, floating as well as weight forward line will work well.
5. Shoshone River, Wyoming -Fly Fishing Tailwater
The Shoshone can be found in Yellowstone National Park and is filled with a nice population of brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout. You’ll have plenty of beautiful views along with a nice bit of seclusion.
Where to Fish on the Shoshone River
The lower Shoshone Tailwater is the most productive section of the river. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to fish pools, pockets as well as seams. Be prepared to make some fairly technical casts!
Wyoming is filled with incredible fly fishing opportunities, finding where to go can be tough. Read this article 15 Best Places to Fly Fish in Wyoming – MAPS INCLUDED
You can Access the Shoshone here:
Flies to Use on the Shoshone
The Shoshone has a nice population of insects. Stoneflies, mayflies and midge flies are going to work well. Blood midges, Salmonflies, Golden Stoneflies and Hopper patterns will work extremely well on the Shoshone.
Fly Shops near the Shoshone River
Wyoming Trout Guides Fly Shop– Located in Cody, the Wyoming Trout Guides Fly Shop is a nice resource for all of the water near Yellowstone. They offer guided trips and have the necessary flies that will help you land fish.
North Fork Anglers– North Fork Anglers is a must visit for anyone looking for information on the Shoshone as well as the other rivers in western Wyoming. The guides are experienced and more than willing to offer advice.
What to Pack for August and September Fishing in Wyoming
Fly fishing Wyoming in July can be warm. Bring warm weather clothes as well as some breathable waders. The water temperatures may be too cold for you to wet wade, but it all depends on your comfort level.
Bring your 5 or 6-weight along with 3 or 4x leader and light tippet. The waters are clear by August and September so be prepared with light enough line. Also, floating and weight forward line will work great!
6. Henry’s Fork of the Snake River – Legendary Fly Fishing
The Snake River in Idaho is one of the most diverse rivers on this list. You can find almost any type of water you could possibly want on the upper section of the Snake. Henry’s Fork is legendary and you’re guaranteed to land a nice amount of fish on your next trip.
Where to Fish on Henry’s Fork
Warm River, Idaho is a great place to access Henry’s Fork. As the temperatures warm, this area becomes a dry fly haven!
Access it here:
Flies to Use on Henry’s Fork
PMD’s, Green Drakes, Brown Drakes and Caddis flies will work extremely well on the Snake River. Bring these in size 14-20 and you’ll have plenty of success. Focus on the riffles and the seams right around the pools. The fish will leave the depths in pursuit of these flies.
Fly Shops Near Henry’s Fork
Henry’s Fork Anglers– Henry’s Fork anglers has everything you’ll need for a successful day on the water. Give it a visit on your next trip to the Snake.
Trouthunter– Also known as Henry’s Fork Fly Shop, Trouthunter is a great place to learn about the Snake River. Their updated fishing reports along with vast fly choice make it a perfect option for anyone looking to learn about Henry’s Fork.
What to Pack for August and September Fishing in Idaho
You’re going to be warm. The Snake is a wadable river so bring wading shoes as well as your waders. Also, a buff, sunglasses and your fair share of sunscreen is all going to be necessary.
Bring your 5-weight with 4x leader and 5x tippet. These fish can spook in the ultra-clear waters. Floating line is going to be your best bet for fly line. It’s a great river to experience the beauty of western fly fishing!
7. Delaware River, New York – Lots of Rainbows
The Delaware River is a must visit for anyone looking to fish in New York. The large population of rainbow and brown trout always lead to an entertaining day on the water.
Where to Fly Fish on the Delaware
When fishing on the Delaware, be sure to stay near the town of Hancock. It’s always been the source of the most productive fishing on the Delaware. Access it here:
Flies to Use on the Delaware
When fishing the Delaware be sure you have White Flies, Blue Quill’s, BWO’s as well as Trico’s. These are going to be your best bet for later in the season.
Flies Shops on the Delaware River
Whitetail Country Fly Shop and Outfitter– Located near the Delaware, the guides at Whitetail Country Fly shop are knowledgeable on all the waters on the border of Pennsylvania and New York. Give them a visit!
What to Pack for Fly Fishing New York in August and September
Upstate in New York in August and September will be plenty humid. Many of the rivers you’ll be fishing will be surrounded by trees and other wetlands so be sure you have your bug spray as well as sunscreen.
I was really surprised at the fly fishing I found in New York State. Read more in this article: Best Places to Fly Fish in New York
The fish in the Delaware need lighter leader (4x) as well as tippet (5x). You won’t need more than your 5-weight and floating line. It’s a great river to fish if you are truly wanting to experience fly fishing in the Northeast.
Last Cast for the Summer? – Never!
Some folks hang up their fly fishing gear at the end of summer. I challenge you to plan for a winter trip. It’s one of my favorite times to be out. Okay, it can get cold, but the silence of floating a river with snowy banks and a special quiet that only comes in the winter is well worth a little cold.
Hooking into a steelhead will warm you up really quick, so pull out those wool shirts and stick a couple of those heat pads on your feet and get out in the cold!