Fishing Rock Creek in October
October is the last best month for fishing Rock Creek in the calendar year. The days are cooler and shorter making your day on the river a bit shorter. If you believe a vacation is a mix of fishing, fine dining, and relaxing, October could be your perfect month.
Peak foliage occurs mid-October. Warm afternoon sunshine ads vibrance to the yellows of the cottonwoods along the creek. It’s a great time to be here.
October Fishing Strategies for Rock Creek
Rock Creek, from its headwaters, tends to be a series of riffles, runs, and pools. In October, hatches are limited to afternoon blue winged olive hatches in deep pools and slower runs.
The blue winged olive hatches, which occur almost like clockwork around 1 pm, last for about an hour. Getting on the water well ahead of the hatch is a good idea.
Start the day exploring with nymphs and emergers such as a pheasant tail dropped off an October Caddis. Immediately ahead of the hatch small nymphs and emergers work well.
Once you see rising fish, think small. Hatches in October tend to be all small flies. 18-22 do the trick.
After the hatch, either switch back to nymphs or switch to streamers. Choose flies that offer action such as marabou or rabbit strips.
As the sun dips below the western hills, the temp will drop, the fishing will slow; it’s time to head back to the cabin.
Rock Creek Flies For October
- BWO / Baetis Patterns 18-22
- Wooly Buggers
- Soft Hackle Emergers
- Pheasant Tails – Bead/Flash/Tung/None
- October Caddis
- Rabbit Strip Streamers
- Marabou Streamers
Local fly shops sell these patterns and more.
October brings unsettled weather. It is not unusual to have a small snow storm bring an inch of so to the valley floor this month. As September fades into October, the days grow short and the nights are below 32.
Cold fronts can mess up fishing for a day or two during the month. The fish seem to give up eating when the temps turn cold quickly.
But then there are the magical days. 60 degree days without a cloud in the sky. We generally have quite a few of these which are perfect for fishing, hiking, exploring, and watching the bighorn sheep as they begin the mating season.
So what to pack? Layers, longsleeves, sunglasses, floating line and maybe a sinktip for a late October trip, hats, something hunter orange as the Montana hunting season begins late month.
About Rock Creek in Autumn
The Rock Creek Valley is beautiful year round. No doubt. But there is some the fall. Wildlife view is at it’s peak September to November. Bighorn sheep strut their stuff in neighbor’s yards. Big whitetail bucks frequent apples trees while black bears bulk up on choke cherries along the creek bottom.
Our foliage season is the perfect backdrop for Montana fishing photos during the first two weeks of October. Light snow sometimes dusts the mountain tops overnight only to glisten brightly in the morning sunlight.
We look forward to sharing with you this special place in autumn.
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