From Tony...

Holy smokes what happened to the skyline?

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Holy smokes what happened to the skyline? The smoke from wildfires burning from the Washington coast to our own wild lands here in Montana is blurring our view of the entire state. When the smoke finally does clear, hopefully soon, the transition of colors from summer to fall will renew the expectations that our eyes have of the landscape.

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It’s hard to believe that the warm, sunny early mornings of summer will give way to a slight chill and the green grass will soon reflect frost. The trees will soon veer from the deep green of spring and summer to an intense shade of burnt orange and yellow. Montana may not have as long of a fall season as areas like the east cost, where yellow leaves seem to hold to the trees branches for weeks at a time, but even in the short duration that those leaves do cling to the limbs of trees, it still creates a stunning backdrop. The camera loves the bright orange and yellow tones of fall as much as the endless greens of the spring and the summer. For the outdoor photographer, the colors of fall can create stunning, dramatic photographs.

The coolness of the fall will also allow good fishing on our rivers, and the warm, low water that came with the dog days of summer will hopefully be behind us. Blue Wing Olives and October Caddis will replace the yellow PMDs and the tan caddis of summer. The Brown trout will seem to absorb the yellow leaves in the trees above the rivers, and reflect those yellow and gold hues on their scales in preparation for the coming spawning season. Those brown trout that have been hiding away from the bright afternoon sun all summer, while feeding almost entirely at night, will come out from their dark hole to possibly chase a fisherman’s streamer or feed on a blanket Baetis hatch.

Regardless what your outdoor interest are, the tail end of summer and the start of fall mean that there are still very special times ahead. When those wildfires go out, and the skyline once again clears of smoke, there are still so many opportunities for outdoor activities in this state.

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