Fly fishing in Montana is American as apple pie, but a prolonged drought and extreme weather conditions have threatened that according to a report in The New York Times. To help combat that, the state has announced restrictions and closures on some of Montana’s popular trout streams to ensure the trout that aren’t dying off aren’t then overfished.
“If water quality in our rivers continues to decline, and our rivers themselves dry up, these negative changes will also tank our state’s robust outdoor economy that directly depends on upon vibrant cold water fisheries,” a coalition of “businesses, fly fishing guides and environmentalists” dedicated to preserving the trout said in a letter.
John Arnold, a Missouri fly fishing guide and owner of the Headhunters Fly Shop, states that climate change is the true culprit. “It’s all climate-change related,” he said. “It’s starting to feel like a downward spiral.” He added, “My top guides could put 60 fish in the boat in a day. Now half of that would be considered a good day.”
According to the report, “dead trout have been found floating in rivers around the state” and there has been a sharp decline in brown trout numbers.