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Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula Fly Fishing Report 8/15

Fly Fishing Report Brought To You By Our Missoula Fly Fishing Guides And Fly Shop Staff.

Enjoy and Good Luck!

Bitterroot River

The Bitterroot river fly fishing has improved a lot over the last few weeks with longer and colder nights. The tricos have firmly established along the length of the Bitterroot, and are moving some big fish. Ron’s Trico is the top performer, quickly followed by the Clear Wing Spinner and the Brooks Sprout. Bring your light tippet- the Bitterroot is low and clear. We’ve had our eyes open for Hecubas, but haven’t seen them yet. Maybe the Fall temps next week will get them moving.
Terrestrials are very important through 2:00 PM, and Hoot Owl hours move anglers off the water. No surprise, the Antacid in Purple and Purple Morrish Hopper are moving fish from about 11 AM on. So is the Jake’s Gulp Beetle. Small attractors, like a Micro Chubbie, are also working, especially dropping a small SR Bullet Olive or Quill in a 16 or 18.
The Firestarter has been taking fish, as has the Purple Lite Bright Perdigon. With the low water, trout are moving well underwater to find food, and most smaller jigs are working.
Remember, Hoot Owl hours are in effect on the main stem. The East Fork and West Fork aren’t regulated, and are fishing well throughout the day. The weather forecast is shaping up to be a great late august and September fishing. Cooler water temps and much happier fish.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips for each hatch

Blackfoot River

The Blackfoot river has been fishing well through the heat, and when the weather breaks, it’s going to get really good. There’s a few spots on the lower section where the tricos are being seen, but be ready to get off the river early to beat the tubers. Hoppers and other terrestrials are working from late morning on in the heat. Look for a Purple Morrish Hopper to move some fish, as well as a Streambank Hopper or a Henneberry. The Black and Purple Antacid have proven useful, along with Micro Chubbies in all colors.
The big droppers have been moving fish in the deeper runs, while smaller jigs are working along the edges. Dark TJ Hookers have been very good throughout the day. When it comes to jigs, we haven’t heard of anything super hot, but your choice of brown jigs are working. The San Juan worm is also reasserting itself.
As always, streamers are moving fish along the length of the river. Even though the Blackfoot does not have Hoot Owl hours, in the heat of the day, we tend to take the streamer off about noon. When the cool weather starts next week, this will become less important, but in the heat, give the deep fish a break. No color has really stepped up, but the Mini Dungeons and Baby Gongas have been taking fish consistently.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!

Clark Fork River


The Clark Fork River is rounding into late summer/fall shape, with strong trico hatches on the lower sections. The fish are podding up, and Ron’s Trico is moving fish, as is the Comparadun and Gould’s Sunken Trico. Long leaders and fine tippets are a must.
In the heat, look for hoppers to get moving just as the tricos end. The Henneberry Hopper in Tan and Green are really performing this year, and of course the Morrish Hopper shines as well. The hopper fishing will be short lived, as the Clark Fork River is on Hoot Owl hours, so anglers must stop fishing at 2:00 PM.
While the Clark Fork isn’t as well known for Ants and beetles, the Black Antacid has been moving fish on the lower river, as had the Amy’s Ant in Green.
Subsurface is holding steady with Smaller TJ Hookers and Pat’s Rubberlegs. Get them deep (6-7 feet) for maximum effectiveness. Drop a small SR Bullet in Olive or Quill off the back of the hopper. Feels like it’s being taken as a BWO or Trico nymph. The Firestarter is also moving fish on a regular basis.
If the 10 day forecast stays true, we might start to see some early Blue Winged Olives appear in the clouds and rain forecast for early next week. Not a guarantee, but have them with you if you’re on the river in the rain.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!

Rock Creek

Rock Creek has been holding up extremely well in the heat, and cooler temps are only going to get the fish more active through the end of the month and into September. The tricos are on the water, but Rock Creek isn’t known for its massive hatches. But have them with you in case they show where you are. While the Tan Caddis are waning, an Elk Hair Caddis remains one of the best searching flies on Rock Creek.
The terrestrial and attractor fishing has been very good along the length of the river. The Purple Antacid and Purple Hippie Stomper have been performing well throughout the day, while the hoppers will get started around noon and fish for the rest of the day. Have Henneberry hoppers, as well as the Streambank Hopper.
Drop a Duracell Jig or a PT jig off the back of the hopper to get the fish count up. If you’re going to focus on nymphing, a small 20 Incher or dark Pat’s Rubberleg run deep are moving some larger fish.
Larger fish are also taking streamers early in the day. Of course the Sparkle Minnow Sculpin is working, but the Baby Gonga Rainbow and Gray Swim Coach are also producing well. Articulation works!
No Hoot Owl hours on Rock Creek, but in the heat of the day, think about taking the dropper off to let the resting fish stay resting on the bottom. Might be a moot point by mid next week if we start to see some Fall temps in August!
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!

August Hatches

Click any photo below to find out more information on each individual hatch. Includes life cycle, best fly patterns, helpful tips and where to find these hatches in your Western Montana fly fishing adventure.

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