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Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 9/28

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

Enjoy and Good Luck!

Bitterroot River

The warmer weather has kept the Bitterroot fishing strong for the last couple of days, and we expect this to continue for the next couple of weeks. The Mahoganies have finally established, and are a consistent hatch in the afternoon. A Tiltwing Mahogany or a Brooks Sprout have been very successful. The October Caddis are now a significant presence, and can be fished pretty much throughout the day. Make sure to have a size 12 Orange Stimulator or an Orange Elk Hair caddis in a size 8 or 10. Tricos are still strong in the morning, but the trout are well trained on that hatch. The Sunken Trico is really working, while the spinners and duns are being received in a fussy manner. Be ready with a wide selection of spinners and duns. The BWO’s are starting to hatch even with the sun. A simple parachute or Last Chance cripple will take fish consistently. Make sure you know if it’s a BWO or trico in the morning, or you might have some fruitless fishing.
If you’re not sure what to throw, tie on a Brindle Chute and let it hunt. This is the time of year that fly shines. Or use a Pink Morrish Hopper. The warm weather in the forecast is keeping the hoppers active, so the trout are still looking at them.
Nymphing has been strong, with a Duracell or Pheasant Tail Jig working very well for the Mahogany nymph. Look for a Red Fox Squirrel nymph to imitate the October caddis. A Black SR Bullet or Olive SR Bullet are taking fish as a trico or BWO nymph. If you need a fly to get the smaller fly down quickly, the 20 Incher or the Pat’s Rubber legs in a 10-12 are working as a stonefly nymph.
The streamer fishing has been good on the Bitterroot, but not fantastic. Run a smaller, more natural colored streamer due to the clarity of the smaller water, like a size 8 Sculpzilla or a Skiddish Smolt. No need to drop your tippet, but the smaller streamers have been working well.



Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips for each hatch

Blackfoot River

The Blackfoot has been hot, and the warm weather is going to keep the Blackfoot fishing right on into October. The streamer fishing has been dynamite along the entire length, and most streamers shown are at least getting a turn. If you can, go big or go home with a Dungeon or a Gonga. For those with lighter rods, a size 4 Sculpzilla and the Kreelix have been very good. Don’t sleep on a Sparkle Minnow either, as they’ve been extremely successful as well.
The October Caddis are being seen with some regularity, and a size 12 Orange Stimulator or a big Orange Elk Hair Caddis have been great searching patterns. The mahoganies are establishing, but finding them on foot can be problematic. From a boat, make sure to have some Brooks Sprouts and a HotSpot ParaWulff Brindle. Have tricos and BWO’s with you as well, but again, you’ll need to hunt those hatches out. Not the prime fly. A prime fly is the Henneberry Hopper in a Tan Size 10. Warm weather is good for hoppers as well, so the trout are still actively looking for terrestrials.
When you go deep with a nymph, have some 20 Inchers and TJ Hookers to cover the bigger nymphs. A Pink or Orange Hot Spot is working well, as is the SR Bullet Quill. Get the fly down deep. The warm weather is great for water temperature, but the sun pushes the fish deeper. Make sure your dropper gets down where the fish are.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!

Clark Fork River

The Lower Clark Fork has gotten hot in the last couple of days, with mahoganies, tricos and some BWO’s being taken with regularity. The fish are podding up for tricos and Mahoganies. The Sunken Trico has been money down here, while the Hi-Viz Spinner has been taking its fair share of fish. The Mahoganies are still new enough that a Parachute Pheasant Tail or Tiltwing Mahogany are taking fish regularly. The BWO’s are starting to be seen, but not in great numbers. Make sure you have your BWO’s with you, but don’t expect magic yet. Give it a week. The October Caddis are sporadic, so again, have them with you but it won’t be a prime fly. When the fishing slows down late afternoon, pop on a Sweetwater Hopper or a Tan Parachute Hopper to keep the fish coming to the surface.
The streamer fishing on the Clark Fork has been really good, and will stay there for the duration of the season. Pick your poison for the Clark Fork. If you have a dedicated streamer rod, throw some big bugs off the bank to move the large browns defending territory. For those with a smaller rod, the Rusty Trombone and Baby Gonga have been moving trout as well.
The nymphing is consistent as always, and a Pat’s Rubber Lweg or T.J. Hooker are working quite well deep. In the Shallower water, run a Pheasant Tail Jig or a Duracell to mimic the Mahogany nymph. A Yellow Hot Spot and Pink Hot Spot are also taking fish. Add a little more to the dropper with the warm sunshine. It moves the hatches, but keeps the fish nearer to the bottom when the hatch isn’t going on.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!

Rock Creek

The Mahoganies have established along the length of Rock Creek. Start with a Tilt Wing Mahogany, and if that doesn’t get it done, switch to a Mahogany Sprout or a Red Quill CDC Mahogany. Tricos are still hatching up here, so make sure you have them with you. October Caddis are starting to get consistent, so an Orange Elk Hair Caddis or Orange Stimulator will work well as a searching fly. Start looking for BWO’s, but they haven’t started, yet. But they will, so make sure they’re in the vest. Hoppers are still flying, and the warm weather in the forecast will keep the hoppers in the air and on the water. Make sure you have your hopper box.
Nymphing has been very good on Rock Creek, with big and small nymphs working equally well. Go big with a Pat’s Rubberlegs or a Speckled Double Bead Hare’s Ear. Drop an SR Bullet Quill or a Brush Hog of the big nymph for a highly effective double nymph rig. If you go Hopper/Dropper, the smaller nymph is the natural choice. Add a little length to the dropper, to get where the fish are in the brighter sun.
The streamer fishing has been consistent, and we expect that to continue as the weather stays consistent. A Sculpin Sparkle Minnow continues to work, while a White Sculpzilla or White Sparring partner will move the territorial Browns. Don’t go giant with your streamer, keep the fly a little smaller to move more fish on Rock Creek.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!

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