Missoula Area Fishing Report

Stay West young man. West of the divide that is.

No reason to go over the hill right now. All of the graphs are showing some awesome water conditions. Bugs are showing up in great numbers and the fish are eating them. What more do you need?

Arguably the best dry fly action in the state right now. But who is arguing?

In case you are…Why throw a size 20 midge when you can throw a size 10 Skwala? Game. Set. Match.

Montana Fishing Report

Here is our busying morning in the shop fishing report.

The Root: It’s good. Skwalas, March Browns, and BWO’s. Look for the slow water on the structured banks. Done Deal.

The Creek: Go High. Dry if you want. Nymph em up for the numbers.

The Clarkie: Streamers can be bonkers. Skwalas and March Browns. Below town you can get it done. Above town is better.

The Foot: Streamers are putting some nice fish in the net. Bobber rigs are getting more fish. Dry fly action is hot and cold. Nymph The slower banks with underwater features.

Get out and Get after them. We have some great conditions ahead of us.

-The MAngler.


April Fishing Report for Missoula Montana

So far this spring the fishing has been off the charts. Lots of bugs on all of our water and the trout haven’t been holding back. It’s been everything we have been wanting out of our spring so far. We are getting a bump of water that might slow the fish down for a couple of days on the lower sections of our rivers. The pulse of water will clean out the systems and give the fish a bit more water to spread out in though. With the mayflies starting to move around and becoming active don’t be scared to thrown on come copper johns, princes, or any mayfly nymph to your bobber set up. Things are starting to change, so if you aren’t getting eats through good water change your rig.

Skwala Fishing The Bitterroot

The Bitterroot 

The ‘Root has been great. No lie. It has also been crowded in some places, no way around it. That being said, with a little work you can get away from folks and have some great days. The Skwalas have been out in good numbers on the right days. We have also been seeing a handful of mayflies. If you want to go double dry, any S pattern and a purple haze has been getting the job done. This cooler weather with clouds and rain in the next few days should bring some great dry fly action. The Root could be a great option over the next few days. With this bump in the water it will be worth your time to fish higher up. Think anywhere above Hamilton.

The Clarkfork

We have been fishing the Clark pretty hard over the last week or so. We have had some decent streamer action both above and below town. Catching some nice fish and moving some real hogs. The sparkle minnow has again proven to get eats when a lot of bugs wont. Some days the bigger and uglier the bug, the better. Just keep cycling through your streamer box until you find what they want. The dry fly action has also been great in the warmer afternoons. The Rastaman has been the skwala pattern of choice, with the Purple Para-roster taking a great number of fish as a second dry. The Clark is a great option to get away from the Bitterroot crowds, but the lower river might be off color with everything dumping into it. Keep the Clark in your back pocket.

Streamer Fishing The Blackfoot

The Blackfoot

When the Blackfoot has been on, it’s been great. Big fish eating dries, nymphs, and streamers. When it’s off it has been slow. Fish at your own risk. Could be gangbusters, or you could get bageled. Those of you who like strippin big bugs with the chance of sticking a monster will be heading that way this week. Right now the Blackfoot is about quality not quantity. Just keep an eye on the graphs and make a call in the morning before you head out. If yo want to nymph go big. Pink or red worms and the Rubber legs have been putting fish in the net for us. We did find one adult Skwala when we floated earlier this week so dries aren’t out of the question, but don’t bank on it.

Rock Creek

As always The Creek is fishing. The upper sections of the river have been giving up some great days. On the right day the dry fly action can be great up there. No need to get technical in your fly selection. The Purple Haze has been picking up lots of fish. Your “Tweener” bugs are also working. Size 12 and 14 Stonefly patterns that can go for Skwalas or Neumoras have also been the ticket. If you are looking for numbers put on an indicator, a Rubber legs, and a worm. If you put some miles between yourself and I-90 you can have a great day away from the crowds.

Rock Creek Bull Trout

The fishing is great this time of year and lots of people are coming in the shop with big smiles and good reports. Get out now before we get the real high water and catch some fish on dry flies. Don’t forget your sunscreen. It’s too easy to forget about it when the fishing is good. All of us in the shop have the early spring “Raccoon eyes”.

We will be here from 9 to 5 everyday. Stop by the shop for some bugs and a point in the right direction.

We are still running our Spring Skwala Special for guided trips. $350 for two anglers for a full day. Give us a call at the shop to book a day on the water!

-The MAngler

Afternoon Delight Tying Series With George Kesel

Afternoon Delight Poster

We are excited to host legendary Missoula fly tier George Kesel and his “Afternoon Delight” Fly Tying series here at the shop. For anyone who doesn’t know Mr. Kesel, he is an amazing tier and an ever better teacher. No matter how long you have been tying I am sure you can learn from George.

Each class runs independently from the rest so if you see one or two that interest you, you can sign up for just those. Or if you want… Sign up for all 6. That’s what I would do.

The first class is Tomorrow (Sunday) Jan 27th. The rest of the Classes will be held on Saturdays. All Classes will run from 1:00 – 5:oo pm. But I would imagine they will run a bit over knowing George.

Classes are limited to 6 people per class on a first come first serve basis. This is a great opportunity to learn from one of the best guys in the game. Each class will cover around 10+ bugs so you will get plenty of practice and learn a bunch of great patterns.

Tomorrow’s class is all about Cripples and Emergers.

The rest of the classes are as follows:

Sat Feb 2nd – Streamers

Sat Feb 9th- Tube Flies

Sat Feb 16th- Streamers

Sat Feb 23rd- Classic Steelhead Flies

Sat March 2nd- Dry Flies

All the classes* are $40 and include all of the materials you will need for the class. So you get 4 hours of class time with George and all the materials for only $40.

*Tube Fly class is $64.95 or $40 with Tube Fly Tying tool.

Give us a call here at the shop to get your name on the list or let us answer any questions you might have. (406) 728-7766

Be sure to sign up soon for the class or classes you want soon. They will fill up.

Afternoon Delight Poster