Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 3/10

Missoula Fishing Report 3/10

Officially Spring is here. The rivers around Missoula are starting to wake up from their winter time routine. The key word being “Starting”. By no means are things on fire yet. That being said we have seen some fair to middle of the road dry fly fishing. At the apex of the fishing day, you might have some dry fly action from 2:30 to 2:57 pm. It’s not ramp to ramp yet, but it will get there soon. It’s already the 1oth of March. It’s not far off. Your bro’s might say it’s on, but just know if your main goal is fish in the net, throw on a bobber and catch ’em from the back seat.

The Bitterroot: Just as a PSA, this river is busy this time of the year. Lot’s of folks are trying to get rid of Cabin Fever. Try to avoid the traffic and use the line of sight rule when other anglers are in the area. ( Stay far enough away from people that they can’t see you) If there are already 5 boats launching at a certain access try to move up or down river where there is less traffic. Everyone will have a better day.

The Fishing – The fish are still in their winter water. Look for the insides., the soft diamond chop, the “Subtle spring water”.

The go to this time of year is the double nymph rig. Any combo of a stonefly, worm, prince or Copper John will get eaten. Play with your depth and the water you are fishing until the fish start to eat your bugs.

Like I said, the dry fly fishing will be here soon. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week. When that happens make sure you have plenty of Skwalas, BWO’s, and Nemoura patterns.

The Clark Fork: Ditto

Rock Creek: A great late winter early spring option. If you want to wade fish and avoid the boat traffic this is a great option. The double nymph rig in the 5-7 foot deep, walking speed water will get you fish. just look for where lazy trout can sit and have the food come to them. Again, rubberlegs, worms, and the like are your best bets.

The Blackfoot: This river stays cold and seems to be the one that takes the longest to get going in the spring. That being said, you can still catch some fish. Nymphing and streamers on the low and slow program are your best bet.

The Missouri: The Mo seems to be off and on day to day. When it’s on it has been good. we were there earlier this week and pink was still the ticket to catch trout. The Amex, big Czechs, and big pink scuds were the answer. good days over there when the wind and the weather are cooperating.

Overall… It’s good now, but only going to get better. Keep the Skwala box close, they will show in numbers anytime now. BWO’s will be here too. For now the bobber is king.

Remember these river belong to all of us. Lets work together to enjoy our great spring fishing we have around Missoula.

We have guides ready to get you out for spring fishing. take advantage of the early dry fly action and give us a call if you want to fish with us this spring. (406) 728-7766

-The MAngler

Missoula Fishing Report

Time To Tie. And How To Do It.

Its that time of the year again. Time to refill the boxes and get ready for another year of fishing.


While it may seem like a pain in the ass task. It can be an awesome time to look through your boxes, fly cups, boat bag, and everywhere else that flies seem to end up. See what bugs you used the most this year. See what bugs you didn’t use at all this year. And what bugs you need to tie. Use that process as a tool.

It’s always a gamble tying in January. Will we have high water? Low water? Lots of stoneflies? Will I need a lot of small droppers? The questions go on and on. The good news is that if you tie them, you will have them.

You know when a fly is worth the most? When it’s the only one the fish are eating, and you don’t have one…

If you are like me and have to mentally prepare for the task of winter tying, start out simple. Refill the worm box, the rubber legs, and the big fluffy dry flies. No need to jump right into the trico or still born crippled pull over thorax BWO.

Take Breaks! Tie a dozen, or 6 or 2. However many you can handle. Then get up, play Call of Duty, Drink a beer, or scroll through your Instagram feed, again. Whatever you need to not get bored, keeps your head in the game and more flies in your boxes come spring.

Don’t get Skwala blinders on. Remember there are lots of bugs that happen after skwalas. Don’t forget to tie those too.

Get in a rhythm. I find that I tie most effectively when things are rolling along smoothly. That means get set up correctly. If you want to tie 3 dozen Goldens when you sit down at your bench, then set yourself up for success. Cut the Legs, The Wings, The Bodies, get the hook out, make its as systematic as you can. The new fly pile will grow quickly when you have a system and a plan.

Listen to good tunes. For some people tying is like a meditation. For me it is a chore. That’s just who I am. I need tunes to get through it. Time to listen to something new or a favorite. T.I. , Jam Bands, 90’s alternative, and dub step are the Pandora stations that do it for me.

Fly Tying can be social. If you want it to be. Some of you are certifiably crazy when it comes to how serious you are about your patterns. That’s fine, you can stay in your tying dungeon and not let anyone see them. For the rest of us normal people, a great way to learn and evolve as a fly tyer is to get together and tie with other people. A general life rule is that if you surround yourself with people who are better at something than you, you will most likely learn from them and get better. That rule is king in fly tying. So have tying night with your buddies, take a MAngler tying class, or at least nerd out online. You will get better because of it.

YouTube is your best friend. About three years ago we donated all of our fly tying books to the Library. we don’t carry them in the shop anymore. Why? Because Youtube is such an incredible resource that tying books are now obsolete. Watch, Pause, Rewatch, Learn. Faster and Easier. Use YouTube. We all do it. You should To.

Last and most important, Have fun and Relax. Nothing is fun if you take yourself too seriously. (Remember you are using feathers, foam, and fur, to fool a fish. Let that sink in)

If you guys have any tips on how to make winter tying easier let us know on our facebook page!

-The MAngler

…Because you fish

Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 11/30

Missoula Fishing Report 

November 30th

If you haven’t noticed, the rivers are rather ice-filled… Be careful while you’re out there. Find a steady spot to wade! We’re gonna sum up the rivers as a whole, because they are all on the same page. If it’s relatively warm, 30 degrees and up, try midgeing. Apart from that, we are back to a double-nymph rig time of year. Beadheads, rubber legs, San Juan worms, prince, lightening bug, girdle-bug. Try fishing the inside seams. As for streamers, there is still hope! Upper Clark Fork area, as well as Rock Creek, are options. Rock Creek has been fishing pretty well for this time of year. It seems like the browns are just now moving upstream in full force. Go ice fishing, find water near a spring, whatever you’ve gotta do to mix it up and get out there. 

Stop in if you’re stumped on holiday gift ideas… We’ll be selling gift cards left and right!

In The News: 

-20% off ALL Scientific Angler line…

-20% off Simms outerwear + G4 Boa boots

-30% off entire streamer selection… Come stock up!

-We’ll be restocking a ton of tying stuff in the next couple weeks… If you’re after something that you’ve had trouble finding, come check it out!

-The MAngler


Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 11/20

Missoula Fishing Report

November 20th

If you’re planning to get some fishing in this weekend, keep in mind that it is supposed to be a chilly one. Fall and Winter Guide SpecialWhatever you do, don’t leave your streamer box behind. People have had better luck with smaller bugs rather than a size 4 streamer. Stick with blacks, whites, yellows, and greens. A nice sculpin pattern is an option as well. If you aren’t hooking into anything, you may need to switch to a nymph rig. Sorry to those of you who are “Dry or die”. Try a red San Juan worm, a lightening bug, a rubber leg, or a pheasant tail.


In The News:

-20% off ALL Scientific Angler line!!

-Stop in for Christmas ideas, gift cards, etc. for your honey!

-20% off Simms G4 Boa boots!

-Streamer sale… Come stock up! 30% off the selection!

Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 11/17

Missoula Fishing Report 

November 17th

Fishing takes a little more patience than some would like right now. We’re in the middle of the rough transition between fall fishing and winter fishing. Focus on pulling one nice fish out instead of looking to boat 25 of ’em. This is a great time to find some killer wade fishing spots that you don’t normally go to. It’s easy to sum up all of our rivers as a whole right now, as winter fishing can be a real guessing game with a little guidance. So, with that said, start fishing nymphs in the deep runs, dragging them slowly. Shoot for the inside seams. They’ll eat your San Juan, scud, or midge. The streamer fishing is still going strong! Apparently Rock Creek is fishing really well right now. The brown trout are just now in full force, moving up the tributaries to spawn, and they are aggressive as well. It’s tough to say if they are going to be eating big articulated stuff, or smaller buggers. Try both, giving them each a chunk towards the bank. They are still liking black streamers, yellow ones, and a good olive color. Don’t hesitate on a sparkle minnow either. Embrace the change of seasons, and be sure to pray for some snow so that we don’t have another drought of a summer next season. Happy fishing!Montana Fishing Guides

In The News: 


-We have loads of great Christmas gifts here at the shop. Stop in for the holidays!

-It’s waay too cold to be wet wading… Stop in if you’re thinking about getting a pair of waders and boots for the season. 

-20% off Simms G4 Boa boots!

-Streamer sale. 30% off the whole selection… Stock up for winter!


Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 10/29

Missoula Fishing Report

October 29th

Mid to high 40’s for the week… as well as some rain. Be prepared!

We’re gonna keep it short and sweet. Most of the rivers have similar stuff going on…

Missoula Fly Fishing Seasons

Blackfoot River: Throw black streamers in deep pools. Alternatives would be olives, whites, yellows. You will likely be nymphing- try cutting the legs off of an Orange Pat’s rubber leg and imitating the October caddis. You’ll be lucky to see much on top. If you are truly dry or die, try baetis, BWOs… Possibly October caddis or orange stimulator.

Clark Fork River:Cloudy days could be in your favor… Tie on a mayfly or BWO if they’re eating. The fish seem to be going after smaller streamers, as they’re getting used to the articulated stuff we have been showing them all year. Try a small kreelex or sparkle minnow. Otherwise, hopper-dropper. They have been mostly going after the dropper- Bird of prey, lightening bug, something decent sized and flashy. Copper Bob/John is also an option…

Bitterroot River: There have been a lot of mixed reports on the Bitterroot. Go see for yourself! Some days, the lower is completely dead, which seems to be more common. If you’re going to give the lower stretches a shot, there have still been some great mahogany hatches. Along with that, size 14 parachute adams have done the trick. As for the rest of the river, streamers have been doing well. Yellow, green, black. Same stuff as the other rivers. Try an orange Pat’s rubber leg after amputating the legs… Batman nymph, Goldie Hawn, Copper Bob/John.

Rock Creek: It’s on and off for sure. One day, streamers are killin’ it. The next, you may be stuck with a nymph rig for most of the day. If you see stuff rising, a blue wing pattern is your best bet. Orange stimis and mahoganies may get the job done too, but those bugs are really starting to disappear for the year.

In The News: 

-Taylor is just wrapping up some orders for new fly tying material… If there is something that we’ve been out of, stop in soon and see if it’s in!

-It’s that time of year… Fly tying classes are around the corner. Stop in or give us a call if you’re interested.

-If you’re starting to rack your brain for cheap Christmas presents… Keep us in mind!