As the spruce moths are starting to make a comeback, we’re all scrambling to get our hands on some. Ron Beck has a unique way of tying them, and we have a video to get you through each step. These moths are rippin’ lips on the Blackfoot and the Clark Fork, as well as Rock Creek. If you’re in need of supplies to tie them yourself, or you have any come on in and we’ll help you out!
Our rain dances must be making a difference, because we’re getting some strange moisture falling from the sky. If you are reading this report, please take a moment of silence, or just keep doing your jig. The Blackfoot actually dropped down to 61 degrees during the night, making for some content fish. We have some rain in the forecast, and the temps should finally be dropping as well. Don’t let the weather keep you inside… The fishing could be pretty swell. Shaded banks and heavier water could be key to getting into some big fish right now. Don’t hesitate to fish the deep runs in the middle of the river. Hoot Owl Restrictions are still in full force, get off the river by two pm!
Blackfoot River- spruce moths, goldens, PMDs, hoppers, San Juan worms, prince, stimis, caddis in the evening
Not much has changed in the past few days. If you’re looking to get into some trout, you need to get out as early as possible and be ready to combat some heat early in the day. The water temps are still higher than we’d like, but they seem to be dropping once the sun goes down (yeehaw!) 60 degree water has the fish jumping for joy… literally.
Don’t forget about Hoot Owl restrictions that have been instituted by FWP in order to protect our wildlife. Get on the river early, and make sure to be reeling up by 2 pm. This leaves plenty of opportunity to catch some fish, as the fishing seems to turn off midday anyway. Keep in mind that the river temperatures are still quite high before 2 o clock, and the water is not as oxygenated as we’d desire. Respect our wildlife!
Bitterroot and Clark Fork River- Caddis, yellow sally, PMDs, rusty spinners, hoppers and chubby style attractors, pheasant tails, golden stones
The Cooler Weather has help the rivers temps drop dramatically. The Blackfoot Dropped all the way down to 66 degrees last night. While we aren’t out of the woods yet this certainly help a great deal. Keep doing your rains dances and pray for cooler temps.
As for the fishing…. The Clark Fork, Blackfoot, Bitterroot, and Rock Creek are all the same in the fact that they are fishing better early than late. Hoot Owl restrictions are in effect around our area. You have to be off the water at 2 pm. While it seems like a drag, it is incredibly helpful for the fish we all love. So please respect the restrictions and our amazing resources. It will be worth it in the long run.
Back to the fishing… PMD’s, Sallies, Hoppers, and Caddis are on the main stage right now. The fish are sitting in the fast riffles and deep buckets. If you are the first boat they see that day they will eat the dry fly. Fish it.
This warm water is a great reason to explore smaller creeks and some of the awesome alpine lakes we have around here. There is more small water around Missoula than you can fish in a lifetime. Get out and explore and you might be surprised what you will find.
If you need a point in the right direction, Ron and AAron are walking encyclopedias about small streams around Missoula. You can buy most of their knowledge with a Budweiser.
Water temperatures are rising, but so are the fish… If you hit it at the right time. Being the first or last boat on the water is key during these hot summer days. Despite these hot temps, the bugs continue to hatch and the fish are still looking up for those tasty dry flies. If you don’t get on the river until later in the day, throw on a nymph rig if you’re prospecting for more fish. For all you “Dry or Die” fisherman, don’t hesitate to throw a hopper if you’re struggling to move fish in the afternoon. Again, keep in mind that this warm water is extremely hard on fish and that you should use heavier tippet and fight the trout fast.
Blackfoot River- Golden stones, green drakes, stimulators, adams, rubber legs, San Juan worms
Get out early if you want to throw a dry fly. The deep fast nymph runs are still giving up fish during the middle of the day. Lots of white fish when you play that game. The fish have been rather picky this week in some spots, as they are fighting the heat just as the rest of us. There are loads of Golden Stones hatching in and around Missoula, and the fish seem to really be digging PMDs and Yellow Sallies. Green Drakes have also been a hit over the past week or two. As for evening fishing, the Caddis are taking over.
Water levels are dropping, temperatures are rising. Please be conscientious of the fish and their health while you’re out on the water. Play fish fast, use heavy tippet, and get out early or late.
The Bitterroot River: Plenty of Golden Stones still swarming around, stick to a smaller pattern with a low wing. PMDs in the morning, Caddis in the evening.
The Blackfoot River: Bigger Goldens, attractor patterns, as well as Yellow Sallies. If you’re looking to get into some bigger fish, try to get on the water early. Streamers can still be effective in the mornings and in the evenings.
The Clark Fork River: Upper Clark Fork is getting weedy and low. Mid and Lower are still producing fish on PMDs and Goldens, but the Clark really shines during the evening Caddis hatch (last two hours of light).
Rock Creek: Very wadable right now, which attracts the summer crowds. Though the creek is still producing the most consistent dry fly fishing route. (Goldens, PMDs, Caddis)