Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula Fly Fishing Report 4/1

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 has been really good, with consistent Skwalas in the afternoon with sun or clouds. The Gray/Olive Plan B and the Half Down Skwala are getting solid results on the surface, while a 20 Incher or Double Bead Peacock Stone is working sub-surface. The Nemoura Stones are also taking trout- drop a dry Nemoura off your Skwala so you can see the thing. Subsurface, a Black SR Frenchie is working as the nymph.


The Western March Browns are also establishing, and the fish are starting to look for them in the afternoon. Right now, a Purple Haze or parachute Adams are working, but as the fish get more accustomed to taking them, a Lexi’s Tactical Dun Gray or Parachute Hare’s Ear is going to be a better choice. You can pretty much choose your nymph in gray or brown, something like a Duracell Jig or a Hares Ear is working sub-surface.


We’re not hearing much about steamers, with most anglers on the Bitterroot focusing on the hatches, but a slim profile fly like a Skiddish Smolt or Sculpzilla will turn some heads. Keep it low and slow for best results.


The Bitterroot is slowly dropping along the length, and we expect the fishing to get better as the next few days progress. The rise in water, slowed things down, but that’s changing and the fishing is good on the ‘Root.


Play nicely with others- The Bitterroot is seeing some pressure, so do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
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Blackfoot River

The Blackfoot River hasn’t really started to get good yet, and the recent increase in flow hasn’t helped. The Blackfoot is level, but not dropping yet, and it’s barely above 40 degrees. The fishing up here is slow, but there aren’t many people either. If you’re willing to put in the work, bring your Pat’s Rubberlegs, TJ Hookers and 20 Inchers, some additional weight and a patient attitude. Get the fly where the fish are and they’ll eat, but the colder water temps means the fish are a bit slow.


Same applies to streamers, get em deep, move them slowly, and it will pay off, but it won’t be hot and heavy. Of Missoula’s 4 rivers, the Blackfoot may be 4th choice, but you can get it done if you’re willing to go deep.
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Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork river is a tale of two rivers at the moment. Above town, the fishing is good. Some Skwalas, the WMB’s are getting a foothold, and the streamer fishing is decent. In and below town, the Clark Fork has limited visibility, and might not be the first choice for angling.


If you do decide to hit the upper Clark Fork, make sure to have a few Rasta Skwalas. If you need some foam to float a dropper, Clook’s Floater will take fish on top while holding up a Hare’s Ear or Orange Spot Jig as a WMB nymph. When the WMB’s start hatching, have some Lexi’s Gray Tactical Duns and Parachute Hare’s Ear’s for the afternoon.


Bigger streamers have been working above town, with a Gonga or Baby Dungeon in white standing out. Make sure they get deep enough, the water is still cold.


Our feeling is the lower Clark Fork River might be fishing by the end of the weekend, but it may take a bit longer to get the color out of the water.

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Rock Creek

Rock Creek has been fishing very well in the last couple of days as it drops in flows. The dry skywalks are consistent from early early afternoon on, with the Plan B Gray/Olive and a Rogue Skwala taking fish. The 20 Inches has been the skywalk nymph of choice, followed by the TJ Hooker. Nemouras are also working, so have a few when you head up to fish.


The Western March Browns are established, and offering consistent fishing on the upper and lower sections of Rock Creek. If you’re heading to the top of Rock Creek, take the P-Burg route. The middle section of Rock Creek Road is still a bit gnarly. Have your Parachute hare’s Ears and Parachute Adams when the WMB’s start to hatch, and a DuraCell Jig or a Pink Hot Spot for working the bottom. It’s also worm season, and the San Juan Worm is taking ore than it’s fair share of fish.


The streamer game is low and slow, with the Sculpin Sparkle Minnow working extremely well. A Baby Gonga or White Sculpzilla is also moving fish, but again, get it deep for better production.


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March 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.

Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula Fly Fishing Report 3/20

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

Enjoy and Good Luck!

Bitterroot River

Yes, it can now be said the skwala hatch is consistent on the Bitterroot River. Decent surface action is being found in the afternoons. Most Skwalas are working right now, but the Mangler custom Gray/Olive Plan B has been noticeably more effective, as has the El Camino. The Nemoura is even more prolific than the skwala, and a double dry- Skwala on point to a Nemoura dropper- is taking fish very consistently. A few BWO’s have been seen, and the fish are taking them when they can. WMB’s are in the air, but not much interest in them yet.
If you go subsurface, keep your skwala nymph near the edges, imitating the skwala nymphs staging before emergence. Have a few extras- big nymphs shallow is a recipe for snags. Smaller nymphs like an Olive Bullet or Pheasant Tail Jig are also working. And the worm- it is spring.
Pike are starting to move in the sloughs, and anglers have been targeting them successfully. Not hearing much about streamers on the Bitterroot, probably due to Skwala-mania. If you’re on the ‘Root and the dries aren’t getting it done, flip a streamer. The bigger fish are looking to feed- if they’re not coming to the surface, then you ought tp go down and meet them on their own terms!
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Blackfoot River

Every time we get a couple warm days, we think the Blackfoot river is going to start to fish, but so far it’s river choice four in the area. You can still take fish on the Blackfoot with a deep nymph rig or a very well placed streamer, but on the whole, it’s not in top form. Get your Pat’s Rubberlegs or 20 Inchers, and don’t be afraid to add split shot to make sure you get where the fish are. Smaller nymphs are decent, and the worm is taking it’s fair share of fish.
The lower sections are fishing a bit better than higher up, and if you’re heading north to the Blackfoot, the longer you wait the better the fishing will be. Give the water a chance to warm up a bit before making the journey. You might not be rewarded with massive numbers, but it should be pretty peaceful on the river.
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Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork river fly fishing has been a bit slow waking up this spring, but there are signs the fishing has turned the corner. Some Skwalas are being seen in the middle and lower sections, and once in a while the fish will care. Subsurface, the action is quite good, with a deep Pat’s Rubberlegs or a shallower Double Bead Peacock Stone are both taking trout. Drop a smaller, brown or tan Perdigon, like a G Kes or a Hot Spot Pheasant Tail Orange below the larger nymph to imitate the WMB nymphs that are starting to move.
Streamers have been working well on the Clark Fork as well. Low and slow is the move, with fish still finding their spring lies. Start small and light colored, and move to darker and larger till you find the ticket. The pike are also starting to wake up, and they’re being taken as well. We just got a new shipment of pike flies in- might be worth checking out.

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Rock Creek

While all eyes focus on the Bitterroot, Rock Creek fly fishing is sneaking up as being a pretty hot river. Skwalas are starting to show and being eaten with some frequency, and reports of fish taking the early WMB’s and BWO’s are being heard. The upper section is fishing well, but we recommend still taking the highway to get to P-Burg- Rock Creek Road is still a bit tricky in the middle. It’s early yet, so the fish are still pretty willing to hit a PK Skwala or a Mill Creek Skwala. A simple Hare’s Ear Parachute for the WMB and a Parachute BWO are working on the surface when you find rising fish.
Subsurface is very good, with a 20 Incher and a San Juan Worm working their yearly spring magic. If you want to go a bit smaller, the G Kes or Umpqua Pheasant Tail jig are working for the WMB nymph, while the Olive Bullet is taking fish as well.
Streamers have been somewhat productive, but have not yet started to get hot. Have them with you, but it will take some dedication to make a strong day with them. Make sure you have a Sculpin Sparkle Minnow or a Baby Gonga in Tan or Olive. Accuracy is more important than action- cold water is keeping the fish from big slashes, so get the fly close to the fish.
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March 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.

Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula Fly Fishing Report 3/6

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

Enjoy and Good Luck!

Bitterroot River

The Bitterroot is slowly dropping and clearing as we write, but still has some color. Lots of water came in last week. The skwala nymphs are starting to stage on the Bitterroot. THE NYMPHS. We’re still a bit away from dry fly action with Skwalas and Nemouras. An SR Bullet Black or Black Knight are great Nemoura nymphs, while the 20 Incher or the Peacock Double Bead Stone is a good skwala nymph. Bring your dries if it makes you feel better- they make a decent indicator.
There’s shelf ice on the ‘Root as well, so wading anglers make sure of access in and out. Also, wade carefully in the shallows- the nymphs are there, so are the trout. If you’re waist deep, you’re probably where the fish just were. Access for floaters was good two weeks ago, and there hasn’t been enough recent snow to change that. Dress warmly!
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Blackfoot River

Cold, cold, cold. The wade fishing has been slow, though larger fish are being taken. Floaters are finding more ice in the guides than fish in the boats. And just the lower river, boat access in the upper river is sketchy at best. Of the 4 rivers we have, this will be the slowest. Wait a bit before hitting the Blackfoot, but if you do make the call, a Brown TJ Hooker or dark Pat’s Rubberlegs is the best option. Drop a small perdigon off the back of the bigger nymph, and get Deep.
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Clark Fork River

Clark Fork is up and a bit off color through town and above. Which will help get rid of some of the shelf ice lining the banks. Waders need to make sure they have clear access in and out before entering the water. Some of the access ramps are easily accessed, others will require a bit of a boat drag. The weather this week won’t melt access blocks all that quickly- that will change in about 5 days.
Look for the river to be much clearer in the next 24-48 hours, and the trout to get back to their subsurface feeding. Don’t sleep on a deep, slow moving streamer, as well as the usual suspects for nymphs. Take a look into the back sloughs and slow eddies to target the pike, they’re starting to get on the feed as well.
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Rock Creek

Be ready for a little shelf ice in some spots, and if you’re thinking of the upper river, go around by Phillipsburg. The middle portion of Rock Creek Rd is still in winter conditions. Of the four local rivers, Rock Creek was least affected by the spate, and it’s the clearest river in the area.
Make sure to run your dropper a bit deeper up here- the water is up and moving a bit, and trout are hugging the bottom or deep in structure. Skwala nymphs are working, and a Brown Perdigon is a good WMB nymph. Slow pools will show willing for a streamer, but keep it low and slow. Smaller is better for streamers up here, but we’re hearing the little articulated streamers are moving fish.
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March 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.

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.



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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.

Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula Fly Fishing Report 7/25

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 is in the process of changing over from early summer to summer fishing. The Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies are waning, though the trout still recognize them and will eat. The hoppers are trying to establish, and are working, but some are being taken as Goldens. The PMD’s are still strong enough to bring pods to the surface, but the hatch is less predictable than a week ago. Tricos are being seen, but not much moving to them yet. At dusk, look for Tan Caddis and Pale Evening Duns. The hotter the day, the later the evening rise. People are throwing attractors, but they haven’t taken off yet. Ants and Beetles are producing along the length of the river.
Subsurface, a streamer early in the morning will move fish, but slows down when the sun hits the water. The Yellow Spot Jig and the G Kes are still working, while the SR Bullet French is starting to produce. The Duracell and Copper Top are also moving fish.
Water temperatures aren’t super critical on the upper Bitterroot, with Darby staying under 68 for the last week. The lower Bitterroot is a bit different. The water temps above Missoula have been above 72 for the last 4 days. If you’re going to chase the evening rise, drive farther south than you’d hoped to find colder water. The afternoons are hot, if you haven’t noticed. The smoke continues to help keep the sun off the water, but the fish still need a break in the heat of the day. Fish early and plan to be off the water by 3:00, to give the trout a break.
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Blackfoot River



The good news is the nights are getting colder, and the Blackfoot river hasn’t been above 68 for the last 6 days. The water isn’t cold, but it’s not in the danger level. Still fish early to be off early afternoon, to keep from stressing the fish in the heat of the day. If you end up on the river later in the day, cut the dropper off and stay on the surface. Dragging fish up from the cold bottom to the warm surface and shore will stress fish badly.
The Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies are hanging in well on the Blackfoot River. So are the PMD’s, Tan Caddis and Pale Evening Duns. The hoppers are being seen, and eaten as well. The PED’s and Tan Caddis are a dusk event, though a small Tan Caddis is moving smaller fish all day. Attractors are moving fish well enough to have them, but a TJ Hooker and Pats Rubber Legs are working well underneath a big Golden or Tan Chubby. Smaller jigs like the Pheasant Tail and Firestarter are also effective. Bigger jigs have been more effective than smaller in the last couple of days. A streamer in the morning is never wrong on the Blackfoot, though sun will end that fun.
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Clark Fork River


The Clark Fork River is the only local river with Hoot Owl hours. There’s no fishing between 2:00 PM and Midnight from the junction of Rock Creek east to Warm Springs. The warmer water is also affecting the lower Clark Fork as well, though there are no restrictions in place. However, if you can plan your day to be off the water before the heat hits, that will help the stress levels of the trout.
Goldens and Yellow Sallies are almost done, though the fish will still eat the occasional imitation. Hoppers are starting to establish, and are flying well later in the day, unfortunately. If you stay for the hopper bite, cut your dropper off and drop down a tippet size. Get the fish to hand as quickly as possible, and release it in colder water.
The PMD’s are getting the fish on the lower Clark Fork to pod up, and the dry fly fishing is classic lower Clark. Have some cripples and emergers, as well as classic dries to cover all aspects of the hatch. The Tan caddis and Pale Evening Duns are still coming off at dusk, with the heat of the day pushing them closer to sunset. Ants and Beetles are moving fish along the banks, though attractors have not yet started to make their presence felt.
Big droppers are still moving trout subsurface. TJ Hookers, Pat’s RubberLegs and Zirdles are moving fish deep in the morning. Smaller jigs are also effective, with the G Kes, Yellow Spot and Micro May PMD taking a large proportion of fish.
At first light, a big dry stonefly will take the cruisers still looking for the nocturnal stones. And if you get to the river prior to first light, have a mouse pattern with you. The big fish come out to play at night, and the big fish in the Clark Fork are BIG! Worth getting out of bed for.
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Rock Creek

Rock Creek is fishing very well right now, with a variety of flies working. Goldens and Yellow Sallies are still moving fish, and hoppers are being eaten as well. Purple hoppers and green hoppers have been the most effective. PMD’s are waning, but still being seen. The Tan Caddis are still prolific, and will take fish all through the day, as well as dusk. Attractors have been providing a lot of fun on Rock Creek, with Micro Chubbies really moving a few fish.
The subsurface action has been strong, with gray and brown jigs taking a lot of fish. The larger droppers have fallen a bit, but a size 12-14 Pats Rubberlegs is still moving trout. Don’t be afraid to run a streamer in the morning, with the Sculpin Sparkle Minnow being the number one contender.
water temps in Rock Creek are doing quite well, with nothing above 67 in the last 5 days. We still recommend cutting off the dropper for afternoon fishing, but Rock Creek is lone of the best local rivers for good water temps. The warmer water has made the bottom more slippery than usual, so safety first when wading.
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July 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.