Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula Fly Fishing Report 4/7

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 fishing has been inconsistent over the last 3 days or so with rising flows followed by snow. The river flows have leveled off and started to drop which should bring a little more consistency over the next few days.

Even through with the rising water and cold snap, the fish were still eating dries, you just had to work a little harder for the dry eats. We’ll see what the weather does over the next week but it looks like we’ll continue to see good fishing in the coming weeks on dries.

We’re still focusing on Skwala dries, but more and more March Browns are showing up and fish are taking notice, especially in the cloudy weather. Don’t forget to have some BWO patterns handy in the clouds as well.



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

Blackfoot River

Fishing on the Blackfoot river has been slow over the last few days with rising water and a major cold front that moved in over the last few days. Rising water flows and dropping water temperature is not a good combo for the Blackfoot river fishing in the spring. While the flows have leveled off, the water is still cold and will take some warmer weather to get it back up to where it was before the cold front. Like we’ve said in many spring fishing reports for the Blackfoot, if you want less people, this is the place to be, but you’ll sacrifice fishing and dry fly fishing for solitary. The nymphing and streamer fishing should continue to fish well for those who wish to head up that way. Focus your time on slow inside seems with deep nymph rigs and slowly retrieved streamers.

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Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork river like the rest of the rivers in the area was effected by the change in weather over the last few days. The water levels went up and has started to drop over the last couple days. The river has turned a bit darker in color which will slow things down for a few days but we expect the Clark Fork to be fishing good again soon. Keep March Browns, BWO’s and Skwalas handy. We’ll keep you posted on conditions.

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Rock Creek

Rock Creek has been solid even through the bump in water flows and cooler temps. They nymphing and streamer game has been the way to go over the last few days with the rising water. We are seeing Skwala’s, March Browns and BWO’s hatching and the dry fly fishing should pick back up this week with the warmer weather and leveling flows.

Focus on nymphs and streamers in the morning and go to the dries in the afternoon. The fish are still in their cold weather holding water, so hit the inside seems and slower walking speed water runs.


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Spring 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 4/3

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 been hot over the last week, the skwala dry has been the name of the game, March browns and BWOs have been good in the cloudy weather. Anglers are having success with nymphs and streamers early morning, and then switching to the Skwala dry later in the morning and throughout the day. The river flow is on an upward trend, and with rain forecasted, we might see the bump in flows continue depending on how much moisture we receive over the next few days

Our favorite patterns are as follows:
Skwala – Gray/Olive Plan B, Water Walker, Rogue, Mill Creek and the True Skwala.
March Browns – Parachute Pheasant Tail, Brindlechute and the Carnage March Brown.
BWO – Tiltwing, Thorax, Parachute Hare’s Ear Olive and Film Critic.

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

Blackfoot River

Fishing on the Blackfoot river is decent, particularly with streamers and nymphs, while the dry fly fishing is spotty at best. Effective strategies include fishing deep nymph rigs on inside seams and slowly retrieved streamers in deeper runs.

While the Blackfoot river may not be the best option for anglers at this point, the traffic is low and this is a great time of year to test out your streamer skills with some big fish being caught up here over the last few weeks.

Deep nymph rigs with stoneflies and worms are pretty hard to beat on the Blackfoot river now. For streamers, our favorites are the Double Fuego, Sparkle Minnow, Mongrel Meat and the Gonga.

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

Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork river mirrors the Bitterroot in terms of hatches. The skwala’s have been out in the sun, while the BWO’s and March Brown dries have been good in the clouds.

Like the Bitterroot, the Clark Fork’s flows are creeping up as of this morning. The forecast is calling for a lot of moisture over the next 24 hours.

Our favorite patterns for the Skwala has been the Mill Creek Skwala, Gray/Olive Plan B and the True Skwala. The Parachute Pheasant Tail and Carnage March Brown has been our most effective March Brown Patterns. For BWO’s, try the Film Critit, Split Flag and the Thorax.

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Rock Creek

Rock Creek is in excellent fishing conditions. The Skwala adults have started to show up along with BWO’s and March Browns. The dry fly fishing in the morning has been a little slow, but by midday the dries have been effective. Nymphing and streamer fishing has been good in the morning while you wait for the dries to come into play.

Like the rest of the rivers, Rock creek is currently seeing a rising trend in water flows as of this morning and might continue its rise if the weather forecast holds true. Rock creek is one stream around missoula that still fishes decent in rising water.

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Spring 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 3/28

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 continues to fish good through the changes in weather. We’ve seen warm sunny days and we’ve seen cold snowy days over the last week. Last week the water was rising and this week it has leveled off and dropping which should make for some really good fishing. We’ve been seeing plenty of Skwala’s and good numbers of BWO’s on the cloudy days. The afternoon has been better for dry flies but even the late morning dry fly action has been good.

The water temperature is still cold, so focus on the inside seems and slower walking pace water. Our favorite nymphs so far this spring has been the TJ Hooker, 20 Incher, Olive DB Stone and of course the Pats Rubberlegs. Our go to Skwala dries have been the Peacock Plan B, Olive Plan B, Rogue, Rolling Stone, Mill Creek and the Water Walkers. Be prepared with some BWO’s in size 16-18 during the clouds. We’re also expecting to start seeing more March browns over the next few weeks.

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

Blackfoot River

The Blackfoot river is still much colder water temperatures than the rest of the big rivers around Missoula. There’s not much to write home about when it comes to dry fly fishing on the Blackfoot river, but the streamer and nymph fishing remains decent. You might see a few fish rising here and there, but subsurface is the best plan of action.
Deep nymph rigs on inside seems and dead drifting streamers are the best strategies for the spring on the Blackfoot.

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

Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork river has started to fish much better this week with the dropping flows. Skwala’s and BWO’s have been the name of the game over the last few days.

Our go to dry flies have been the Plan B Olive, Water Walker and the Rogue for Skwalas and Last Chance Cripple, Film critic and thorax for the BWO hatch. The Skwala dry has fished well through the sun and clouds, but be ready for fish eating the BWO’s on cloudy days. We expect to see better numbers of insects as the weather warms up over the next few weeks. Streamer fishing or nymphing is a good strategy for the morning before the water warms up and the fish start eating dries.

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Rock Creek

Rock Creek has been good lately. We’re starting to see more and more Skwala adults and the fish are looking up for them. The bottom end seems to be fishing better for dries than the upper. There’s still not a lot of adult bugs hatching but that should change with the warmup over this week and next week. Expect more Skwala’s, March Browns and BWO’s to start hatching in larger numbers over the next few weeks.

Nymphing and streamer fishing has been the most consistent lately. Nymphing Stonefly nymphs like the Jig Pats, Double Bead Stones and 20 inchers have been the most productive, but of course the good old worm is hard to beat this time of year on all of our rivers. The Kreelex, Sparkle Minnow, Baby Gonga and Sculpzilla’s have been the been good for streamers.

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

Spring 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 3/21

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 is starting to fish very well over the last week. There has been good numbers of adult Skwalas hatching along with Nemoura’s and Capnias. We’re expecting to see more BWO’s and maybe a few March Browns starting to hatch as the weather shifts this week from bright and sunny to cloudy weather. The fish should still eat the Skwala on top throughout the week, but be prepared with some Mayflies in the species mentioned above. The water has been on it’s way up over the last few days with the warmer weather, but we expect it to level off with the cold front depending on how much rain it brings.

We’re still focusing on nymphs in the morning and switching to dry flies in the afternoon when the water temperatures warm up throughout the day. Our early morning nymphing consists of mostly stonefly nymphs in the size 8-12 range to imitate the Skwala nymphs as they move to the banks to hatch. Check out the bottom of this page for the best Skwala, March Brown, BWO and Patterns.

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

Blackfoot River

Just like every year, the Blackfoot river is the last river to wake up to Spring. It has been mainly a subsurface game with a few windows of dry fly fishing with BWO’s, Capnia’s and Nemoura’s. These windows are short and inconsistent, so focus your time with streamers and nymphs. Nymphing deep inside seems will be your most consistent tactic with stonefly nymphs and worms. Streamer fishing will be less action, but your chances of pulling out a big fish increases. Slow stripped or dead drifting streamers is the way to go right now. If you want to be on a river with very few anglers, the Blackfoot is the best choice. If you want better dry fly fishing, the Blackfoot river might not be the best choice.

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Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork river fished decent over the last week, but with the rising water it has started to change colors and getting darker. The Clark Fork river is the last river to clear up after rising water typically, so this might not be the best option for the next few days at least.

There has been a few Skwala adults sighted but few and far between. Other bugs we’ve been seeing are BWO’s, Nemoura’s, Capnias and we expect to start seeing March Browns in the next few weeks.

Streamer fishing has been decent before the bump in flows and should continue to be good after the flows taper off a bit.

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Rock Creek

Rock Creek has been producing some good fishing as of late. There has been a few Skwala’s starting to hatch but not enough to get the fish to eat them consistently. We’ve also been seeing good numbers of Nemoura’s and Capnia’s.

The nymphing has been great and should continue to fish good even through the rising water with the warmer weather we’ve been seeing. Lots of Skwala nymphs heading to the bank to get ready to hatch, so have plenty of Stonefly nymphs in the size 10-12 range to imitate the moving Skwala nymphs. Pat’s Rubberlegs, TJ Hooker, DB Stone and 20 Inchers to name a few. Check out our top patterns for each hatch below to see some of our favorites for these hatches.

Streamer fishing has been decent with small single hook streamers to small articulated streamers. Flies like the Sparkle Minnow, Kreelex and Double Ganga have been producing a lot of fish here and throughout the Missoula area lately.

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Spring 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 10/1

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

Enjoy and Good Luck!

Bitterroot River

The bugs are really happening on the Bitterroot, with strong hatches even on the sunny days. The Mahoganies have been steady in the afternoons with the D&D Cripple and Mahogany Sprout working very well. The Tilting and Brindle Chute are also working, especially on lone risers. When you decide to work the bottom, the Orange Spot Pheasant Tail, Duracell and the Perdigon Butano are moving the nymphing trout.

The BWO’s are also strong, and really getting fish to pod up. Again, the cripples and mergers are working better than a standard dry. Look to the Film Critic, Split Flag and Last Chance Cripple to take the fish at the top of the pod. The Comparadun BWO is also a strong Bitterroot fly, and the Lexi GED is also finding a few trout. Stick a Hi-Viz Spinner in your box as well, for when the fish focus on that phase. The Olive SR Bullet, the Quill Bullet and the Olive Quill Bomb are doing good work on the bottom, if you can drag yourself away from the risers.

The Hecubas are having a decent season. While not prolific, make sure to have a Bigger Brindle Chute in the in case you find them. The October Caddis are also getting stronger, and the Orange Elk Hair Caddis with trimmed hackle has been very effective. The Foam October Caddis has also been moving fish on the surface. Be ready for the Pupa with a Bird Of Prey or the Orange Mop Fly.

For those hunting big fish, the streamer bite is on along the length of the river. Keep your streamer light and thin, especially if you’re wading. The Skiddish Smolt, Emma’s Mod Maisden and of course smaller Sparkle Minnows are all doing the job. If you’re floating, a bigger streamer like a Gold Double Fuego or the Baby Swim Coach is making it happen. The brighter the day, the closer you need to be to structure, so plan your buying accordingly!

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

Blackfoot River

The Blackfoot is beginning to shut down for the fall. There’s no reason too be on the water before 11:00 Am, and the day is mostly over by 5:00. The October Caddis, Mahoganies and Blue Wings are all out and moving, but it feels like every day the dry fly fishing gets a just a touch slower as the temperatures drop. Finding rising fish can be a bit of a challenge, but when you do, it’s not very complicated.

For the October Caddis, the Foam Body has been very good. It floats in the roiling water, and pulls fish up. The bigger Morrish October Caddis is a sneaky good call up here- that bigger silhouette get’s at trout’s attention. The Orange Mop Fly and Morrish Pupa are making it happen subsurface.

The Tilt Wing Mahogany, Purple Haze and Brindle Chute are working when the Mahoganies are out. Have a cripple or two if the fish get snotty, but it hasn’t been critical. Get a quick sinking brown jig to get things going underneath. Same can be said for the BWO’s- Tilt Wings and the Lexi GED are working when you find risers. So small and olive subsurface, but you might do better with a deep TJ Hooker or Pat’s. The Blackfoot isn’t known for small nymphing.

The streamer fishing has been really good. If you have a slow sink tip, now is the time to bring it out. The big Browns are moving, so bring your White streamers and have a good size range. Depending on your rig, White Mini Dungeons and Mongrel Meat are working with the sink tip. The Sculpzilla and White Fishwhacker are perfect for a lighter set up

The same can be said for Olive and Tan streamers. Bigger streamers are working right now- as always, make sure you have the set-up to throw what you get. Deeper is better, so a sink tip or sinking leader is not a bad idea. If you head to the Blackfoot, make sure you’re on the water mid afternoon. The heat of the day is now your friend, so make sure you take advantage

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Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork has been a bit spotty this fall. The hatches are there, no question, but the consistency of daily pods hasn’t been seen. Be ready to do a bit more searching for rising fish, because fish rising yesterday in one spot doesn’t guarantee they’re rising there today. With that said, there are bugs along the length of the Clark Fork, especially the lower. Look for the Mahoganies to get stronger as we enter October. The Purple Haze, Mahogany Tilt Wing and Copper Haze are taking most fish when they’re podded up. If you want the lead fish, you might want to switch to a Sprout or D&D Cripple for the biggest snouts. Underneath, the Carmel Jig and Pheasant ail jig are moving trot lower in the water column.

The BWO’s are still responding to the sun, so clouds are still important. On the cloudy days, the fish are really up, and the BWO Last Chance Cripple, Split Flag Cripple and Fly tics are taking the fussiest risers. Make sure to have a Hi-Viz BWO Spinner when the trout move to them, and have a Tilt Wing or Parachute when the fishing gets easier. Have you SR Olive Bullet or Olive MicroDrop for the fish on the bottom. While not a BWO, the TJ Hooker or Pat’s Rubber Legs deep is a constant on the Middle and lower Clark.

If you have streamers on your mind, the entire length of the river is kicking out some big fish. Above Drummond, the Sculpin Sparkle Minnow, Emma’s Mod Minnow and the Mini Dungeon have been moving some big fish. Get lower, and the Sculpzilla has been working, as has the Double Fuego and the Baby Gonga. If you want to go big, toss an articulated Dirty Hippie and get it deep. The Lower Clark has been good with streamers, but most are looking for snouts! If you decide to get big, the White Peanut Envy or Mongrel Meat have been moving some big Browns.

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Rock Creek

The fall hatches are in full swing on Rock Creek. Whether looking to search with an October Caddis or find risers to BWO’s and Mahoganies, Rock Creek is fishing well. The Foam Run October Caddis is the perfect dry for bouncy water, while the Orange Elk Hair Caddis is working well too. Sub-surface, the Bird of Prey and the Caddy Shack are working as a caddis pupa.

The Mahoganies are not so prolific that you need to get super technical, which means the Purple Haze, Mahogany Tilt Wing and Brindle Chute are working well on the surface. As the hatch progresses, the flies will get more technical, but keep it simple now. The Carmel Nymph and Orange Spot Pheasant Tail Jig are working well underneath.

BWO’s are also on the water, and quite prolific. Be ready for a bit more technical fishing with a BWO Sprout, Last Chance Cripple or a HackleMaster. The standard parachutes are working, but not as well. When you go deep, the SR Olive Bullet and the Olive MicroDrop are working well. And while it’s not a BWO nymph, the TJ Hooker in a size 12 is working ion the deeper holes.

The Browns are starting to moving up river for their fall dance, so a white streamer is going to work for those cruisers. The bigger resident fish are also looking for big grub, and the Sculpin Sparkle Minnow, Baby Swim Coach and the Dirty Hippie are seeing a lot of action. The larger streamers haven’t been as popular as the mid size and smaller streamers, so keep that in mind. A sinking leader is useful in the deeper holes- keep the tippet short to maximize sink.

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

FallHatches

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 8/26

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 benefited from cool daytime temps, colder and longer nights, and recent rain. Fishing has improved a lot and hoot owl has been lifted, meaning you can now fish all day long. As the nights get longer, the fishing will continue to improve for the rest of august and into September. Hopper fishing has been the most consistent but there has been some great Trico hatches in the morning and on cloudy rainy days the Hecuba Mayfly has been great. September should be great this year on the Bitterroot and the rest of our local streams.

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

Blackfoot River

The Blackfoot has been fishing good lately with the cooler temps and should continue to produce plenty of fish for the rest of the season. Hopper fishing has been the go to and dropper fishing during the mid day lull will keep you busy. The cooler water temps brings some great streamer fishing this time of year. Trico’s are around but the trico is one of the least important hatches on the Blackfoot as the big fish just don’t show a lot of attention to them like the pods on the Clark Fork and Bitterroot do. Ant’s and beetles have also been good and always a good fly to have in your box this time of year for all of our rivers.

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Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork hoot owl restrictions have been lifted and you are now able to fish all day long. Like the Bitterroot, the Clark Fork has really improved lately with the colder night time temps and rain we’ve received lately. And with longer nights ahead, fishing in September should be great as always. The Trico fishing has been awesome during the spinner fall mid morning and hopper fishing picks up the slack when the spinner fall slows down. Be prepared for good Hecuba hatches on the lower river during cloudy rainy days. The upper to the lower stretches have all been fishing good lately and should be good from here on out with water conditions looking solid.

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Rock Creek

Rock Creek continues to fish good and like the other rivers in the area, has improved a lot with the needed cooler temps and rain. Streamer fishing has been great and will only get better as fall approaches. Dry fly fishing with hoppers, Ants and Beetles is the main game on Rock Creek right now. There are hatches of Tricos, but like the Blackfoot, this is just not an important hatch on the Creek usually. We’re excited for a great September and October on Rock Creek and the rest of our local streams with this much needed and surprising cool down we’ve seen lately.

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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.