Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 4/14

Missoula Fishing Report

The weather around Missoula has made a turn that should bring the rivers down in a few days. However if we get a lot of rain over the next few days all bets are off.

*Disclaimer*– I can’t predict the weather or what the rivers will do.


So here is a fishing report for the next few days: Go to Harper’s,Beavertail, or Frenchtown pond. The chartreuse powerbait fished on 30 pound braid seems to be the ticket. Fish it deep (4 to 8 inches off the bottom) or under a great big red and white “indicator”. A dual rig of crawlers and corn (nibblets not creamed) is also producing, especially in the mornings. These fish are still adapting to their new environment, so treat ’em gently.

-The MAngler

Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 4/5

Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Skwala Fishing Report


Up and Down. Zig and Zag. Around and Around we go again. Spring fishing in the Missoula area is like a game of musical chairs and Russian Roulette. Hot, Snow, Rain, Water Pulses, Bugs, no Bugs, the list goes on and on.  Your guess is a good as mine. Will the rivers fish through a push of water? I think so, but maybe not. AS of right now. This exact second it looks like The upper Bitterroot has crested and is now falling back into shape. Warm weather is expected to show up in a few days. We will ride the roller coaster all over again. But hey, that’s spring fishing. 


The past weekend the fishing was great. Lots of nice fish showing up and keeping their eyes up looking for your perfectly presented skwala to float over their noggin. Most of the time they ate it like they meant it. 


As far as the bug choice goes, go to a bug that is hard to see. The fish have seen a lot of skwalas so far this year. Bulletheads are a good idea. Think Low-Pro. 


Its also a good idea to keep an eye on the graphs. You can get a lot of information from the USGS Graphs. We have all of the relevenat graphs on our site here…




Check in with us for the most up to the minute information on Missoula Fishing here at the Missoulian Angler Fly Shop. (406) 728-7766 


We have some openings for guided trips if you want to get out for the skwala hatch. Some great fish have been finding their way into our nets. 


-The MAngler. 

Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 3/31

Missoula Fishing Report 


Fishing Report for the last day in March. 

Skwala Eater

Did that brown eat a Skwala? Maybe…

The bugs are out. The fish are eating them. Skwalas, March Browns, Blue Wings. It’s good. Book a trip, or get out and explore on your own.

The fishing took a long time to get going yesterday, but when it did, it was worth the wait. Work hard and you will be rewarded.

Keepin’ it short today. Too busy in the shop to write a long report. Get out and see for yourself.

-The MAngler.

Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 3/24

Missoula Fishing Report 3/24

Skwala Fishing


I told you I would tell you when the Skwalas showed up. More importantly, the fish have ACTUALLY started to eat the bugs. They aren’t eating them with reckless abandon all day. You have to fish the window. The warmest part of the day, seems to have the best dry fly fishing right now. From 2-5pm will be your best opportunity for fish to eat the dry. They have been on the slow woody banks, The insides, Sitting on the seams, and the sneaky sexy little buckets. Not all of theses places at once, and not everyday, but they are there. You just have to figure out where. For that day. They may not be there the next. 

Bitterroot River Fishing Report: The upper river (The river above Hamilton) is fishing well. But it always fishes well. They are eating the dry, Probably for longer periods of time than they are lower in the river. The Middle River (Hamilton to Stevi) has a good amount of bugs moving around. Not just Skwalas. There are mayflies as well. Blue wing Olives, Ameletus, and March browns have all been reported. If you see fish rising, chances are they will eat whatever you have tied on. Just make sure the first drift is the right drift. The Lower River (Stevi to Missoula) normally takes a little longer than the rest of the river to get going in the spring. The mayflies have shown up down there, and the fish are eating them. 

Clark Fork Fishing Report:  The Clark Fork above Rock Creek had a considerable amount of mud in the water. The moisture that is coming down now is sure to put some more dirty water in the system. That being said, the Clark fork is fishing well, some of the time. The bugs have been spotty but when they are there it can be worth the trip. 

Blackfoot Fishing Report: Bunyon Bugs

Rock Creek Fishing Report: Upper Rock Creek has had some great fishing the last few days. The mayflies are out and the fish are eating on top.  Look for the softer pockets if you are throwing the dry. If you want to nymph, the 5-7 foot deep medium slow inside water is where you should be spending your time. 


Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 3/16

Missoula Fishing Report 


The weather has again reminded us that spring in Montana can turn back to winter whenever it wants. With night time low’s in the teens over the next few days, the water temps on our local rivers will stay on the colder side of what we want to see for good bug activity. This change in the weather pattern might slow down the spring fishing over the next few days. However, it’s a good thing for our rivers in the long run. Everyday that is cold and nasty now is another day of water for our rivers during the summer. As of right now our snow pack data reports are looking right around normal. That is good news. Lets just hope that the active weather cycle continues through the spring and early summer and we will have a great year of fishing in Missoula.  


The Missoula Area Rivers Fishing Report: I will say it again. It’s starting. Just getting going. Almost here. By no means, is it “ON”. Yes, you will see a skwala if you look hard enough. You will probably catch fish on a dry. But to be honest, because that’s what we do here, “The Hatch” is still coming. So if you haven’t been out yet, don’t panic. You haven’t missed your chance. The dry fly opportunities will only get better. A look back through all of our spring photos proves this. When looking at the dates of some of our best skwala days, they averaged between March 25th and April 21st. So the best is yet to come.  We are eternal optimists here at The Missoulian Angler. 


All that being said, things this time of year can change overnight. You might get a handful of dry fly eats one day, and the fish won’t leave it alone the next. And that change is close, it could be any day now. And when that happens, I promise we will tell you. 


For now, rig up a nymph rig and a streamer rig when you get to the river. Fish that until the warmest part of the day. Then, if you want to push the dry fly, switch it up. The peak dry fly times will be between 1:30-4 pm. Look for fish eating and bugs moving. Don’t make them work hard for it. So put it right over them. If its right in their wheel house they will eat it. You know it’s going when the fish start to move for your dry bug. 


Stop by the Missoulian Angler Fly Shop for the reelest Missoula Fishing Report and the LARGEST FLY SELECTION in town. We are here for you!


-The MAngler

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