Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 9/11

Missoula Fishing Report 

September 11th

Hoot Owl Restrictions are lifted on all three rivers. You are free to fish wherever your wild heart desires! This weekend’s weather forecast is ranging from high 70s to mid 80s. It is surely a great time to get out on the weather and get into some fall fishing while you bask in what’s left of our sunshine. Again, you don’t need to be getting on the water around sunrise these days. Patience is a virtue– wait until nine or ten to wet a line, as the water is much cooler than weeks previous. There will a barbecue at the shop tonight (Friday) at 7 pm! We will be enjoying good food, great company, and celebrating the kick off of fall fishing. Come bring your best jokes, your dog, and your A-game for a round of washers. Someone needs to knock Russell off of his high horse after all these years.


Last night’s sunset was pretty surreal

Blackfoot River: Try throwing your favorite mayfly pattern in the morn’. Look for bigger fish foraging in the tail-out runs. Size 16-20 c0mparaduns, or olives. Mahoganies have been a great fly- try size 16. Alternative options would be a purple haze, or a royal wulff. Terrestrial game is alive and well… Beetles, ants, and hoppers all afternoon. Try throwing some big junky streamers; both dark and bright ones should find their way in your fly box today.

Clark Fork River: Tricos are out, depending on the day, some more than others. They seem to like the sun. This will probably be a great weekend for them. Mayfly patterns work great on overcast days. The fish will be in the skinny inside seams. Hopper-dropper rigs are an option in heavier water. Hi vis spinners, size 16-20 olives, as well as cripples/spun dun. Size 14-16 mahoganies and red rocky mtn mint flies. Size 6-10 hoppers have been killing it throughout the afternoon! We like peach and purple!

Bitterroot River: Great am trico hatches… Followed by an early afternoon with your favorite mayfly pattern. There aren’t many hecuba but they are out and about and the fish are hungry for ’em. For hecuba, cripples, and parachutes, go with a 10-12. Mahoganies are 14-16, olives 16-20. Be sure to have plenty of hoppers.

Rock Creek: The morning seems to produce mainly risers. Size 12-16 mayflies, 10-12 hecuba and royal wulff. Hoppers, ants beetles during the afternoon.Throw them near some wood, logs, etc. If you’re looking to nymph, copper johns, rubberlegs, and worms. The yellow streamers have been doing well on Rock Creek. The fish are after big flashy stuff.

In The News:  

-SHOP BARBECUE AT SEVEN TONIGHT! No better spot to spend a Friday night

-20% off all Simms outerwear clothing

-20% off Simms G4 Boa boots

Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 9/9

Missoula Fishing Report

September 9th 

rainbow hope

Hope with a nice bow she hooked into

Fall fishing has arrived! In addition to this fabulous news, FWP has uplifted any and all restrictions on our beloved rivers! The North Fork, as well as all Blackfoot tributaries, are Hoot Owl-free. Although we are still in the midst of some transition with our summer and fall hatches, the fishing is absolutely killer and we finally got rid of the smoke. We have nothing but good news for the fishing community today. The brown trout are getting eager to spawn, meaning they are more aggressive than they have been in quite some time. Go find out for yourself! On a side not, the water is clearly cooling down drastically. There is no need to rush out on the water like we were during the dog days of summer. It isn’t until nine or ten that the water temps drop to a decent point- and that is when the magic happens. Streamer game is starting to get really hot, as well as the terrestrial game- on all of the rivers.

Blackfoot River: Good Mayfly fishing, especially on cloudy days. Look for big fish foraging in the tail-outs of the deep runs. Try some mayfly patterns in the morning to early afternoon. Size 16-20 comparaduns, olives. Size 16 mahoganies, purple haze, and royal wulff. As before, beetles, hoppers, and ants have been a great option. Chuck some big heavy streamers and you’ll have a chance at getting a hefty fish- be sure to bring both bright streamers and dark ones.

Clark Fork River: Tricos are still hatching! Mayfly patterns on overcast days. Look for fish on those skinny inside seams. The hopper-dropper rigs are good in heavy water. For tricos, try size 18-20 (don’t forget your readers folks), hi vis spinners, olives 16-20, as well as cripples/spun dun. Size 14-16 mahoganies and red rocky mtn mint flies. Again, 6-10 hoppers have still been doing really well throughout the afternoon. We like peach!

Bitterroot: Great am trico hatches… Mayfly stuff in the afternoon. There aren’t many hecuba but they are not and the fish are looking for them. For tricos, size 18-20. For hecuba, cripples, and parachutes, go with 10-12. Mahoganies 14-16, olives 16-20. The terrestrial game is alive and thriving! Parachute hoppers are a great option. Try dark streamers!

Rock Creek: The morning seems to produce mainly risers. Again, don’t waste too much time wetting your line before about 9 am. Try some bigger mayfly patterns… 12s and 14s. Mahoganies from 14-16, and size 10-12 hecuba and royal wulff. Terrestrials: hoppers, ants, beetles. On Rock Creek, look for some wood, logs, etc. to throw these bugs. The fish will be expecting them near those! As for nymphs, throw rubberlegs and worms. We are digging the yellow streamers on The Creek– but be sure to throw some sort of streamer, as the fish are chomping on some big flashy stuff.

In The News:

-Simms outerwear 20% off!

-G4 Boa boots 20% off!

-The MAngler


Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 8/26

Missoula Fishing Report 

August 26th

With fall fishing right around the corner, we’re all getting pretty stoked to change things up. Regardless of the air quality, the fishing has been surprisingly steady. For those who aren’t clear on Hoot Owl Restrictions, they are uplifted on all three rivers. The only exception- the Blackfoot tributaries and the North Fork of the Blackfoot, which shut down from 2 pm to midnight. September fishing is going to be great this year, and guide trips are being booked like crazy. Stop in or call the shop if you’re looking to spend a day on the water this fall!

Summer smog

Summer smog on a Clark Fork evening. Different kind of beauty?

Blackfoot River: The fish aren’t being real picky with streamers. They’ll eat your sparkle minnows, some brighter colors, or darker streamers. If you’re fishing before 10 am, a hopper-dropper is a good way to go. After that, hoppers. Anything from size 8 to 12 should get you into a fish. As the Blackfoot is running low on water, fish will be searching for the deepest, coolest water.

Bitterroot River: The fish are more likely to eat a trico on the lower stretch of the Root. Hecubas are now a great option. Yellow sallies, purple haze, drakes, and baetis. Get your hands on some of those before taking on the Bitterroot. During the afternoon, you already kn0w… Terrestrial game till the cows come home.

Clark Fork: Despite confusion, the entire Clark Fork is open all day long. Again, some tricos and hecubas. Mayflies, attractor patterns, and lots of hoppers. Caddis hatch in the evening. The smoke has actually created a sort of cloud coverage. That is particularly good for fishing on the Clark Fork.

Rock Creek: Hopper-dropper rigs. Ants, beetles, and other terrestrials are rippin’ lips, especially when fished near some sort of wood, log jam, etc. The streamer game has been steady on Rock Creek. Sparkle minnows, and more colorful streamres. October caddis pupaes are starting to move to the shallows, and they’ll be getting ready to hatch here in the next few weeks. That goes for the Blackfoot and Clark Fork as well.

In The News:

-20% off ALL Simms outerwear clothing

-20% off Simms G4 Boa boots

-30% off all streamers (We have loads of ’em)

-We’ve restocked our hats and Mangler shirts!

-The MAngler

Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 7/19

Missoula Fishing Report

July 19th 

Cooler temps! Hallelujah! 

We’re seeing some moisture and the temperatures are dropping. July is already doing us a lot more favorites than June did. The Blackfoot actually dropped down to 58 last night, and the Upper Bitterroot hit 54 degrees. For the most part, things are the same. We’ve had some overcast days which can mean really killer fishing. Get out early to try and beat the traffic, and take advantage of these water temps. The water levels on the Bitterroot are dropping, so the upper parts are doing a lot better than the lower stretches. Rock Creek is still running pretty low, although the rain is helping all of the rivers out. The Blackfoot is still fishing really well, and The Clark Fork is decent too. If it’s sunny, head to the Blackfoot. When it’s cloudy, get on The Clarkfork or the Bitterroot. The Tricos are also beginning to hatch, so we will be seeing those in the next few days.

Clark Fork Fly Fishingc

Bitterroot River: PMDs, PEDs, caddis, attractor patterns, hoppers, yellow sallies, rubber legs, Goldens, lightning bugs, and tricos.

Blackfoot River: Once again, don’t overlook the heavier runs on the Blackfoot right now. You’d be surprised where some of the fish are lounging right now. Try throwing some spruce moths, PMDs, hoppers, stimulators, Chernobyls, and elk hair caddis.

Clark Fork River: Hoppers, spruce moths, mayflies, elk hair caddis, chubby style attractor patterns, yellow sallies.

Rock Creek: Either get out early, or go later on. Rock creek is NOT currently under Hoot Owl Restrictions, so you’re free to fish it whenever you please. Spruce moths, caddis in the evening, purple haze, parachute adams, elk hair caddis, Goldens, and big attractor patterns. Don’t hesitate to throw some streamers in the heavy runs.

Follow @missouliananglerflyshop on Instagram, or like us on Facebook! We post all kinds of good stuff. 

20% off of streamers!

-The MAngler

Missoula Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 7/14th

Missoula Fishing Report 


Return of the spruce moths… 

The spruce moths have been fluttering around over the past few days. They don’t appreciate the rain as much as we do, and this overcast weather has them hiding. Once the weather starts warming up again, these bugs will be swarming, and the fish will undoubtedly be eating. They’ve been out in full force on the Blackfoot, as well as the Clark Fork. There will be plenty around Rock Creek as well. The MAngler is getting a bunch of spruce moths in today, so stop in if you need to throw a couple in your fly box. An elk hair caddis can also be a decent substitution. Use a light tan or gray body and cut of the hackle thats on the belly- that way it will float like a spruce moth rather than skate around the water like a caddis.

ssspruce moth

Working away on some spruce moths. Go check out our blog post to watch Ron’s video on his version of tying a spruce moth!

 ( https://www.missoulianangler.com/2015/07/mangler-spruce-moth-tie-your-own/ )

Aside from that, things are staying pretty steady. It rained last night, though it looks like our chance of precipitation may be going down. It could very well still be cloudy and humid. Don’t forget that there is plenty of great water to be fished apart from that under Hoot Owl Restrictions. Go explore some creeks and alpine lakes, pray for rain, and be off the agua by two o clock pm! While fishing our rivers, don’t overlook the heavier water.

Blackfoot River: spruce moths, PMDs, elk hair caddis, stimis, hoppers, double beaded stones, chernobyls

Bitterroot River: Rusty spinners, PMDs, golden stones, hoppers, lightning bugs

Clark Fork River: Spruce moths, elk hair caddis, chubby style attractor patterns, yellow sallies, hoppers

Rock Creek: Spruce moths, elk hair caddis, PMDs, goldens, big attractors, parachute adams. Throw some nymphs and streamers in the heavy runs

-The MAngler


-Barbecue this Friday!! Bring a smile… And whatever else is necessary. We’re having a photo challenge as well. Catch a nice fish this week, tag The Missoulian Angler in the picture, and you’re on your way to winning yourself a growler from KettleHouse. @missouliananglerflyshop on Instagram, or like us on Facebook!

-20% off all Simms clothing!! Great supply for women as well

-20 % off all Lamson reels

October Is Our Favorite

As most of the fishing pressure around the Missoula area is winding down and focus is shifting towards the animals in the mountains, the fishing only gets better.

The nights are getting longer and the days are getting cooler. The trout seem to know whats coming and they are eating whatever comes over their heads. The Mayfly buffet is better then the senior special at Golden Corral. When things line up right you can have non-stop dry fly action. When things don’t line up you can roll an attractor where they should be a watch it happen.

BWO’s, Mahoganies, Tricos, A few Hecubas, October Caddis, and don’t forget the streamer fishing.

The Bitterroot and Clark Fork shine as the dry fly rivers right now. But don’t forget the Blackfoot as a streamer anglers Valhalla. So pick your river and go get ’em.

The bugs on our fly patches right now…. Beck’s Peacock Trico spinner. Hi-Viz Beatis. Red Willy’s Ant. The Sparkle Minnow. The Articulated Sparkle Minnow. Copper Haze. Parachute Adams. There are more, but those will get you started.

We have a few openings for guided trips left for October. If you would like to get out on the water one last time before winter sets in, now is the time to do it. If it means anything, Mangler guides are fishing hard on their days off right now. It’s that good. Our favorite time of year.

-The MAngler

…Because You Fish