The 310 mile river that runs through the heart of downtown Missoula is a shining example of what hard work and dedication can do. Through the effort of many conservation groups the once, near lifeless Clark Fork, is once again a healthy and trout filled river.
There are few rivers in Montana that are as diverse as the Clark Fork. From top to bottom the river shifts from a small S-turned and grassy banked stream, to a large Western Freestone. The upper river is full of “Cookie Cutter” Brown Trout that love to eat dry flies and streamers.
As the river flows towards Missoula, Rainbow Trout and Cutthroat Trout begin to replace the Brown Trout. The middle river is a beautiful mix of braided channels, cliff faces, and grassy banks. Everything a trout angler looks for in a river.
After Rock Creek, The Blackfoot River and The Bitterroot River meet The Clark Fork. The big lower river begins and the strong Rainbow Trout are king. The lower river fish eat dry flies with confidence and fight more like a steelhead than a trout.
Clark Fork River Fly Fishing is a dry fly enthusiasts nirvana. The Fall Mayfly fishing on The Clark Fork is second to none. The large summer stoneflies also make up a big portion of Clark Fork Trout diets.
Spend three days fishing the Upper, Middle, and Lower river and you will feel that you have spent three days on thee different rivers. Being such a diverse river, The Clark Fork River truly has something for everyone.