Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 10/10

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 slow to move into strong Fall mode- it’s more been a sneaking up on the classic fall hatches. The Mahoganies are pushing their way onto the scene, getting a little better every day. The Tiltwing Dun and Brindle Chute are working as adults, while the Rusty Hackle Stacker is taking fish as a cripple/emerger. While not a blanket hatch, there’s enough bugs to get the trout’s attention. Get down with a PT Jig or a Caramel Jig to make the most of the Mahoganies at the moment.
The BWO’s are also slowly appearing this year. Have the basics with you- Parachute BWO, Last Chance Cripple and a Hackle Stacker to cover the hatch along the river. Be ready for random appearances until the clouds start to hit the area with some regularity. A small Olive Bullet or Olive Spanish Bullet is working as the dropper on a double nymph rig.
The amazing weather we’re having has kept the hopper fishing as good as we’ve seen it for a while this late in October, and it looks like it will stay good for a while. There are still tricos coming off, and while they are waning, the trout are still looking for them. Make sure you have your tricos with you.
If the weather gets cloudy, get to the Bitterroot. The clouds will get the Mahoganies and BWO’s moving, so when the sky is overcast, you should be casting as well!
With the sun, a bright, flashy streamer is moving fish. Try a Skiddish Smolt, Little Kim Ciopper or any Kreelix in the sun to grab the trout’s attention. A little deeper is always better when the sun is shining, but the water temps are telling the trout it’s time to eat, so show them some big food and get ready.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips for each hatch

Blackfoot River

The Blackfoot River is starting to show signs of the end of fall fishing. That means the streamer fishing is really good up here. The big fish are looking for some pre-Winter bulk, so it makes sense to show them what they want! If you have a streamer set-up, the big flies like a Dungeon or Double Dirty Hippie are moving big fish. Get them a bit deeper than usual to counter the sun. Make sure to have light, bright and dark streamers to cover all the bases. For lighter line weights, throw a smaller streamer, and make sure you get it close to structure. The big fish are looking to eat- make it easy by putting your fly where they live.
The October Caddis are being seen on the Blackfoot, and while the fish are taking the adults sporadically, the pupa are really working. The Bird of Prey and Orange Mop Fly are moving fish sub-surface with regularity. While not an October Caddis, the TJ Hooker, Orange Spot PT Jig and Olive Micro Dot are also taking fish on a double nymph rig or under a hopper.
Which are still working! The warm Fall we’re having is keeping the hoppers quite active on the middle and lower sections of the Blackfoot. Have a range of sizes, as the hot hopper seems to change from day to day, big and small. We can’t even say which color is hot, as that seems to change as well. But have your hoppers and larger attractors to get some fish to the surface.Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!

Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork has been a bit of an enigma this fall. The hatches are out, but without consistency. Mahoganies, BWOS and some October Caddis are being seen, but so far nothing has truly established with the warm, sunny weather. That keeps the hatches simple, with a Pheasant Tail Parachute working for the mahoganies, and a Tiltwing for the BWO’s.
The warm weather has trout still looking for hoppers. Have an assortment of sizes and colors, as the trout have seen a few this season and sometimes the wild card is the answer. Drop a Duracell or PT Jig off the back to imitate the Mahogany nymph. Mid size attractors are also working well, like a Purple Pennington or a Micro Waterwalker.
If you decide to run a double nymph rig, a TJ Hooker or a Double Bead Stone as the point will get your Olive Micro Dot or SR Bullet Quill down deep. Placing your indicator 5-6 feet from the point fly is not too far- get down deep in the sun.The streamer bite is coming on as well, especially in the middle section. Big flies move big fish, so if you have the line weight to throw big flies, do so. With a lighter line, a Skiddish Smolt or Kreelix will provide the sink rate and ease of casting that will take fish. When the sun is shining, a sparkly fly tends to work a bit better, but make sure to have the full color spectrum, just in case.
If we get a cloudy day, drop what you’re doing and head to the Clark Fork. The hatches have been strong ion the clouds, so take advantage.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!

Rock Creek

Rock Creek is fishing well right now with hoppers, nymphs and streamers. The classic fall hatches are taking their time to establish up here, but with a little diligence you can find some spots where the Mahoganies and BWO’s are starting to appear. Make sure to have some Parachute Pheasant Tails and your BWO’s, but it’s going to take a bit to find fish taking them.
The Hoppers and Attractors are still working along the length of the river, especially in the afternoon as the water temps rise. A Pink or tan hopper has been taking fish with regularity, as have the Stubby Chubbies, Micro Chubbies and the Brindle Chute. Work the edges and drop offs for the best reception.
Have your October caddis with you, as some dries are being seen. The real strength of the October Caddis is in the pupa. The Bird of Prey or a smaller Golden Pat’s Rubberlegs are taking fish sub-surface. If you see an October Caddis flying, try a pupa to move some fish.
The bigger fish are holding out for streamers. Sparkle Minnows and Kreelix are working along the length of the Creek, along the edges and in the middle of the river as well. Not surprisingly, nymphs have been steady producers, with the Duracell, Olive Micro Dot and Orange Spot PT Jigs working very well. Get them a little deeper in the sunshine, and make sure to work the water well. With low water and sunshine, the fish are stacked up in the prime spots, so make sure the fish get a chance to see your fly.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!