Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula Fishing Report 6/4

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 flows bumped up again and fishing has been tougher on the middle and lower sections. We’ve been hearing some decent reports on the upper stretches into the West and East Forks with some Salmonflies starting to show up.
The middle and lower Bitterroot river is still pretty big an the clarity is still off.
With many other options in the area, this wouldn’t be our first option unless you plan to go to the upper stretches. If you do decide to give the Bitterroot a shot, be prepared with Salmonfly on the upper sections, Golden Stones, PMD’s and Yellow Sally. The nymph stage of these bugs are very important to fish and fisherman this time of year, so have some nymphs matching the insects above. Our favorite patterns are listed at the bottom of this page for each hatch. Check them out before you go.

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

Blackfoot River

The Blackfoot river has has been one of the better options in the area lately and should continue to improve in the coming days. Water clarity has been decent and should improve.

We’ve had some success with Salmonfly dries in the afternoons, but there’s just not a lot of them out yet with the mild weather. That looks like it’s about to change in the next few days! With 80+ degree weather in the forecast, the Salmonfly adults should be coming off in numbers that will get the fish attention. Water temperatures maxed out at about 57 degrees last week with the warm weather, and we expect the temps to get back around that range again this week, which is ideal temperatures for Salmonflies to hatch.

We’ll see what extended weather forecast looks like after that, but have some Green Drake patterns ready for any cloudy days on tap.

Double stonefly nymph rigs are pretty hard to beat as far as catching numbers this time of year. Big Pat’s Rubber Legs, Yuk Bugs, Buggers, Double Bead Stonefly nymphs, Cheater Belly and TJ Hookers are our top patterns for nymphs.

Don’t Hesitate to toss on a dry dropper with a big Stonefly nymph trailing behind a large Salmonfly dry throughout the day. For best results on dries, a single dry tucked close to the bank along the willows is the way to go. We like throwing dries even if we have to sacrifice numbers this time of year, so we cut the droppers off for the afternoon.

The Blackfoot river is also at a great temperature for streamer fishing, fast sinking lines or even a streamer under an indicator if you don’t have a sinking line with you will put you on some big fish.
Check out this link here for some great tips on fishing the Salmonfly hatch

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

Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork river has been decent lately. The upper continued to keep good clarity throughout the last few weeks, while the lower became a little more off color. We expect clarity to improve in the coming days and fishing to continue to get better with the warmer weather coming.
We’ve been seeing a few Salmonflies, Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies kicking around, but not in any great numbers. Keep an eye out for these hatches to increase in numbers, and also be ready for some Green Drakes in the cloudy days.
Streamer fishing and nymphing has been the go to over the last few weeks with a few decent days of dry fly fishing. Expect that to continue until we start seeing more consistent water temperatures and hatches.

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

Rock Creek

Rock Creek fishing been good over the last week with Salmonfly adults hatching as well as some Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies. We’re hearing a lot of reports of Salmonflies on the lower and middle sections of Rock creek, with a few on the upper. The hatch progresses quickly upstream and the weather on tap should accelerate the movement upstream. The big bugs should be on the upper and middle stretches in larger numbers later this week.
The Golden stones will quickly follow, as we’ve already seen a few of them. Like the rest of our rivers, keep an eye out for Green Drakes starting to pop on cloudy days.
Single dries on heavy leaders like 2x is the best way to go on the Creek during the Salmonfly hatch. We’d love to tell you about the nymphing and streamer fishing this time of year on Rock Creek, but there’s usually just no need to go subsurface when the fish on Rock Creek start seeing the big flying Cheetos(salmonfly) on the menu.
Flows are still fast and the wading can be tough with the slippery rocks up here. Be careful of your footing and stay close to the bank as that’s where 90% of the fish are right now anyways.

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

June/July 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.