The Blackfoot River is starting to wake up from Winter but there are better options for fly fishing around Missoula this time of year. If you have your mind set on the Blackfoot then stick to nymphing slow inside seems and dead drifting streamers. The Blackfoot is never a numbers game this time of year but can produce some big fish on both streamers and nymphs. You will be working hard for every trout you catch, but you will probably have the river all to yourself in February. The Stonefly and Worm combo is hard to beat for nymph patterns on the Blackfoot this time of year. We like natural colored streamers during February stripped slow or dead drifting.
The Bitterroot river fly fishing in February can be some of the best nymphing and streamer fishing in the area during late winter. While we are still a ways out from seeing the first Skwalas of the year, we have been seeing Capnias, Midges and a few Nemouras hatching. With the warmer forecast coming you might even see a few trout eating on top in the afternoon. Skwala nymphs are starting to move around anticipating warmer water temps to hatch, so Stonefly nymphs with the good old worm behind the stonefly is a killer this time of year. Other nymphs to try include Ptail Jig, G-Kes, Bullets, Pats Rubber Legs, 20 Incher, Double Bead Stone and Hare’s Ear Jigs. For more patterns and tips check out February Hatch Resources at the bottom of this page.
Clark Fork River
The Clark Fork river fly fishing is slowly but surely heating up. Still waiting for warmer temps for dry flies but reports of decent streamer fishing have been coming in pretty consistent as of late. With the colder water temps, the fish are still a bit sluggish so focus on inside seams and slow walking speed water. The streamers that have been hot lately are the Baby Gonga, Dirty Hippie, Sparkle Minnow, Kreelex, Sculpzilla and Mini Sex Dungeons. Stonefly nymphs are starting to move around subsurface which means it’s time to pull out those bigger nymph patterns as your point fly while nymphing and dropping something smaller off the back like Worms, G’kes, Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear and Montana Prince. For additional info check out February Hatch Resources at the bottom of this page.
With the warmer then usual Winter, fly fishing on Rock Creek has been consistent throughout the Winter and will just get better as the weather continues to warm. Rock Creek is one of your better options for late winter and early spring fly fishing in Missoula. Nymphing and Streamers are the main game as of now with Skwalas and March Browns right around the corner. Focus on slower water like inside seems. Nymphing Stoneflies, eggs and worms can be the ticket this time of year. Don’t hesitate to switch up patterns often until you find the one they like. Fish each spot thoroughly, fishing every inch of water. These late winter fish are still a bit lethargic this time of year and won’t move far for your fly.
February Hatch Resources
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.