Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula Fly Fishing Report 3/6

Fly Fishing Report Brought To You By Our Missoula Fly Fishing Guides And Fly Shop Staff.

Enjoy and Good Luck!

Bitterroot River

The Bitterroot is slowly dropping and clearing as we write, but still has some color. Lots of water came in last week. The skwala nymphs are starting to stage on the Bitterroot. THE NYMPHS. We’re still a bit away from dry fly action with Skwalas and Nemouras. An SR Bullet Black or Black Knight are great Nemoura nymphs, while the 20 Incher or the Peacock Double Bead Stone is a good skwala nymph. Bring your dries if it makes you feel better- they make a decent indicator.
There’s shelf ice on the ‘Root as well, so wading anglers make sure of access in and out. Also, wade carefully in the shallows- the nymphs are there, so are the trout. If you’re waist deep, you’re probably where the fish just were. Access for floaters was good two weeks ago, and there hasn’t been enough recent snow to change that. Dress warmly!
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips for each hatch

Blackfoot River

Cold, cold, cold. The wade fishing has been slow, though larger fish are being taken. Floaters are finding more ice in the guides than fish in the boats. And just the lower river, boat access in the upper river is sketchy at best. Of the 4 rivers we have, this will be the slowest. Wait a bit before hitting the Blackfoot, but if you do make the call, a Brown TJ Hooker or dark Pat’s Rubberlegs is the best option. Drop a small perdigon off the back of the bigger nymph, and get Deep.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!

Clark Fork River

Clark Fork is up and a bit off color through town and above. Which will help get rid of some of the shelf ice lining the banks. Waders need to make sure they have clear access in and out before entering the water. Some of the access ramps are easily accessed, others will require a bit of a boat drag. The weather this week won’t melt access blocks all that quickly- that will change in about 5 days.
Look for the river to be much clearer in the next 24-48 hours, and the trout to get back to their subsurface feeding. Don’t sleep on a deep, slow moving streamer, as well as the usual suspects for nymphs. Take a look into the back sloughs and slow eddies to target the pike, they’re starting to get on the feed as well.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!

Rock Creek

Be ready for a little shelf ice in some spots, and if you’re thinking of the upper river, go around by Phillipsburg. The middle portion of Rock Creek Rd is still in winter conditions. Of the four local rivers, Rock Creek was least affected by the spate, and it’s the clearest river in the area.
Make sure to run your dropper a bit deeper up here- the water is up and moving a bit, and trout are hugging the bottom or deep in structure. Skwala nymphs are working, and a Brown Perdigon is a good WMB nymph. Slow pools will show willing for a streamer, but keep it low and slow. Smaller is better for streamers up here, but we’re hearing the little articulated streamers are moving fish.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!

March 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.