The Bitterroot is a great option this time of year as the night time temperatures cool down the water. It appears that we have one more week of warm weather and hopefully it will cool down to average September temps after this week. The dry fly fishing has been pretty consistent as of late with Tricos in the morning and hoppers in the afternoon. We have been seeing Hecubas and BWO’s on the cloudy days and fish are taking notice. If you are lucky enough to get out on an overcast day then focus on flies like the Olive Parachute Hare’s Ear, Hecuba Cripple, Brindle Chute, Hi-Vis BWO Spinner, BWO Dun or Mayfly attractor patterns such as Parachute Adams and Purple Haze. Hopper dropper mid day for the sunny days and Trico Spinners.
The Blackfoot water temps have cooled down a bit and the fishing is improving as the temps cool off. Still mostly a terrestrial game right now. Focus on Hoppers, Ants and Beetles. The streamer fishing is also starting to pick up. For fly patterns try the Morrish Hopper, Plan B, Water Walker and Chubby Chernobyl. If you run into a mid day lull then tie on a dropper like G-Kes, Pheasant Tail Hot Spot Jig, P-Tail Flashback Jig, Perds and Jig Hare’s Ear.
Clark Fork River
The Clark Fork has been fishing good from the top to the bottom and should continue to get better and better as night time temps start to cool for the remainder of the season. Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, PMD’s, Tricos, Hecubas, and some decent hopper action is on the menu right now. Some of the best fishing in Missoula can be found on the Clark Fork this time of year. For flies most of your PMD and more so tricos as of late will work along with bigger bugs like the Water Walkers, Plan B’s and Flush Floater. Droppers include G-Kes Ptail Hot Spot, Jiggin Stones and just about any color Perd’s.
Rock Creek is one of your best options right now along with dozens of other tributaries in the Missoula area for wading. The hopper fishing is producing some great fishing. Most days there is no need to go subsurface unless you want to. Dries all day long is the game right now. The creek will get better and better as the temps drop.