Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula Fly Fishing Report 8/6

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

Enjoy and Good Luck!

Bitterroot River

The cooler temps forecast will change how the Bitterroot is fishing. The clockwork pre-dawn/dawn fishing will begin a bit later with cooler water and air temps. The waning PMD’s and tricos will also hatch later in the day, and the morning hopper fishing may be delayed to early afternoon.

Please note- Hoot Owl hours are still in effect until FWP lifts them. Specific parameters must be met before restrictions can be removed, so even if the weather and water are cooler, Hoot Owl hours are in place. So until FWP makes the call, no fishing after 2:00 PM.

These cooler days don’t often come in august, but when they do, fishing can be spectacular with the cooler water temps and cloud cover. Dry fly fishing might take a little longer to get going in the morning, especially on the upper stretches.

Start looking for Crane Flies on the ‘Root. They’ve been seen, but the cooler weather will extend their activity, so if you run into an unfamiliar hatch, the culprit may be the cranefly. The Dry Crane is working on the surface, while the Silverman Cranefly Larva and Smethurst Crane Bomb are working sub-surface. While not prolific, trout look for craneflies because they’re a big meal.

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

Blackfoot River

The change in weather is going to change fishing on the Blackfoot in a big way. Not only will there be less need to be on the water super early, the evening hatches are going to become fishable. With extreme heat, the evening hatches are pushed back to dusk and later. With cooler temps, the caddis and the few remaining PED’s will start much earlier, giving the angler a chance to actually fish them.

The fish won’t be forced into the riffles for oxygen during the day, so working the slower water later in the day will be more effective in the next week. The clouds will get the fish rising more freely.

The hoppers will start later in the day, and the clouds will help bring the trout to the surface with more regularity. We’ll still have an afternoon lull, which is normal, but the lull will be shorter and less intense. Look for the Blackfoot to fish well all day for the next few days, so take advantage.

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

Clark Fork River

The cooler temps and cloudy weather will do nothing but help how the Clark Fork is fishing. The fishing will begin later in the morning, so no need to be on the water before first light unless you’re chasing the big browns that move into the shallows to feed at night. If you’re targeting those fish, use a mouse or a larger neutrally buoyant streamer like a Dungeon or an Articulated Fathead. 15 pound test is not overkill for these fish.

Please note: Hoot Owl hours are still in effect on the Clark Fork. Until the temperature parameters are met, and FWP lifts the restrictions, there is no fishing after 2:00 PM, no matter what the water and air temperatures are.

The waning PMD’s and tricos are going to start later in the day than they have in the last 2 weeks. Expect more action on the surface with the cloud cover. The hoppers won’t move as early in the day as they have been, but they will be out, and there are more every day.

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

Rock Creek

As the weather cools, look for Rock creek to fish well for the entire day. You can be on the water at dawn, with a streamer, but look for the spinner fall to come later. The waning PMD’s and Spruce Moths will start a bit later in the day, but the cloud cover will allow the trout to rise a bit more freely.

The terrestrial fishing will also start later in the day, and will extend later in the day as well. While hoppers are always the first choice, make sure to have your ants and beetles, because those have been moving a lot of fish in the last week. While high heat gets terrestrials more active, it’s not going to get so cold they stop moving. The terrestrial fishing has been the most consistent fishing on Rick Creek.

The biggest change will be in the evening fishing. With the high temps we’ve had, the evening rise has started at dusk. As the weather cools, the the caddis and remaining PED’s will start a lot earlier, allowing the angler to actually fish those hatches.

Trout love the clouds, and will rise much more freely under a darker sky. Classic attractors will start to be very effective on Rock Creek in the next week. The Hippie Stomper, Purple Haze, Royal Wulff and Micro Chubbies are going to be very effective during the cool spell. You can work a little outside the riffles as well, because the fish aren’t being forced there due to the heat.

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

August 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.