Well one week ago I made the prediction that we would be fishing in Missoula in one week. Yesterday I floated lower Rock Creek and we fished the dry fly all day and caught some very nice brown trout. 6 or 7 fish 16 inches or bigger. Today I am heading to the Blackfoot for a guided trip.
The water is still high and a bit off color, but we are fishing in Missoula.
The Clark: The upper river looks great. It is running high and not extremely wade-able, but fishing it from a boat would be great. There are bugs, big ones and little ones hatching and the fish are noticing. The Lower river will take some time to come into shape, but when it does… That’s where I will be.
The Creek: SALMONFLIES are river wide. They are there in numbers and the fish are noticing them. It’s good and it’s just about as much fun as you can have. Get up there if you can. Just be very very careful if you are wade fishing. The river is moving right now. There is a lot of water and it is stronger than you are.
The Root: Good words coming from the few folks who are fishing The Bitterroot right now. It’s still very big but in the right spots they can and will eat a dry fly. I would look for the soft water and nymph ’em up.
The Foot: It’s going from brown to green and that means that the big fish are eating. Look for the soft inside seams and work big stonefly nymphs, Worms, and streamer stuff close to the bank. It’s the time of year that some of the biggest fish come out of that river.
Stop by the shop before you get on the water. We have everything you need to catch a trout in Montana right now. We also have boats on the water every day so we can give you an up to the minute report.
The Rivers are dropping right now. That is until we get this week of high temps. Get out there today or tomorrow. The big rivers are going to blow out by the weekend.
The Bitterroot – The ‘Root will be an option for a very brief window. The worm game will be hot and throwing junk will put some big fish in the net.
The Creek – The Creek looks great. The water is dropping hard and running considerably more clear than the other rivers in the Missoula area. There are a lot of mayflies. March Browns and BWO’s. We saw fish eating on top yesterday.
The Clark – The Upper Clark is muddy and the Lower Clark is muddier. This will be the last one to clear up. You have better options right now.
The Blackfoot – When The Foot turns that sexy green color the fishing will be off the wall. It is dropping now but that won’t last very long with the heat in the forecast.
The MO – The Mo has been fishing shit hot. The nymph game has been great. BWO, Czech’s, Sow bugs, and anything with fire bead has been putting a lot of fish in the net.
The creeks will open this weekend and they will be the first to have clean water in them. We love creek fishing. There is more than a lifetimes worth of water around Missoula in small creeks. Get out and explore something you have never fished. You might be surprised.
We have been on the water the past few weeks. This past weekend was the first with great weather all weekend. The fishing has been very consistent sub-surface. Rubber legs and Worms on the inside bends have been the key. We saw lots of folks fishing the more typical “Stonefly” water (Outside bends, heavier riffles, and what we call Summer Water). While you may get a few fishing that water, higher densities of fish are still in the 4-8 foot walking speed water. When you hook one, fish the exact same lane. The fish are stacked tight right now. We have been spending most our time between Hamilton and Florence. Managed a few fish on the dry fly, but the dry fly fishing should vastly improve by next weekend.
The Clark Fork:
Very similar to The Root. Rubber Legs and Worms on the inside bends. We saw a few skawala adults on the river below town this weekend. They will eat the dry bug but you have to stick with it. Again the dry fly game will improve by the weekend.
Bugs For Both Rivers:
Nymphs- Rubber legs in lighter colors sz 8-12. Worms in pink, red, purple, wire, sparkle. Olive double bead stones.
Dries- Rouge, Half down, True, Carnage, California Blonde, PK, and Rastaman Skwala.
Lots of exciting new products in the shop. Stop by to see the changes and to stock up the spring box. We have a pile of Skwalas and they wont catch fish if they aren’t on the water.
FWP has Lifted the Hoot Owl Restrictions on the Clark Fork. So while we can now fish after 2 pm, Please use common sense when fighting and handling fish. It is still hot out and they still need to be treated carefully. Some days it might be a good idea to be off of the water by 2 pm anyway. Take care of our fish because they take care of us.