The Bitterroot River is the dry fly anglers paradise. You would be hard pressed to find a more picturesque freestone river in the country. The river is framed by the Sapphire Mountains to the East, and the stunning Bitterroot Mountains to the West, making the perfect backdrop for a day on the water.
A day of Bitterroot River Fly Fishing is a day spent in a mixed bag of riffles, deep pools, and grassy banks, making The ‘Root some of the best dry fly water in Montana. Fishing Access Sites are spread throughout the valley, and during normal summer flows the wade fishing opportunities are plentiful. Strong Rainbow Trout, Native Westslope Cutthroat Trout, and aggressive Brown Trout eagerly await your fly in perfect “Trout Water”. A day of Bitterroot River fly fishing is one you are not likely to forget.
Clark Fork River
The 310 mile river that runs through the heart of downtown Missoula is a shining example of what hard work and dedication can do. Through the effort of many conservation groups the once, near lifeless Clark Fork, is once again a healthy and trout filled river.
There are few rivers in Montana that are as diverse as the Clark Fork. From top to bottom the river shifts from a small S-turned and grassy banked stream, to a large Western Freestone. The upper river is full of “Cookie Cutter” Brown Trout that love to eat dry flies and streamers.
As the river flows towards Missoula, Rainbow Trout and Cutthroat Trout begin to replace the Brown Trout. The middle river is a beautiful mix of braided channels, cliff faces, and grassy banks. Everything a trout angler looks for in a river.
After the confluence with Rock Creek, The Blackfoot River and The Bitterroot River meet The Clark Fork. The big lower river begins and the strong Rainbow Trout are king. The lower river fish eat dry flies with confidence and fight more like a steelhead than a trout.
Clark Fork River Fly Fishing is a dry fly enthusiasts nirvana. The Fall Mayfly fishing on The Clark Fork is second to none. The large summer stoneflies also make up a big portion of Clark Fork Trout diets.
Spend three days fishing the Upper, Middle, and Lower river and you will feel that you have spent three days on three different rivers. Being such a diverse river, The Clark Fork River truly has something for everyone.
Breath-taking scenery and arguably the best Salmonfly Hatch in the world are only two reasons why Rock Creek Fly Fishing should be on your hit list.
The fast flowing, cold, and clean water of Rock Creek is home to more trout than you can cast a fly at. Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, and the Native Bull Trout all call Rock Creek home. Dry fly fishing is how The Creek got its reputation, but during the fall the numerous brown trout in the creek love to attack streamers.
Expert and beginner anglers alike will cherish a day spent on Rock Creek. If you can visit in June during the salmonfly hatch, there is no better way to fish than from a boat. Throwing huge dry flies to hungry fish in prolific numbers. That is why you fish Rock Creek.
Wade fishing the creek after the spring runoff is very accessible along the road (take it slow, some Class V potholes develop on that one), and come prepared to navigate the well known “slickery” river bottom. The Bighorn Sheep, Bull Moose, Bald Eagles, Salmonflies, and more trout that you have ever seen come together for a perfect fishing day in Montana. It all sounds good on paper, but you really just have to come see for yourself.
When Montana fly fishing comes to mind most people imagine The Blackfoot River. This iconic river is what a trout anglers dreams are made of. Deep pools, boulder gardens, and staggering cliff faces make up one of the most beautiful river settings in the country. The Blackfoot River is home to pristine populations of Westslope Cutthroat Trout, Native Bull Trout, as well as healthy Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout.
The Blackfoot River is full of fish that love to eat dry flies. The big stoneflies are the big meal on The Blackfoot. Salmonflies and Golden Stones are a feast for these eager Cutthroats. Big fluffy dry flies are the summer ticket. No small flies here. Blackfoot River Fly Fishing and a River Runs Through It…what else can be said.
The Missouri River can only be described as a “Trout Factory”. Aquatic life in the river is substantial. Because of the manufactured environment created by the Holter Dam the trout and insect populations are enormous. The Missouri truly is an aquarium. The consistent temperatures and flows allow for a year long growing season for Missouri River trout.
The strong and healthy Rainbow and Brown trout love to go airborne during reel screamin’ runs. While Dry fly fishing is said to be The Missouri’s claim to fame, It can be extremely technical. The hatches and pods of trout rising to these bugs are a sight to see. Precise casts and perfect drifts are required to get these picky fish to eat. Nymphing is the favorite method among Missouri River Fly Fishing Guides for putting fish in the net.
Missouri River Fly Fishing is not a secret, the solitude you can often enjoy west of the divide is seldom found on the ‘Mo’. That being said, there are plenty of fish in this river. If you have never fished the Missouri River it needs to be on your list.