It has been a long run-off season, but Missoula dry fly fishing has finally arrived! The Blackfoot, Bitterroot, Clark Fork, and Rock Creek are all dropping and clearing with new fishing options on an almost daily basis. From now through October you can expect to find a solid dry fly option in the area everyday. That’s the beauty of Missoula, we have so many rivers with such diversity that there is bound to be great fly fishing somewhere close by all season long.
Right now everyone is focused on the Salmonfly hatch and for good reason. These giant stoneflies hatch in prolific numbers around Missoula and produce some of the most exciting fishing of the year. Rock Creek is the place to be at the moment. The hatch is going strong through the middle river and the next warm spell should give us big bugs river wide. The West Fork of the Bitterroot is primed to go off any day now. There are a few adults out on the lower river and tons of nymphs staged in the shallows. By the end of this week the hatch will be rolling up there. The Blackfoot has bugs out through the middle river although water clarity is the issue there. The river still isn’t that green color we love, and while you can catch a few on dries on the Foot, the nymphing and streamer fishing is producing some oversized trout right now. The Blackfoot has one of the longest Salmonfly hatches in the area and we will still be fishing big orange dries through the first week of July there.
This is one of my favorite times of year. The Missoula dry fly fishing has started, and some of the biggest trout of the year will be taken on dries in the next couple of weeks. It’s time to call in sick and hit the rivers!