Missoula Fly Fishing Report

Missoula fly fishing report
Carolyn with a big Blackfoot brown trout

There was a lot going on this week in town and conditions have been changing daily for the Missoula fly fishing report.  Orvis had their annual Guide Rendezvous in Missoula this past week so the town was jamming with guides and outfitters from across the country.  I had the pleasure to fish with a couple ladies from a River Run Outfitters, an Orvis endorsed operation located in Branson, Missouri.  Carolyn (shop owner) and Gina (guide) have been helping anglers on the Taneycomo section of the White River for nearly two decades.  Our challenge in Missoula this week was the water conditions.  Warm weather had all our local rivers on the rise which disrupted some of our best dry fly fishing of the season from the previous week.  When that happens it pays to know the places to avoid and the stretches of river that will still offer a reasonable chance at good fishing.  The lower Clark Fork handles rising water better than any other river I know, and it didn’t disappoint for Gina and Carolyn this week.  The morning was a nymphing game, but as soon as it warmed up a little around lunch time the mayflies started to come off and the trout were looking toward the surface.  It was a real treat for these ladies to fish big dry flies since their home water is mainly a nymph fishery.  Lots of classic, thick cuttbows hit the net on dry flies that afternoon.  On our second day my anglers had a flight to catch so we picked a shorter float on the lower Blackfoot.  It was a cold, wet day so nymphing was the best play and the big fish were on the feed.  The ladies landed 4 great brown trout, had a big bull trout attack another trout, and also found plenty of other rainbows and cutthroat.  We were against the clock in the afternoon when the bugs came off in waves.  We could only laugh as the last bank of the day was lined with rising trout and we didn’t have enough time to change flies.  In the right spots it was great fishing this week.  Our water is dropping again at the moment but we have another heat wave on the horizon.  The Missoula fly fishing report for the next couple days should be solid fishing on all our local rivers.  After that we may be looking at run-off for real.