Tuesday I was out with local angler, Jim, for my first day on the West Fork of the Bitterroot this year. I heard the salmon flies were around and also that there were some treacherous stretches of water too so I was both excited and nervous about the day.
Jim and I launched up by the dam under sunny and warming conditions with a big salmonfly dry on the end of his line. He moved a couple smaller fish in the first hundred yards and we knew we were on the right track. The next 6 or 7 were little guys too and just when I was thinking it might become a dink fest, Jim tagged the first good cutthroat of the day. The smaller fish were still active in the first couple hours after that, but we started to raise decent fish as well. The fishing was good, but Jim and I both know how awesome the West Fork can be so I kept switching flies in search of the “one” they couldn’t resist.
Jim would hook 4 or 5 on a fly, have a couple of slow runs, make a switch and then hook 3 or 4 on the new bug. There wasn’t any specific pattern they really wanted, the trout simply ate about everything we threw at a methodical rate.
We came into lunch with a half dozen solid fish, a handful of decent ones, and a pile of little guys. We had to navigate the river hazards shortly after lunch and successfully made it through all of them while sticking some nice trout in the process. We were still playing the fly switch game when Jim finally suggested we try a different pattern. It’s a great fly that consistently produces and we have a long history with this bug. I should just embrace that, but I am always a little reluctant to tie it on this time of year when there are so many other options to choose from.
Long story short, I tied on the bug Jim suggested and we immediately started catching fish, and more consistently. I think 3 nice cutthroat came off that first bank and not far downstream Jim had a good drift on a shady bank when a big head came up and sucked down the dry.
After a good fight in heavy current Jim had a super fat 20″ cutthroat in the net. That was our biggest of the day and the fishing remained solid until around 4 when the action started to fade. At that point we just fished the best spots, netted a couple more and then made our way to the takeout.
It was a lot of fun to fish a big single dry fly all day, the weather was spectacular, and there was very little traffic on the water. The fishing was good today with plenty of trout to the boat, most were 12-15″ with a few up to 17″, the big 20″, and lots of action for the small guys.
However, had the fishing been really “on” then Jim would have put up a huge number. He fished incredibly well in that fast current with good drifts under every bush, putting the bug on the bank all day, and we only lost one fly. It was a blast to watch that through the whole float.
Like that? – Go fly fishing with Tony Every Week!
Montana Trout Outfitters – Experience a Fishing Trip of a Lifetime
World Class Fly Fishing
Welcome to Montana Trout Outfitters, the premier guided fly fishing experience in Western Montana. We are located in Missoula, home to four exceptional freestone rivers, the Bitterroot, Blackfoot, Clark Fork, and Rock Creek, as well as countless small streams.
There are over 350 miles of fishable water within just an hour of town. Add to this the fact that we offer one of the longest dry fly seasons in the West, March through October, and you can see why Missoula is a top fishing destination.
Whether you come for a few days, or a couple of weeks you will never run out of options to explore. Outfitter, Tony Reinhardt, has been guiding fly fishing trips on these incredible rivers for well over a decade and together with his staff of seasoned guides they enjoy providing anglers with memories that will last a lifetime.
Montana Trout Outfitters – Our Passion is Providing Others the Opportunity to Successfully Go Fly Fishing
Affordable Fly Fishing Trips
Summer Fly Fishing Special
Imagine 3 Fun Filled Days of Trout Fishing
Five Incredible Rivers
World Famous Rivers – Wild Trout!
Montana Trout Outfitters – We Want to Give You a Fly Fishing Experience of a Lifetime
Spend half a day or a couple of weeks
From half-day floats on water near town to multi-day packages we have several fly fishing vacation options available to fit any anglers desire. The greatest appeal of the Missoula area is the diversity of rivers.
We have four great rivers right out our back door, and on a typical trip we can fish all of them! In addition, Missoula boasts all modern amenities from fine dining and shopping, to local markets and an airport serviced by four major airlines.
We are easy to get to from anywhere in the country. Come join us this season and see why it’s so hard for people to leave.
– Call TODAY! – 406-544-3516
Let’s Go Trout Fishing in Beautiful Montana
Montana Trout Outfitters
Montana Trout Outfitters – We Put YOU on the Trout
What You Can Expect
We offer guided float and wade trips on all the waters of western Montana. With so many choices our rivers are rarely crowded, and we know enough tricks to stay out of the traffic even during the busiest times.
Montana Trout Outfitters operates out of new drift boats and rafts depending on the river and time of year. We use top quality rods and reels, and you won’t find our flies in the bins of the local fly shops because we tie most of our custom patterns ourselves.
We are dedicated to the entire guiding experience, utilizing the best gear, providing great streamside lunches, and all with the insight and know-how to put our anglers on great trout fishing day after day.
Our average client has fished with us for five years or more. They are not just customers; they become friends we look forward to seeing each season.