Despite the heat, it’s been a wonderful week of fishing in Missoula. In anticipation of FWP’s Hoot Owl Restriction (See Below), we’ve been meeting clients about the time your newspaper hits the door, and have been on the water early and off before the heat of the afternoon. Cooler nighttime temps expected this week should help drop water temps, keeping them in the reasonable range for the foreseeable future.
Blackfoot Fishing Report
Still a passel of salmonflies in the upper reaches of the Blackfoot but the fish aren’t very apt to take a number 6 Rogue Stone up here right now. Show em something you can’t buy in the fly shop? Smaller attractors have been solid options up here, too, as hatches of Sallies and PMDs dominate the water column. Goldens are also taking good fish, as are droppers and nymph rigs. An angler throwing the right streamer at dawn can wreak havoc.
Clark Fork Fishing Report
We’re giving the lower river a break until things cool down. Closer to town, on cloudy days this river has been fishing the way we’d expect it to fish in late June – big fish eating big dries. Sunny hot days have forced our hand and we’ve fished droppers and nymphs successfully, if a bit bitterly. Near town, fish have been more centered on smaller fare such as PMD spinners and caddis left over from the previous night. Give this one a cool night or two and she’ll come right back into the lineup.
Bitterroot Fishing Report
The Bitterroot’s upper reaches have offered hatches of Golden stones and Yellow Sallies, in addition to PMD’s and Green Drake spinners. The fish up here and on the West Fork are fat, happy, and cold. Middle river fishing has been good on dries. Remember two things: make your best presentation first to rising fish, and, in the words of one of our esteemed colleagues, “Dead bugs don’t twitch.” Long leaders = drag free drifts = fooled fish.
Fishing Small Streams Around Missoula
Good time to get your old John Holt books out and find a gem all to yourself.
*** Hoot Owl River Restriction Details ***
Due to higher afternoon water temperatures from the recent heat wave, beginning July 3rd, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks have closed fishing from 2 pm to Midnight on the Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Clark Fork Rivers. We are still fully operational and running guide trips starting at 6:00 am (Or as early as you’re willing to get up) until 2:00 pm. For more information on the Hoot Owl Restriction click here.