Lock and Load: Missoula Fishing Report

By on May 21st, 2015   //   1 minute to read

Salmonfly Patterns

This has already been a late spring with plenty of quirks but we saw a Salmonfly and a March brown floating down the same run the other day.  It’s true.  Salmonfly chasers unite. It’s time to ready the big bugs and decide whether you like to be in the thick of the hatch or upstream of it where the nymphs are migrating to the shallows. Rock Creek and the Blackfoot are still a long way from super-bug-density-peak-hatch, but there’s plenty of fun to be had out there. There are also some tributaries that are floatable right now for a few days and offering stellar dry fly opportunities. We’d name them but fear the locals would slash our tires the next time we show up.

Clark Fork River Report:

When the river just above town drops again, there’ll be good fishing with big orange dries and attractors. Below town, the eddies near dark will have fish sipping caddis and mayfly spinners. Otherwise pick a bugger and a nymph and see how slow you can strip. Slow and low that is the tempo. Keep your bug in the strike zone during high water — stripping it off the banks with abandon will leave your big bug abandoned by the fish.

Blackfoot River Report:

Blackfoot Fishing Guides

If you have five fish in a row eat your orange indicator on this river, it’s time to switch to a salmon fly dry. That doesn’t mean you’ll get five eats on a salmon fly dry. What it does mean is that when you switch back to your nymph rig, the bobber will get eaten on the first cast. Good to real good slop rig fishing up here. Find a small streamer you have confidence in and trail it with a large leggy nymph. Strip it sometimes. Jig it sometimes, twitch it, mend it both ways?

Missouri River:

In a little bug vacuum over there. Too cool for blistering caddis hatches and the March Browns have peaked. Kind of the mood your girlfriend takes on when you make a move while watching Sunday Night Football. Not so much. Good nymphing up top near the dam with the good many who enjoy good nymphing up top near the dam. It’ll ramp back up over there as soon as I post this report.

Bitterroot River:

Other than a few forgiving sloughs see “Sunday night football” referenced above.

Rock creek and Tributaries:

The creek is on the steep drop and will fish well with dries, streamers and nymphs this weekend. Caddis should not be neglected. Sometimes early in the salmon fly event, a large attractor (Quigley’s modified red turk’s) will do better than an actual Pternarcys imitation. Be safe up here if you’re floating, ask around about obstructions.

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