This is a great time to be on the water in the Missoula area, so get out there while you can. Fish can be found on the Blackfoot, the Bitterroot, and even right through town on the Clark Fork. Now that the salmonfly hatch has tapered off on Rock Creek and the Blackfoot, we’re seeing lots of other bugs from morning to night across the map. The Blackfoot is seeing hatches of golden stones, yellow sallies, PMDs and some green drakes, alongside daily caddis hatches that have been producing fish consistently. If you’re headed to the Blackfoot this weekend, start with a dry/dropper combination and clip it back as the day goes on and you’ll find lots of takers. For the dropper stick with prince nymphs, golden stones, hare’s ears and keep them up with a smaller golden stone and you’re in business.
The Clark Fork has opened up in a big way, and the fishing has been good from above town to below it, with right through town for the urban assault being a great weekend option. The bugs are there, and your favorite hole might be a great option for those who can only hit the river for a short while. Look for golden stones and yellow sallies, but a handful of your favorite caddis pattern and pupa droppers will get it done as well. Rock Creek is fishing great, though the crowds still haven’t thinned that much from the salmonfly madness, but that’s all part of the fun at the creek. The Bitterroot would be a beautiful option for the weekend, though if you’re waiting on the summer stonefly and green drake hatches it could be any minute now – but not quite yet. Wherever you head this weekend, bring your dry fly box and look for cloud cover and the fish will be willing.