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The Bitterroot River forms just south of Darby, Montana. This is where the East Fork of the Bitterroot and the West Fork of the Bitterroot come together. Both the East and West Fork are outstanding fisheries. The West Fork is best known for its epic Salmon Fly and Golden Stone hatches. Its raw beauty, as it meanders through a canyon lined with fir and pines, makes for a breath taking view at every turn. The East Fork is equally spectacular but is only floated in June and early July due to heavy flows. It is especially known for its outstanding Stonefly hatches. But watch out! The fast flows require quick accurate cast with one eye always locked in downstream checking for upcoming productive water. Our guides at Clear Creek Outfitters have perfected some techniques, here, to help all levels of angling experience.
After the East and West Forks join up to form the main water, the Bitterroot can best be described as a winding river of which the banks are comprised of sand and gravel. Because of this the Bitterroot River constantly changes appearance from one year to the next. Certain channels may completely close up while new ones are formed during the subsiding of the run-off. The Bitterroot winds its way through the Bitterroot Valley with the Sapphire Mountains to the east and the Bitterroot Range to the west. The river continues to grow gathering volume from several dozen feeder streams before it reaches the Clark Fork River.
We start to fish the “Root” in the spring and fish it all the way through October with the exception of the run-off season. The Bitterroot River has probably the most diverse insects of any of the other local streams. Many insect species are unique to this river in both the spring and fall. Regardless of the time of year, the Bitterroot is a beautiful river and the colors of the fall foliage is hard to beat. So whether you like fishing giant salmon flies, or technical light tippet and size 20 tricos the Bitterroot River will satisfy even the most discriminating angler.
If you want to specifically fish the Bitterroot River please call us to discuss dates and availability. If you are interested in fly-fishing the Missoula and/or Bitterroot Valley please contact us about the dates you would like to visit, and we can make some great recommendations based on our extensive experience and your individual fly-fishing goals. Certain rivers afford different opportunities to anglers based upon their level of expertise, so please be honest about your abilities; we want to make sure you have the best experience possible!
Local Full-Day: $650/boat
Local Half-Day $550/boat
* 30-day cancellation policy applies to all trips.
** Deposit Return is subject to a 5% fee.
*** Price does not include the recommended guide gratuity of 20%.