The Blackfoot River has it all! In addition to some amazing trout fishing, it offers stunning scenery, and wildlife sightings such as bald eagles soaring, Big Horn Sheep, and deer, are a common occurrence.
For raw beauty alone, the Blackfoot River would be a hard river to beat, no matter where you traveled in the world. A good portion of this river has no bank-side development as it winds along through large sections of Forest Service and publicly owned lands. Because of the cooler temperatures along the Blackfoot, we are able to fish this stream when all other local rivers have gotten too warm. We typically begin fishing this river in mid to late June. Even with a little color to the river, we are still able to locate some of the biggest fish of the year.
We fish the Blackfoot throughout the summer after run-off has subsided. During this time of year, we fish the Blackfoot more as a large attractor pattern fishery. This season starts with salmon fly and golden stone fly patterns and progresses into hopper and terrestrial patterns in later summer. As we move into the fall, we start to use some of the patterns and techniques singular to this river, not to mention targeting some of the larger brown trout during their aggressive pre-spawn. The guides at Clear Creek Outfitters have come up with some very effective techniques for fishing the Blackfoot at this time of year. As the Blackfoot starts winding through a tight gorge the river lends itself to fishing from a boat with the most success.
We often see bull trout in this river because of its pristine nature. Bull Trout can only live in the cleanest waters. While it is not legal to target these fish, they have occasionally been known to take a streamer or bite out of a smaller fish that we have on the line. With the clarity on the river so high, occasionally you can catch a glimpse of one of these bull trout upwards of 30 inches.
Since the removal of the Milltown Dam we have some of the larger Rainbow Trout that formerly lived in the Clark Fork River, start to move up and interbreed with the trout on the Blackfoot River. The predominate species on the Blackfoot are the Cutthroat Trout, with an even distribution of the other three trout species making up the balance of the population.
If you want to specifically fish the Blackfoot River please call us to discuss dates and availability. If you are interested in fly-fishing Missoula Rivers 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%.
Lean Mean Fishing Machine
Growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I learned to fly fish and tie flies from my father at a young age. This hobby turned into an obsession, and I quickly found myself spending most of my free time on the water. Originally being from Montana, I knew I had to make the trek back out west to the trout fishing mecca. I enjoy guiding for many reasons, but the best part is getting to share my passion with others and helping them learn as much as possible during a day on the water. I get just as excited watching people catch fish as I do catching them myself and seeing their reaction and adrenaline is part of what makes fly fishing so special to me.
Fly Fishing Fool
ustin Hoerner is a Montana native with over 20 years of fly fishing experience on the freestones and tailwater’s of western Montana. As a young child, he cut his teeth on the Big Hole River. Education brought him to Missoula Montana where he gained extensive knowledge of the Bitterroot, Blackfoot and Clark Fork rivers.
As a guide, Justin is a patient and personable instructor who loves taking out the first time angler or seasoned vet. During the off season, Justin manages his family cattle ranch, hunts upland and migratory birds with his brother, and spends time with his wife and 3 dogs.
Originally from Virginia Alex Pontone grew up fishing the rivers and streams of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As a kid he was never indoors and learned how to cast a flyrod chasing smallies at his families place along the New River.
Looking for colder water and bigger mountains Alex headed west doing a short stint in Northern California and arrived in Missoula in 2001. Ever since, he has been unable to stay off the water. After graduating from the University of Montana and a couple great years of traveling and fishing he took up guiding and has worked the rivers of western Montana.
When not rowing boats and walking banks Alex is the permanent substitute teacher at a local grade school and tries to spend as much time with his Golden Retriever, “Julie.”
Brooks Jessen, recounts his childhood as follows, “My first memories as a small boy were riding with my Dad in his jeep in the mountains near Ennis MT, catching trout in mountain lakes, and fishing the Madison River. By 5 years of age I was indoctrinated to be a hunter and fisherman.” He attended the U of M in Missoula Montana where he studied wildlife biology and geology. Brooks started professionally guiding fly fisherman and hunters in MT in 2001 and has guided on the Bitter Root, Clark Fork, Black Foot, Rock Creek, and the Missouri rivers in western Montana. Brooks is a husband and father of 2 children who love the outdoors and live to hunt and fish as much as he does. “There’s nothing better than spending time with my family, floating down these awesome Montana rivers, fly fishing,” he exclaims.