With the removal of the 100 year-old Milltown Dam, you can now experience the Clark Fork River as it was for centuries before. Catch browns, rainbows, and cutthroats to your hearts desire
he Clark Fork River can easily be described as three different rivers. The headwaters are a meandering stream much like the Beaverhead River, and has a predominately brown trout population that are more than willing to attack a streamer or bait fish imitation. As it approaches Missoula, both Rock Creek and the Blackfoot River dump into it before it reaches town. As it winds through Missoula, it turns into more of an urban trout fishery. As it exits Missoula, The Clark Fork meets up with the Bitterroot River and almost doubles in flow size. The species more predominate in this lower stretch is mostly large rainbow trout. For the next 40 miles it remains a large stream as it winds through the Alberton Gorge and its white water section.
On this stream we fish all different techniques including nymph, emergers, dries, and also streamers.
Because of the variety this river has to offer, we can fish different sections without having to feel that we’re on the same river.
Fishing the upper end tends to lean more toward getting out of the boat and wade fishing while the lower stretch we primarily fish from the boat.
We fish this river all season long, except for the upper stretch which tends to be affected more by algae in the late summer. Several years ago the Mill Town Dam was removed east of Missoula which caused the fish in the lower stretch to move up and mix in the upper stretches gene pool.
Because of the diversity of the Clark Fork River it would be easy to spend your entire fly fishing trip exploring this fishery.
A new favorite stretch on the Clark Fork River is the area surrounding the removal of the Mill town dam because of the habitat restoration methods used during the process of clean up with the help of the Clark Fork River coalition.
If you want to specifically fish the Clark Fork River please call us to discuss dates and availability. If you are interested in fly-fishing Missoula’s 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.