The Blackfoot produced an exceptional day on the rise on Monday 6/29 in the midst of a rainstorm. Golden stones were the number one food item with trout chomping away, secure with the heavy cloud cover. We weren’t sure about how the fishing would go with the forecast, but a low set of expectations to start the day was quickly replaced with bent rods and laughing anglers. The upper reaches, before the rain hit, were still fishing well with the Salmon fly, although the larger fish had a heavy preference for the twitched or skated dry. Don’t be afraid to throw the dry and purposefully add motion, as most of the larger bugs are moving on the water.

MRL guide Jake Hensley hit Green Drakes yesterday on the middle Bitterroot and had an excellent day. This time of year, be prepared to fish anything from Goldens to Caddis on the Bitterroot, because light conditions can trigger all manner of hatches depending on the chosen reach. The lower stretches put out some big browns last week, however the bump in flows has it off the radar for a few days. The lower was mostly a dropper game in the right water, with the occasional fish slamming the attractor dry. Most of the mainstem plays fished well, with the trout moving into the faster water. The West Fork of the Bitterroot had cutthroat rising for their meals in the rain today, but the eats were incredibly slow. A true test of patience watching a cutthroat take their sweet time, and leaving the fly on the water until it is consumed.

Rock Creek fishing last week was heavily centered around Green Drakes in the bottom end, with the upper and middles stretches above the Dalles still chasing Goldens. The flows bumped significantly after the rain, which means hitting the reset button on the fishing program.

Forget the Clark Fork this week. With flows hitting 20,000 CFS below Missoula today, it will be a while before it drops into fishing shape.

Caleb Garrett