Conditions At-a-glance

Our Report

Tip of the Week:

As we start seeing more grasshoppers, ants, beetles, and other terrestrials in the coming weeks, you will find the best hopper fishing when it’s a bit windy (ideally a crosswind) outside. Afternoons are also generally more successful as hoppers are more active once it warms  up a bit, making them more susceptible to getting blown into the nearest stream or lake. When it comes to hopper patterns, start small in the early season (that’s right now) and size up your flies as time goes on - this is what is happening with the naturals! When you’re looking for the perfect spot to cast your favorite hopper pattern, start with the nearest grassy banks. Thick grass lining the edge of a cut bank can be a great place to fish hoppers. 

*See our 7 Day Outlook for updates on blockages jamming up the Bitterroot.

7 Day Outlook: 

This week in the Blackfoot Corridor it’s going to be hot and sunny, very similar to what we’ve been experiencing the last couple weeks, however it is supposed to be generally cooler at night which we hope will bring down water temperatures a bit! 

**There are currently fishing restrictions on the Blackfoot river by Montana FWP. Please refer to Montana FWP’s current waterbody restrictions to see the latest.** 

Best Techniques:

In the Blackfoot Corridor, we’re seeing mostly PMDs and Caddis out there. Spruce Moths are beginning to appear in places as well and we are still seeing the occasional Golden Stones and Green Drakes. Early mornings are fishing the best, with most of the action ending by around noon. For most of the day, nymphing will be the way to go. Throw a dry-dropper so you can cut off the nymph and just fish the dry when fish start rising. Tie on a chubby or other stonefly pattern with a mayfly or stonefly nymph as a dropper. Anglers will find success with a dry fly in the mornings and evenings while it’s still cool.

*Traveling or in a hurry?  Let our knowledgeable staff pick a fly selection for you!

*The Online Store is updated daily!  Check it out!

*Call us for up to the minute updates at 406.542.7411 or if you are in the area stop in for all your Orvis gear and the right bugs. 


  • Purple Haze #12-18
  • Corn Fed Caddis #12-14
  • Chubby Chernobyl #06-10 - Gold
  • Water Walker #8-12
  • Flash Cripple PMD #14-18
  • Last Chance Cripple PMD #16-20
  • Jake's Richter Scale Spruce Moth #12-14



Local Forecast

Deer Lodge, MT, USA



The Hatch

Mostly PMDs and a mix of Yellow Sallies, Caddis, and Golden Stoneflies. Starting to see some Spruce Moths as well.

USGS Water Charts


Link to Water Flow Graph"



Water temperature at mid-day


Water Condition

Clear & low.

Best time of day to fish

Early mornings are best!

Best stretch

Most of the river is fishing well right now.

Best access point

Multiple access points all along river

Fish Species

Rainbows, westslope cutthroats, cutbows, browns, bull trout, whitefish, and suckers.

Fishing Season

All Year - Winter can be tough.

Nearest airport

Missoula International Airport (MSO)

Recommended fly fishing leader

From a boat - 7.5' 3x-4x. Wading step it up to 9'

Recommended fly fishing tippet

3X, 4X and 5X will cover 90% of our fishing applications. 1-2X is great for punching out large, wind resistant dries in high dirty water. Don't drop lower than 10lb for streamers (we recommend a 4-5' 10lb tapered leader with a sink tip fly line). Leave the 6X at home.

Best fly fishing rod

The 9' 5WT is our do it all rod. Fast action rods will be best for most of our fishing; foam dries, dry-dropper fishing and nymphing. A fast action 6WT will be useful for large foam dries, small streamers, heavy nymph rigs and punching bugs through the afternoon wind. Bring a 7WT if you plan to fish large articulated streamers.

Best floating fly line

Scientific Anglers MPX or Rio Grand

Best sinking fly line

Scientific Anglers Trout Express or Rio Predator F/I/S3

About This Water

The Big Blackfoot River is everything it’s cracked up to be.  Bottomless emerald pools, boulder strewn pocket water and diamond chop riffles all shaded by moss covered cliffs and towering ponderosa pines combine to make this the epitome of Montana fly-fishing. Thanks to a diligent concerted effort between neighboring landowners, government agencies, conservation organizations and concerned anglers, restored spawning tributaries are continually enhancing trout populations – especially those native to the river. Combining such exceptional juvenile trout recruitment with restrictive creel limits results in a Blackfoot teeming with fish like biceps. Nymphing here is just plain deadly, especially from a boat. We aren't talking about spending the day untangling two pinhead size flies spun tight with 6X tippet around a stick of soft lead and a Don King indicator – this is no tailwater. 4X is as light as we go with 1X common place and bugs often the size of small rodents. Then imagine the same terminal tackle for dries! No stress, just fun. In spite of its familiarity as the inspiration for the big screen hit, "A River Runs Through It," compared to other world class destinations fishing pressure remains relatively light.