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Bitterroot River

Updated 04/17/2019 at 8:11pm

Conditions At-a-glance


Weather Forecast

Our Report

BEST TECHNIQUES – Run a dry dropper stone fly set up in the morning and once they are looking up, run a single dry!

OUR TIPS OF THE WEEK – Fish have been responding well to dry flies in the afternoon. We’ve been running dry droppers in the morning with good success. Fish can be found tucked into woody banks but be careful with those droppers!

Be sure to call the shop in Missoula to get up to the minute recommendations…Blackfoot River Outfitters 406-542-7411.

7 DAY OUTLOOK – Fish are looking up, the river should continue to drop.

Call us or stop by our fly shop at 3055 North Reserve Street in Missoula for specific locations or to pick up your bugs. Thanks and good fishing from the crew at:
Blackfoot River Outfitters — 406.542.7411.



A little high from all of the rain and cooling down all of the time

The Hatch

Skwalas, brown drakes, midges.

Fly Patterns

DRIES - Skwala's in 8's and 10's, some midges NYMPHS- Prince, PTs, double bead stones, copper johns - tungsten is a good call on all. Worms. Zebra midges STREAMERS - olive or natural zonker type pattern #6, sparkle minnow #6, olive or black bead head buggers #8


Water Flow

Darby- 887 cfs, near Missoula - 2770 cfs

Link to Water Flow Graph


Around 5'

Water temperature at mid-day

mid 40's to mid 50's

Water Condition

Cool and clear

Best time of day to fish


Best stretch

The whole river is fishable. There is debris so still be cautious when floating.

Best access point

Multiple fishing access points along the river.

Fish species

Rainbows, browns, cutthroats, cutbows, and white fish.

Fishing season

All year, catch and release for trout in the winter.

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 top bug and 4x for second or 4x to 5x for smaller rigs

Best fly fishing rod

9 or 9'6" 5 or 6 weights for nymphing and dries - 7wt for streamers

Best sinking fly line