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Bitterroot River

Updated 07/30/2018 at 6:07pm

Conditions At-a-glance


Weather Forecast

85° / 56°
88° / 51°
71° / 56°
80° / 49°
87° / 49°
86° / 51°

Our Report

There is a tree just downstream from the Wally put in, STAY CENTER CHANNEL.

The root is in summer condition… lowing and clear.

Call us for specific details and if we can’t help, we will get you to the folks that know!

BEST TECHNIQUES – The root is in full summer flows, low and clear.
We have been having good luck with throwing a stone or mayfly under a big dry (hopper or any foam body), a double dry, or just throwing a single mayfly dry in the mornings.
Don’t be afraid to run a little deeper with your dropper, 3′-4′ with the water clearing.
You may find some fish rising to mayflies (PMDS, sallys, or tricos) in side channels and eddy lines.
Look for deeper shelf drop-off and be sure get your rig up on the shelf to ensure they sink properly into the drop.


Fish it all and you will find them where you find them!
We are finding fish on shelf drop-offs (tan to green), buckets along banks, eddys, and in the heavier current lines.

With water temps on the rise, please give the fish some extra TLC when releasing them. Let’s be good to them!

Please still be careful when floating… there is still a lot of debris down that could be a problem.

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

7 DAY OUTLOOK – Summer is here and so is the heat! Get out early and got off early! Our best fishing has been before noon :).

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.



Clear and continuing to drop.

The Hatch

Hoppers, Yellow Sallies, Caddis, PMDs, Tricos

Fly Patterns

DRIES - Salmon and Goldens #4-8, Adams #8-14, Chubbies #6-10 NYMPHS- Prince, PTs, double bead stones, copper johns - tungsten is a good call on all. STREAMERS - olive or natural zonker type pattern #6, sparkle minnow #6, olive or black bead head buggers #8


Water Flow

Darby- 612 cfs and level... Flows near Missoula - 997 cfs

Link to Water Flow Graph


Around 4-6'

Water temperature at mid-day

Topping out at 65 up high and in the low 70's down near Missoula

Water Condition

Clear and in summer shape!

Best time of day to fish

Early morning to mid-day

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.

Best fly fishing rod

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

Best sinking fly line