Select a river to view it’s report

Bitterroot River

Updated 01/14/2021 at 11:14pm

Conditions At-a-glance


Weather Forecast

Our Report

7 DAY OUTLOOK – We will be seeing a rain/snow mix this weekend and into early next week. Temps will be in the 40’s this weekend and into the 30’s for the next week. It’s been surprisingly warm for this time of the year so there is a good chance of having a pretty productive day of fishing on the Bitterroot.

OUR TIP OF THE WEEK – On the Bitterroot in the winter fish tend to really hang inside bends, drop offs and by any structure like log jams and big rocks.  Spend more time working that stuff and you’ll spend more time with the net.

BEST TECHNIQUES – Don’t be scared to throw a streamer before this weather gets cold and the temps drop! Olive & Tan streamers have been the ticket. Nymphing Princes, Rubberlegs, Double Bead Stones, Perdigons and San Juans in the inside bends and slower drop offs will get you into fish.

Call or email us for up to the minute updates at 406.542.7411 or if you are in the area- WE HAVE MOVED TO OUR BRAND NEW LOCATION AT 275 N. RUSSELL STREET IN MISSOULA


The weather has been pretty mild for the Bitterroot in the winter, the river starts to warms up a bit around 11am. Fishing hasn't been great but been pretty decent nymphing up higher.

The Hatch

Streamer fishing will still be good until the temps really drop. Stick to nymphing for a more productive day of fishing.

Fly Patterns

NYMPHS - Jig perdigons in #14-16, Frenchies #12-16, duracells #14-16, jig yellow spot p-tail #14-16, Spanish Bullet #14-16 STREAMERS - Sparkle Minnow #6 in Olive; Zonkers #6, 8 in Natural, Olive, or Yellow; Kreelex Fly #6 in Copper/Gold, Gold/Silver, or Purple/Silver.


Water Flow




Water temperature at mid-day

33-35 degrees

Water Condition


Best time of day to fish

Give the mornings a bit to warm up, rivers can be icy until 11-12am.

Best stretch

The whole river is fishable.

Best access point

Multiple fishing access points along the river.

Fish species

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

Fishing season

All year

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

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

Best floating fly line

WF 4 wt. or 5 wt.

Best sinking fly line