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Clark Fork River

Updated 09/20/2017 at 6:11pm

Conditions At-a-glance


Weather Forecast

58° / 39°
44° / 35°
42° / 28°
52° / 35°
41° / 35°
38° / 31°

Our Report

Conditions on the Clark Fork are pretty good but flows super low with fall arriving. Between the recent rain coupled with clouds, shorter days, and cooler temps look for good surface fishing on this river throughout September and October. Mahoganies and hoppers will be the call for most of the fishing here.

BEST TECHNIQUES – Big attractors and long droppers in the morning if you don’t find sippers on the mayflies.

OUR TIPS OF THE WEEK – Afternoon fishing should be really good with the cooler temps and rain forecast for the next few days. Watch for subtle risers in the eddy lines and backwaters along the banks.

7 DAY OUTLOOK – This will soon be the river everyone will be fishing….the fall on the Clark Fork is the bomb. Mayflies and hoppers on the menu. Afternoon fishing will be the call…..mornings will likely be slower with the cooler air temps we’re having….but you can still get it done with a nymph rig or dropper below a big attractor pattern.

Call or email us for up to the minute updates at 406.542.7411 or if you are in the area stop in our fly shop and say hi at 3055 North Reserve Street in Missoula for all your Orvis gear and the right bugs.


River is low and clear, temps are nice and cool - good for the trout!

The Hatch

mahoganies and hoppers, few midges

Fly Patterns

DRIES - parachute hoppers in tan #8, chubbies, mahoganies NYMPHS - Red beadhead power worm#10, prince #12, phez tails #16, tungsten salvation nymph #14. STREAMERS - olive or natural zonker type pattern #6, sparkle minnow #6, olive or black bead head buggers #8 Don't forget a few big pike flies and metal leader.


Water Flow

550 cfs at Turah with 2690 cfs below Missoula

Link to Water Flow Graph


4 feet

Water temperature at mid-day


Water Condition

Low and clear

Best time of day to fish

anytime after 11am for the best fishing.....will fish good until dark.

Best stretch

Lower river below Missoula for dry fly action; below Rock Creek to Msla for smaller fish on droppers.

Best access point

multiple access points all along the river

Fish species

Rainbows, cut throats, cut-bows, browns, and white fish.

Fishing season

Fishing season is open year round, while the winter is catch and release for trout.

Nearest airport

Missoula International Airport

Recommended fly fishing leader

9' 3x

Recommended fly fishing tippet

2x to the first bug 3x to the second unless going small then drop down one size.