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Clark Fork River

Updated 07/30/2018 at 6:58pm

Conditions At-a-glance


Weather Forecast

85° / 60°
85° / 54°
68° / 56°
80° / 49°
85° / 48°
82° / 55°

Our Report

Dry droppers have been working well.

We don’t recommend any fishing from the mouth of Rock Creek down to Sharon. There was a fatality in Clinton to Turah about a month ago and the water is still too high to be safe with the amount of new debris.

The lower CF, below Missoula, is fishing just okay and we do know that Kelly to Harpers is clear of debris.


BEST TECHNIQUES – If you do make the trek to the upper river, remember to fish
Our tip of the week: small nymphs as if you were fishing a tailwater (which is essentially what you are doing). Lighter tippets in spite of the water clarity.
And be careful!!!!!!

OUR TIPS OF THE WEEK – There is some fishing to be had above Missoula but the sections are filled with debris and Turah down is impassable.
We have heard of some boats in below Missoula but reports are just okay with the water temps going up.

Summer weather is here and the rivers should continue to drop.  If you do get out, go early!  The water temps are on their way up.  Fish may need more TLC when releasing, let’s be good to them!

7 DAY OUTLOOK – If you do get out, go early!  The water temps are on their way up.  Fish may need more TLC when releasing, let’s be good to them!

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.


Some sections are fishable but still be careful! The water is still higher than normal and there is a ton of new debris.

The Hatch

Stones, mayflies, caddis.

Fly Patterns

DRIES - Stones, mayflies, and caddis are coming! 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

1,240 cfs at Turah with 3,180 cfs below Missoula

Link to Water Flow Graph


Average 5'

Water temperature at mid-day

Upper 60's near Superior... getting up there!

Water Condition

Running clear

Best time of day to fish

Early morning!

Best stretch

From Warm Spring to Rock Creek is fishable. Rock Creek to Sharon is intermittently impassable due to new debris. Sharon down is open.

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.