Clark Fork River

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Clark Fork River

Updated 04/02/2021 at 4:39am

Conditions At-a-glance


Weather Forecast

Our Report

Clark Fork spring fly fishing

TJ Hooker clark fork fly fishing

BRO’s Tips of the Week:
Spring skwala stone fly fishing has a lot to do with the profile of the fly and length of drift. Long thin bodied dries are best when dead drifted along slow banks, logs, down tailouts and even just swirling around in eddies. Longest float wins.

7 Day Outlook:
Warmer days now are going to jumpstart the hatches on the Clark. We’ve enjoyed some great days on the Clark both upper and Lower but the clarity diminished last weekend and is just now coming back. Water levels are dropping and clarity improving now. The fishing should pick up again if the warm weather doesn’t bring down some low valley snow.

Our Recommendations for the Best Techniques and Patterns:
We start with long droppers under higher floating skwalas and chubbies or even short lease a coupla nymphs under and indicator. As soon as we notice the little brown stones in the air or a skwala or two on the water shorten the dropper length and weight and start fishing the low pro dries in thinner water and tighter to the banks.

Goings on at World Headquarters in Missoula:
April starts our month long Raffles ending in an Orvis H3 fly rod!!! See our Social or call for detes.
Call or email us for up to the minute updates at 406.542.7411 or if you are in the area stop in- WE HAVE MOVED TO OUR BRAND NEW LOCATION AT 275 N. RUSSELL STREET IN MISSOULA- for all your Orvis gear and the right bugs.
clark fork spring fly fishing

USGS Water Charts


Conditions are improving after high, turbid water last week. We are expecting some warm weather, but with most of the low snow gone we shouldn't see too much change in water clarity.

The Hatch

There is a chance we could see Skwalas on the Clark Fork this weekend, but dry-dropper or a nymph rigs will likely be the best option.

Fly Patterns

DRIES - Rastaman and Brown Wing Skwlas for single or double dry. Rogue Skwala for dry-dropper. NYMPHS - Worms - Red or Pink, Princes #10-#16, Rubber Legs/TJ Hooker #8-#12, Jig Perdigons/Spanish Bullets in #14-16, Frenchies #12-16, Duracells #14-16, Jig Yellow spot, Pheasant Tails #14-16, Spanish Bullet #14-16. STREAMERS - Sparkle Minnow #6, Zonkers #6 & #8 in Natural, Olive, or Yellow, Kreelex Fly #6 in Copper/Gold.


Water Flow

3800cfs (above average for this time of year)



Water temperature at mid-day

40-43 degrees

Water Condition

Water levels are falling and the clarity is improving

Best time of day to fish

Mid-day to evenings, give the mornings a bit to warm up so the bugs and fish are more active.

Best stretch

Fishing should start to pick up again above and below town.

Best access point

Multiple access points all along the river

Fish species

Rainbows, westslope cutthroats, cut-bows, browns, pike and whitefish.

Fishing season

Fishing season is open year round.

Nearest airport

Missoula International Airport

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 5wt or 6wt

Best sinking fly line