Clark Fork River

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Clark Fork River

Updated 10/22/2021 at 8:58pm

Conditions At-a-glance


Weather Forecast

Our Report

BRO’s Tips of the Week:

As water temperatures drop, trout will favor holding lies that require them to expend less energy.  Soft seams, drop offs, and pools offer great cover, access to food, and a break from the current.  Target fish in these areas for a more productive day on the water.


7 Day Outlook:

More typical fall weather headed for Missoula in the next week.  Some rain is in the forecast tonight, but minimal precipitation is expected Saturday and Sunday.  Highs for the weekend in the 50’s.  Much more rain in the forecast for next week with highs in the high-40’s to 50’s.


Our Recommendations for the Best Techniques and Patterns:

We are still seeing some Blue Wings and Mahoganies on the Clark Fork.  Parachute PTs, Sparkle Duns and DL Cripples in #14-16 for Mahoganies.  Olive Parachutes, Flash Cripples and Dime-Piece Spinners in #18-20 for the BWOs.  Perdigons, Spanish Bullets, Frenchies, TJ Hookers, San Juans, Bird of Prey and Duracells are all working below the surface.  You may see some October Caddis in the late afternoon/evening.  Have a few large orange body Elk Hair Caddis or Stimulators if you start to see the naturals.  Streamer fishing has been pretty good!  Kreelexs, Godzilla Sculpins, Mini-Dungeons and Sparkle Minnows are our go to streamers.


Goings on at World Headquarters in Missoula:

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.

USGS Water Charts


Conditions are good on the Clark Fork.

The Hatch

BWOs and a few Mahoganies.

Fly Patterns

DRIES - Olive Haze or Purple Haze #16-20. DL Cripple (Olive) #18-20. Parachute PT or Hot Spot Para-Wulff #14-16. NYMPHS - TJ Hooker or Girdle Bug #10-#12. Perdigons, Spanish Bullets, Frenchies, Duracells, #14-16. Bird of Prey #08-10. STREAMERS - Sparkle Minnow #6 (Sculpin color is a favorite), Zonkers #6 & #8 in Natural, Olive, or Yellow, Kreelex Fly #6 in Copper/Gold


Water Flow

1900cfs (below average for this time of year)



Water temperature at mid-day

56 degrees

Water Condition


Best time of day to fish

Give the mornings some time to warm up. Late morning through the evening will be best.

Best stretch

The entire river is fishing well.

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