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Clark Fork River

Updated 01/14/2021 at 11:50pm

Conditions At-a-glance


Weather Forecast

Our Report


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 and afternoons have been fishing pretty good on the Clark Fork through town.


  1. Fish are more site-specific on the Clark Fork- particularly the lower. If you are not getting them- move on. If you get into to ’em- stick around
  2. Don’t be scared to throw a streamer! The sparkle minnow is always a solid choice.


Swinging a streamer or throwing one off the bank.
Nymphing has been a very productive way to 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- for all your Orvis gear and the right bugs.


It's been a little chilly but fishing has been pretty good if you're willing to stick it out.

The Hatch

Stick to nymphing for a more productive day of fishing.

Fly Patterns

NYMPHS - Spanish bullet #14-16, yellow spot p-tail jig #14-16, Jig perdigons in #14-16, Frenchies #12-16, duracells #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

1820 above Missoula

Link to Water Flow Graph



Water temperature at mid-day

33-35 degrees

Water Condition


Best time of day to fish

Afternoon has been the best but mid day has been good as well, make sure you give the mornings a bit to warm up.

Best stretch

Fishing through town had been super productive and even some of the lower stretches.

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

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