After being iced up for some time a few stretches of the Creek are open now. Look for those sections that get the most sun light on a daily basis as those with long shadows are likely to still be locked up.
Nymphing is definitely the best bet for winter fishing on the Rock… A Hot Bead San Juan with an additional nymph dropper (choose your favorite) seems to be the for sure thing to lock up some fish. Typically they will stack up just below the riffles in the head of the deeper runs but don’t count out the dead/back waters… many of the Creek’s top end fish show up in slow water.
If you want to step up in size if not numbers too try swinging pencil thin streamers across the deep slow runs and tail outs then slow striping them back up the insides.
Our shop Flint Creek Outdoors in Pburg is closed for the season but in Missoula at Blackfoot River Outfitters on Reserve Street 406-542-7411 6 days a week.
The BRO and FCO Team wishes you all Great Fishing!
John, Terri, Matthew, Fred, Matt, Sam and Bruce
Low clear but ice flows
Midges on those warmer high 30-40* days
Dries - para midge
Nymphs - Red beadhead power worm#10, peacock double bead stone #8, brown rubber leg #8, red thread prince.
Streamers - olive or natural zonker type pattern #6, sparkle minnow #6, olive or black bead head buggers #8
About 200 cubic feet per second at Clinton
Water temperature at mid-day
Skinny winter conditions with ice flow
Best time of day to fish
Upper and lower reaches are always better than the middle river in the winter... more sunlight and spring water.
Best access point
Multiple points all along the river.
Cutthroats, rainbows, cut-bows, browns, white fish, bull trout and some brooks.
Open year round, but catch and release for trout this time of year.
Missoula International Airport
Recommended fly fishing leader
In the winter keep it short - 7'6" 3x
Recommended fly fishing tippet
3x and 4x top to bottom bug respectively unless you are swinging streamers then bump up to 2x
Best fly fishing rod
Crisp 9'4wt for winter nymphing but super fun spot to swing streamers with switch rods.