Rock Creek is perhaps the best option in the Clark Fork drainage for consistent winter angling. As ice jams form and move, trout are more and more concentrated in the deeper runs and out of the long shallows the inhabit throughout the summer and fall. Although you might have some midge dry action occasionally, don’t bank on it. Reasonably short double nymph rigs (4-5′) and dry line or short sink tip streamer swinging is the game. Don’t expect large fish but do expect large numbers.
BEST TECHNIQUES – Fish the obvious water. Run your nymphs into the deep green chop lead by a riffle drop off. Also remember that if you are not finding fish in that color change they may well be spread out across deep slow tailouts or eddies. Many of our best winter browns come out of super slow water.
TIPS OF THE WEEK – Always have a worm on! Fishing nymphs, fish a worm. Fishing streamers, trail a worm. Fishing a midge, drop a worm (just kidding). The colder the water the better the worm works. Aversion to the worm? Try swinging a bugger with a small dropper trailer…sometimes the fish are timid about the bugger but will readily grab the nymph.
7 DAY OUTLOOK – The inversions close to Missoula make for really cold fishing but the sun is typically out on the upper reaches so that is where we would head.
Good luck from the team at Blackfoot River Outfitters and Flint Creek Outdoors! FCO in Pburg is going to be open this winter Thus-Sun. Be sure to stop in to meet Josh and for your Orvis gear and the best fly selection in the region.