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Rock Creek

Updated 06/26/2020 at 8:36pm

Conditions At-a-glance


Weather Forecast

Our Report

7 DAY OUTLOOK – Spring flows are starting to subside a bit and this weeks cool wet forecast equates to perhaps the BEST fishing of the year!  And, fewer folks whom might be afraid to fish in the rain. PRO Tip – the fish aren’t getting any wetter in the rain!


The Rock is bank full, running fast and salmon flies and other stones have migrated to the bank, thus utilize these techniques for best results:

1. Fish tight near the banks and soft edges around structure.
2. Nymph slow deep pools and back eddies.
3. If you notice rising fish and they won’t take your stone fly offerings, look around.  Are there pmd mayflies, green drakes or caddis on the water? If so swap up.

BEST TECHNIQUES – Dries to the bank or off on the seams with a medium-depth dropper, nymphing when the dry/dropper is failing you, swinging streamers with bunny-n-bead rig.

Good luck and don’t forget to stop in our Philipsburg shop Flint Creek Outdoors and our NEW JACKALOPE JOE’S espresso bar! We’re open 7:30-5 seven days a week. Be sure to stop in to talk to Josh, grab a coffee, some Orvis gear, and flies from the the best fly selection in the region.


Given the level and slightly dropping flows we consider the conditions ideal - especially when fishing from a raft. Watch for a bump in water levels if we get soaking rains but if not this should be a special week on the Creek.

The Hatch

Salmonflies, little yellow sallies, caddis, green drakes, with pmd's and goldens starting up.

Fly Patterns

NYMPHS - Pat's Rubber Legs, brown, #6; Hare's Ear Nymph, #10-14; Pheasant Tail Nymph, #14-18; Pink or hot bead red San Juan Worm #8-10; Montana Prince tan #12-16, double bead stone peacock or natural #8 DRIES - Salmon fly variations (Rouge, carnage, cat puke...)#8-6, Goldie Hawn sally #16, paradrake olive #12 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

1600 cfs near Clinton

Link to Water Flow Graph



Water temperature at mid-day

58 deg.

Water Condition

Slightly Stained

Best time of day to fish

Late morning to late afternoon

Best stretch

The entire creek is fishing well.

Best access point

Upper: Gilles Bridge Lower: Valley of the Moon

Fish species

Cutthroat, rainbow, cutt-bow, brown, bull, some brook trout, and whitefish.

Fishing season

Open year round, but catch and release for trout during winter.

Nearest airport

Missoula International Airport

Recommended fly fishing leader

9' 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' 5wt for nymphing but super fun spot to swing streamers with switch rods.