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Rock Creek

Updated 12/11/2017 at 5:25pm

Conditions At-a-glance


Weather Forecast

34° / 20°
29° / 19°
27° / 18°
30° / 18°
31° / 21°
28° / 18°

Our Report

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.


Low and clear but super slick for wading so take your wading staff, cleats and care.

The Hatch

few midges

Fly Patterns

DRIES -sipper midge #18-20, small black parachutes #18, NYMPHS- Prince, San Juan worm, double bead stones, pheasant tails, copper johns. STREAMERS - olive or natural zonker type pattern #6, sparkle minnow #6, olive or black bead head buggers #8


Water Flow

About 200cfs @ Clinton about average

Link to Water Flow Graph



Water temperature at mid-day


Water Condition

Perfectly clear but slick

Best time of day to fish

As soon as the slush ice moves out - mid day typically.

Best stretch

The entire Creek should fish well but expect a bit more sun in reaches coming in from Pburg.

Best access point

Multiple points all along the river.

Fish species

Cutthroats, rainbows, cut-bows, browns, white fish, bull trout and some brooks.

Fishing season

Open year round, but catch and release for trout this time of year.

Nearest airport

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 nymphing but super fun spot to swing streamers with switch rods.