Rock Creek is perhaps the best option in the Clark Fork drainage for consistent winter and early spring angling. During this time of year, trout are more and more concentrated in the deeper runs and out of the long shallows they inhabit throughout the summer and fall. Nymphing and swinging are the name of the game, but do not rule out rising fish during midge hatches on warmer days, especially when the sun is on the water.
BEST TECHNIQUES – Nymphing, streamers, are the name of the game but midges possible when the sun is on the water or air temperatures hit the mid 30’s.
TIPS OF THE WEEK –
The fish have moved into their winter holes and you should be fishing them for good numbers of hook ups… Deep slow runs are good 3-5′ deep green chop runs are even better.
7 DAY OUTLOOK –
Rock Creek is in great shape for the winter!
Good luck from the team at Blackfoot River Outfitters and Flint Creek Outdoors! FCO in Philipsburg is open Thursday-Monday from 9a-5p. Be sure to stop in to talk to Josh for your Orvis gear and the best fly selection in the region.
Low and clear. Perfect for getting to those fish in winter holding spots.
NYMPHS - Pat's Rubber Legs, brown, #6; Hare's Ear Nymph, #10-14; Pheasant Tail Nymph, #14-18; Pink San Juan Worm, #8-10; Montana Prince, tan, #12-16
DRIES - BWO's, #16-20; Purple Haze, #10-18
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.
215 CFS at the mouth.
Water temperature at mid-day
Best time of day to fish
Late morning through late afternoon
Upper and lower. Middle tends to ice over.
Best access point
Upper: Gilles Bridge
Lower: Valley of the Moon
Cutthroats, rainbows, cut-bows, browns, whitefish, bull trout and some brooks.
Open year round, but catch and release for trout during winter.
Missoula International Airport
Recommended fly fishing leader
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.