The Blackfoot River

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The Blackfoot River

Updated 09/30/2022 at 11:50pm

Conditions At-a-glance

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Weather Forecast

Our Report

BRO’s tips of the week:

Starting the day with a dropper or nymph rig when the water is cold can be a good way to get into fish every morning. A big October Caddis dry like a Stimulator with an October Caddis nymph or San Juan worm tied off the hook makes for a great prospecting rig, and be prepared to switch to dries or streamers depending on hatches and cloud cover. 

 

7 day outlook:

Rain heading into the weekend will give rivers a nice bump before clear, cool weather returns next week. With highs in the 70s, we should see some great dry fly fishing by the afternoons, and there’s no rush to start your day early in the morning when the water is still cold.

 

Our recommendations for techniques and patterns:

If you aren’t seeing many bugs in the morning, a dropper or nymph rig with a TJ Hooker, Green Machine, or San Juan will be productive until the water warms up and bugs start popping. Go equipped with mayfly dries like the Brindle Chute, Purple Haze, and Sparkle Dun Mahogany as well as Tricos in #20-22 for spots on the river where you find them in the late morning. An October Caddis dry with a caddis nymph tied off the hook will work well, too. Try a Frenchie, TJ Hooker, or Jig PT dropper off a Stimulator or your favorite hopper while having a San Juan worm ready for rainy days.

Other nymphs we like include Rubber Legs, TJ Hookers, Double Bead Stones, and San Juans in #6-8, Jig PT’s, 2-Bit Hooker, Prince Nymphs, Duracells, Spanish Bullets or Quill Perdigons in #12-16. 

Fall is streamer time! Sparkle Minnows, Gongas, Kreelexes, Mini Dungeons, and Thin Mints/Buggers are all good, and bigger fish are moving to eat a faster retrieve right now.

See our staff pick fly selection here!

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USGS Water Charts

Conditions

Conditions are good.

The Hatch

Tricos, Mahoganies, BWOs, October Caddis.

Fly Patterns

DRIES - Indicator Spinner Trico, Polywing Spinner Trico, and CDC Spinner Trico #18-22. Parachute Mahogany, Purple Haze, Brindlechute, Flash Cripple, D&D Cripple #14-16. Parachute BWO, On Point BWO, D&D Cripple #18-20. October Caddis #08-10. NYMPHS - 20 Incher, TJ Hooker, Girdle Bug, San Juan #06-#10. Perdigon, Spanish Bullet, Frenchie, Brillon’s Mean Machine, Duracell, Prince Nymph, Jig PT #14-18. STREAMERS - Sparkle Minnow #06-08, Zonkers #06 & #08 in Natural, Olive, or Yellow. Buggers #06-12, Mini-Dungeon or Mini-Peanut Envy in Black, Olive and White.

Specifics

Water Flow

591cfs (average for this time of year)

Link to Water Flow Graph

http://on.doi.gov/1Tp3aKZ

Visibility

36"

Water temperature at mid-day

57 degrees

Water Condition

Good, but low. Rowing will be busy and wadabilty is good

Best time of day to fish

Afternoon.

Best stretch

The entire river is fishable.

Best access point

Multiple access points all along river.

Fish species

Rainbows, westslope cutthroats, cutbows, browns, bull trout and whitefish.

Fishing season

All Year - Winter can be tough.

Nearest airport

Missoula International Airport (MSO)

Recommended fly fishing leader

From a boat - 7.5' 3x-4x. Wading step it up to 9'

Recommended fly fishing tippet

2x top bug and 3x for second or 3x to 4x for smaller rigs. We use 0x and 1x for streamers.

Best fly fishing rod

9ft 5 or 6 weights for nymphing and dries - 7wt for streamers

Best floating fly line

WF 5wt or 6wt

Best sinking fly line

3ips